Neville Goddard Lecture, The Secret Of Prayer

The Secret Of Prayer

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The secret of scriptural prayer, as told in the form of a parable, is to pray and never lose heart. One such parable tells of a widow who kept coming to a judge, asking for vindication. At first he did not respond, then he said to himself: “Although I neither fear God, nor regard man, yet I will exonerate her, because by her much coming, she wearies me.” Parables, like dreams, contain a single jet of truth. This parable urges persistence in mastering the art of prayer. Once you have mastered it you will live in the state of thanksgiving, and all through the day you will say over and over again to yourself: “Thank you, Father.” A most effective prayer is found in the 11th chapter of the Book of John, as: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, for thou always hears me.” In this chapter, the story is told of someone who has died and has seemingly gone from this world. But the truth is that no one is dead to you, when you know how to pray. You may no longer touch, see, or hear those you love with your mortal senses; but if you know how to give thanks, you can move from your body of darkness into the world of light and encounter your loved ones there. Therefore, he who would learn how to pray will discover the great secret of a full and happy life. In the 33rd chapter of the Book of Genesis, Jerusalem is called “Shechem.” It is said that, “Jacob came safely into the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan. There he erected an altar and called it El Elohey Israel, which means “the God of Israel”. Orienting himself toward Shechem (the true direction) Jacob remained in El Elohey Israel, which means “safe in mind, body, or estate”. We are told that Daniel oriented himself at an open window, where he looked toward Jerusalem. And those in the Mohammedan world pray looking towards what they call Mecca. But because Christianity takes place within, scripture is speaking of the Jerusalem within, and not on the outside at all. When you pray you do not prostrate yourself on the ground and look towards some eastern point in space, but adjust yourself mentally into your fulfilled desire. Although this technique is simple, it takes practice to become its master. Your true direction is to the knowledge of what you want. Knowing your desire, point yourself directly in front of it by thinking from its fulfillment. Silence all thought and allow the doors of your mind to open.

Then enter your desire. Stay with your imagination as your companion. Start by thinking of your imagination as something other than yourself, and eventually you will know you are what you formerly called your imagination. It is possible to amputate a hand, leg, or various parts of the body – but imagination cannot be amputated, for it is your eternal Self! Let me show you what I mean. While standing here in Los Angeles, I may desire to be elsewhere. Time and finances may not allow it, but in my imagination I can assume I am already there. Now, by a mere act of assumption on my part, God departs this body. If I assume I am in New York City, anyone I think of in Los Angeles must be three thousand miles away. No longer can I think of them as just down the street or in the hills west of me. That is my test. The word “prayer” means “motion towards, accession to, act or in the vicinity of”. Orienting myself towards New York City, I have made a motion, an accession to. As I act in the vicinity of, I see my friends relative to New York City. Having done this, let me have full confidence in my imagination, knowing he is the being who made the motion. Blake’s words are true: “Man is all Imagination, and God is Man and exists in us and we in Him. Man’s Immortal Body is the Imagination, and that is God Himself.” You can not only move in space but also in time and fulfill your every desire. Prayer does not have to be confined to what a person calls self. You can pray for another by feeling they now have what they formerly wanted, for feeling is a movement. The first creative act recorded in scripture is motion: “God moved upon the face of the water.” A friend recently had a fantastic vision, during which he asked: “Did I learn anything?” and I answered: “Yes. You learned how to move.” Then everything was transformed, as conflict deceased, a hovel became a castle, the battlefield a sea of ripened wheat, and he was escorted into his eternal home. Prayer is motion. It is learning how to move toward a change in your bank balance, your marital status, or social world. Learn to master the art of motion; for after you move, change begins to rise up out of the deep.

The technique of prayer is mastering your inner motion. If you are seeing things you would like to change, move in your imagination to the position you would occupy after the change took place. Everything and everyone in your world is yourself pushed out. Any request from another – heard by you – should not be ignored; for it is coming from yourself! You came down from a world of light to confine yourself to this body of darkness. Now a spark from an infinite world of light, one day you will remember that world and awaken, but in the meantime you must learn to exercise the power of your mind. Having remembered the infinite world of light, I now know that everything is myself, as all things are contained within me. Prayer is psychological movement. It is the art of moving from a problem to its solution. When a friend calls, telling of a problem, we hang up, and I move from the problem state to its solution by hearing the same lady tell me the problem is now solved. A friend recently shared this dream with me: We were in a garden and he told me all of his desires, when I said: “Don’t desire them, live them!” This is true. Desire is thinking of! Living is thinking from! Don’t go through life desiring. Live your desire. Think it is already fulfilled. Believe it is true; for an assumption, though false, if persisted in will harden into fact. When you are learning the art of prayer, persistence is necessary, as told us in the story of the man who – coming at night – said: “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread.” Although his friend replied: “It is late, the door is closed, my children are in bed, and I cannot come down and serve you,” because of the man’s importunity, his friend gave him what he wanted. The word importunity means brazen impudence. The man repeated and repeated his request, unwilling to take no for an answer. The same is true in the story of the widow. These are all parables told to illustrate prayer.

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Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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