Prayer -The Art of Believing
Pray for my soul, more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. Tennyson.
PRAYER is an art and requires practice. The first requirement is a controlled imagination. Parade and vain repetitions are foreign to prayer. Its exercise requires tranquility and peace of mind, “Use not vain repetitions,” for prayer is done in secret and “thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
The ceremonies that are customarily used in prayer are mere superstitions and have been invented to give prayer an air of solemnity. Those who do practice the art of prayer are often ignorant of the laws that control it.
They attribute the results obtained to the ceremonies and mistake the letter for the spirit.
The essence of prayer is faith; but faith must be permeated with understanding to be given that active quality which it does not possess when standing alone.
“Therefore, get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.”
This book is an attempt to reduce the unknown to the known, by pointing out conditions on which prayers are answered, and without which they cannot be answered.
It defines the conditions governing prayer in laws that are simply a generalization of our observations.The universal law of reversibility is the foundation on which its claims are based.
Mechanical motion caused by speech was known for a long time before anyone dreamed of the possibility of an inverse transformation, that is, the reproduction of speech by mechanical motion (the phonograph).
For a long time electricity was produced by friction without ever a thought that friction, in turn, could be produced by electricity.
Whether or not man succeeds in reversing the transformation of a force, he knows, nevertheless, that all transformations of force are reversible. If heat can produce mechanical motion, so mechanical motion can produce heat. If electricity produces magnetism, magnetism too can develop electric currents. If the voice can cause undulatory currents, so can such currents reproduce the voice, and so on. Cause and effect, energy and matter, action and reaction are the same and inter-convertible.
This law is of the highest importance, because it enables you to foresee the inverse transformation once the direct transformation is verified.
If you knew how you would feel were you to realize your objective, then, inversely, you would know what state you could realize were you to awaken in yourself such feeling.
The injunction, to pray believing that you already possess what you pray for, is based upon a knowledge of the law of inverse transformation.
If your realized prayer produces in you a definite feeling or state of consciousness, then, inversely, that particular feeling or state of consciousness must produce your realized prayer.
Because all transformations of force are reversible, you should always assume the feeling of your fulfilled wish.
You should awaken within you the feeling that you are and have that which heretofore you desired to be and possess. This is easily done by contemplating the joy that would be yours were your objective an accomplished fact, so that you live and move and have your being in the feeling that your wish is realized.
The feeling of the wish fulfilled, if assumed and sustained, must objectify the state that would have created it.
This law explains why “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” and why “He calleth things that are not seen as though they were and things that were not seen become seen.” Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and continue feeling that it is fulfilled until that which you feel objectifies itself.
If a physical fact can produce a psychological state, a psychological state can produce a physical fact. If the effect (a) can be produced by the cause (b), then inversely, the effect (b) can be produced by the cause (a). Therefore I say unto you, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24, E.R.V.).
A clear concept of the dual nature of man’s consciousness must be the basis of all true prayer. Consciousness includes a subconscious as well as a conscious part. The infinitely greater part of consciousness lies below the sphere of objective consciousness. The subconscious is the most important part of consciousness. It is the cause of voluntary action. The subconscious is what a man is. The conscious is what a man knows. “I and my Father are one but my Father is greater than I.” The conscious and subconscious are one, but the subconscious is greater than the conscious.
“I of myself can do nothing, the Father within me He doeth the work.” I, objective consciousness, of myself can do nothing; the Father, the subconscious, He doeth the work. The subconscious is that in which everything is known, in which everything is possible, to which everything goes, from which everything comes, which belongs to all, to which all have access.
What we are conscious of is constructed out of what we are not conscious of. Not only do our subconscious assumptions influence our behavior but they also fashion the pattern of our objective existence. They alone have the power to say, “Let us make man—objective manifestations—in our image, after our likeness.”
The whole of creation is asleep within the deep of man and is awakened to objective existence by his subconscious assumptions. Within that blankness we call sleep there is a consciousness in unsleeping vigilance, and while the body sleeps this unsleeping being releases from the treasure house of eternity the subconscious assumptions of man.
Prayer is the key which unlocks the infinite storehouse. “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Prayer modifies or completely changes our subconscious assumptions, and a change of assumption is a change of expression.
The conscious mind reasons inductively from observation, experience and education. It therefore finds it difficult to believe what the five senses and inductive reason deny.
The subconscious reasons deductively and is never concerned with the truth or falsity of the premise, but proceeds on the assumption of the correctness of the premise and objectifies results which are consistent with the premise.
This distinction must be clearly seen by all who would master the art of praying. No true grasp of the science of prayer can be really obtained until the laws governing the dual nature of consciousness are understood and the importance of the subconscious realized.
Prayer—the art of believing what is denied by the senses — deals almost entirely with the subconscious.
Through prayer, the subconscious is suggested into acceptance of the wish fulfilled, and, reasoning deductively, logically unfolds it to its legitimate end. “Far greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
The subjective mind is the diffused consciousness that animates the world; it is the spirit that giveth life. In all substance is a single soul — subjective mind. Through all creation runs this one unbroken subjective mind. Thought and feeling fused into beliefs impress modifications upon it, charge it with a mission, which mission it faithfully executes.
The conscious mind originates premises. The subjective mind unfolds them to their logical ends. Were the subjective mind not so limited in its initiative power of reasoning, objective man could not be held responsible for his actions in the world. Man transmits ideas to the subconscious through his feelings. The subconscious transmits ideas from mind to mind through telepathy. Your unexpressed convictions of others are transmitted to them without their conscious knowledge or consent, and if subconsciously accepted by them will influence their behavior.
The only ideas they subconsciously reject are your ideas of them which they could not wish to be true of anyone. Whatever they could wish for others can be believed of them, and by the law of belief which governs subjective reasoning they are compelled to subjectively accept, and therefore objectively express, accordingly.
The subjective mind is completely controlled by suggestion.
Ideas are best suggested when the objective mind is partly subjective, that is, when the objective senses are diminished or held in abeyance. This partly subjective state can best be described as controlled reverie, wherein the mind is passive but capable of functioning with absorption. It is a concentration of attention. There must be no conflict in your mind when you are praying. Turn from what is to what ought to be. Assume the mood of fulfilled desire, and by the universal law of reversibility you will realize your desire.