ACIM Reading for November 16
The Song of Prayer
2. Forgiveness- Introduction
1. Forgiveness offers wings to prayer, to make its rising easy and its progress swift. Without its strong support it would be vain to try to rise above prayer’s bottom step, or even to attempt to climb at all. Forgiveness is prayer’s ally; sister in the plan for your salvation. Both must come to hold you up and keep your feet secure; your purpose steadfast and unchangeable. Behold the greatest help that God ordained to be with you until you reach to Him. Illusion’s end will come with this. Unlike the timeless nature of its sister, prayer, forgiveness has an end. For it becomes unneeded when the rising up is done. Yet now it has a purpose beyond which you cannot go, nor have you need to go. Accomplish this and you have been redeemed. Accomplish this and you have been transformed. Accomplish this and you will save the world.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 16
My Father gives all power unto me.
The Son of God is limitless. There are no limits on his strength, his peace, his joy, nor any attributes his Father gave in his creation. What he wills with his Creator and Redeemer must be done. His holy will can never be denied, because his Father shines upon his mind, and lays before it all the strength and love in earth and Heaven. I am he to whom all this is given. I am he in whom the power of my Father’s Will abides.
Your Will can do all things in me, and then extend to all the world as well through me. There is no limit on Your Will. And so all power has been given to Your Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #572: I have been studying A Course in Miracles for several years, but I am still perplexed by some things. Recently there was a news program describing the benefits of prayer on healing the body. It was one of the “so called double blind” studies where neither the participants nor the controllers knew which patients were being prayed for. But the study proved that the group being prayed for improved dramatically over the patients not being prayed for. What I don’t understand is, what is going on here? If God does not work in this world and the Holy Spirit or Jesus does not heal the body in this world, how can this be happening to such a degree that people believe that they are healed by prayer. I understand the ladder of prayer in the “Song of Prayer” pamphlet, and it appears that this is asking out of need, the lowest level of prayer. Is this just another ego trick or am I missing something here?
A: Without getting into the irrelevant issue of whether or not the specific study reported was “good science,” drawing sound conclusions from empirically sound research design and procedures, we’ll assume the validity of the findings for the sake of discussion. From the Course’s perspective, the improvement of bodily symptoms is always the result of the mind’s own decision to bring about physical change in its projected bodily form (M.5.II.2). God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus have nothing to do with physical recovery. And no other mind brings about the change — it is only ever the result of the willingness of the patient’s own mind. Whether or not, as part of the research design, information about who is praying for whom is conveyed to the patients is irrelevant, since minds are joined and it is only at this level that any kind of communication takes place. And as to whether these findings are an ego trick or the result of right-minded release of guilt through an experience of joining really depends on the mind of each individual patient — either avenue to the release of bodily symptoms is possible.
For more on the relationship between prayer and healing, you may wish to refer to Question #385.