Getting Results From Prayer
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Effective prayer is an art and a science. Through scientific prayer and the practice of the presence of God one can make their life the very best it can be, and experience peace and fulfillment in all areas of their living experience. In this hard to find book, originally published in 1946, Dr. Murphy gives the reader a very good grounding on how to pray effectively.
STEPS IN PRAYER
In the 22nd chapter of Luke, we read about the Feast of the Passover, which means to feast on the bread of life. The bread referred to is spiritual food. "I am the bread of life." When we raise our consciousness through a realization of God's Omnipresence, Infinite Love, and Intelligence, we are not only fed enough, but there is a surplus.
Bread and wine are symbols of Divine Substance and Divine Life. The Bread is the God-like thought; the wine is the manifestation of our ideal. We are familiar with the saying that thoughts become things. "God thinks and worlds appear." The whole world is a thought of God.
The creative form of our thought manifests itself in outward form; as any thought felt as true is always out-pictured on the screen of space: thus the word (man's conviction) "became flesh" or was made manifest. Another way of stating it is that the bread is the desire; the wine is the acceptance and realization of your desire in consciousness.
By illustration, a girl who wants to be an actress, rejoices in the fact that she is a great actress now. With her eyes closed in meditation, she imagines herself playing the role on a stage before an audience. She lives it, and feels the thrill of this experience; sooner or later she actualizes or fixes the state in consciousness. This lovely mood is symbolized by the eating of the bread or substance of God.
By the universal Law of life whatever is subjectively affirmed or felt as true must be expressed; this is the wine of God or our good manifested. Wine represents animation or the pouring of life into an idea. Drinking of the wine symbolizes a "pressing out" of the oil of joy in you; or as Paul says, "Stir up the gift of God within you." As you let goodness, truth, and beauty flow through you, you become partakers of the Divine Nature. This is Holy Communion or communing with love, peace, happiness, wholeness, and perf-ection.
Life has two aspects: namely, spiritual and physical. The spiritual is inspirational; the physical is nutritional; these qualities are represented in the Bible as bread and wine. The life in man is God; his body and affairs are the world.
Some of the ancient legends tell us that the man, Jesus, sang with his disciples; likewise, when we pray, we must go into His presence singing and into His courts with praise.
When we are beset by a problem, or faced with what the world calls an acute emergency, we should never approach it saying, "This is a very difficult problem; a lot of mental work will have to be done." The way of prayer is effortless; the attitude should, therefore, be one of effortless effort.
The end of all prayer should be: "It is done" or "It is finished." These words mean that prayer is a joyful feast in which man contemplates the joy of the answered prayer. It is a spiritual communion; he should feel rested, poised, and calm after prayer. A sense of peace should steal over him, plus an inner satisfaction that God is flowing through his problem, and that there is no problem.
The spiritual man or truth student never takes the problem to God, because God has no problems. On the other hand, the student takes the answer to God, as God knows only the answer.
The first step you take in prayer is to still the mind, and dwell on the attributes of God which are within you. For example, dwelling on Infinite Peace, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Love, and Intelligence, with the realization that your own consciousness is God, insures the right mental attitude: namely, God has the solution.
The second step in prayer is to climb the hill of Good or God. This ascent may take minutes or hours, depending upon the individual and his development. Under no circumstances should one begin to solve his difficulties from a level of fear and doubt, because this will only aggravate conditions. Consciousness always magnifies! If we give our attention to the problem, it grows and expands. You must detach yourself completely from the problem and contemplate your good; as you meditate on your good, you are climbing the hill of God.
The third step: Your mood of doubt now changes to confidence. Your mood of fear changes to gladness and peace. You are on the mountain top! This is the time to speak the word with absolute conviction. The word that you speak from the mountain top is the conviction, or feeling, that "It is finished"—that your prayer is answered. Your heart beats to the rhythm of God. Your contemplation is His contemplation. Your pulse is His pulse. Your joy is His joy. You say, "Amen," audibly or silently as you choose.
When you come down from the mountain, you know with an inner certitude that your desire is a fact of consciousness; your heart is filled with gladness. It is the silent, inner knowing of the soul, whereby man knows that he knows; he is unable to give it articulation. It is like a child who bubbles over with joyous expectancy; yet he is unable to voice the mood clearly.
The fourth step: In a little while the mood felt as true within will be experienced without. You must remain unmoved knowing that good is on the way, and the moment you think not, the answer will come with healing on its wings.
The Bible is a book dealing with spiritual truths; all else is purely incidental. The Bible is a psychological drama; the characters, personalities, and events portrayed therein, represent states of consciousness within all of us. In other words, the men mentioned in this chapter represent qualities of mind.
The whole drama of the Bible occurs within man; it is a story of the soul. The Bible can be read in the past, present, or future tense, as there is no time in God or consciousness. We read the Bible in the present tense; it is a story of every man. What good is the Bible if you look upon it merely as historical document? To be able to apply the inner beauty and grow spiritually is the only thing that matters. We must see the inner beauty and transcendent truths contained within this great drama.
The Last Supper has been subjected to many interpretations. Every man walking the earth is symbolized by Jesus and his twelve disciples. I Am is Jesus, Consciousness, Life, or the awareness within each one of us. There are also twelve faculties or forces of consciousness within us; these are sometimes referred to as the twelve tribes of Israel or the twelve disciples.
In ancient times the twelve faculties were referred to as the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. The latter word means Consciousness, or the holy belt of animals. All the animals (animated states of consciousness) are within man, as Infinity is within him; therefore, all tones, moods, vibrations, and ideas are within man; they emanate from him as God is within him.
We will now go on a joyous, mystical feast. You, the reader, will break bread with the writer.
The following is another technique in the art and science of prayer: The Passover is celebrated by the Jews to commemorate the exodus from Egypt; this means the joy in awakening from darkness to light, from misery and pain to the truth that makes man free.
It means passing from one state of consciousness to another; this is what happens in prayer.
And he sent Peter and John saying, Go and prepare us the pass-over that we may eat. This dialogue refers to yourself in an attitude of prayer. Symbolically, it is the objective, conscious mind talking to your inner or true self—the Reality or subjective Self of you. The passover and the crucifixion are identical stories. The crucifixion represents passing from one state of consciousness to another; it is the transition from sickness to health, from imprison-ment to freedom, from poverty to riches, etc. Crucifixion, also, means a fixed, psychological state; it is your inner feeling that your prayer is answered. In order to eat of the passover, you must call Peter and John. Peter symbolizes faith; John is love.
When ye are entered into the city . . . The city is the secret place of the Most High where man communes with God. You first still your mind; then dwell on your own I Amness. When all of the faculties are turned inward and focused on the One, the Beautiful, and the Good, you are truly sitting down with your twelve disciples. This meditative process is sometimes symbolized by the sun moving through the twelve signs of the zodiac. Both the sun and the zodiac are within man. The sun in the Bible is I Am; the twelve faculties of mind or disciples are the zodiac.
When ye are entered into the city, There shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. The man with the pitcher of water is Simon of Canaan; this means your capacity to hear the good news. Simon means to hear, and Canaan is receptivity, the promised land, or the answered prayer. It means that man becomes still, and adopts a listening attitude—as Lincoln listened to the principle of Liberty, Mozart to the principle of harmony, and Einstein to the principle of mathematics. When man begins to give attention to his good or his ideal, he is following the man with the pitcher of water.
Pouring water on the ground represents pouring feeling on the seed or idea. This is a delightful mood which becomes a fixed state in due season. When the mood is fixed, it becomes a subconscious conviction. Water or consciousness takes the shape of any vessel into which it is poured; this in other words means the subjective mind (water) accepts anything felt as true, and objectifies it on the screen of space. The expression is the image and likeness of the tone, mood, or feeling of the idea impressed subjectively.
So far you find that the proper procedure to eat of the passover is to be still; close your eyes; turn away from the objective appear-ance of things, and dwell on the power and glory of God within yourself. The idea that you have must now be enriched by faith (Peter), and fertilized by love (John). Prayer is a psychological state wherein you feast on your good or ideal.
Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? The guest chamber is the still mind where man turns within to the One, the Beautiful, and the Good. His eyes are turned inward toward the real; he is in tune with the Infinite; his thoughts are God's thoughts, and God's power is with his thoughts of good. Now he is eating of the passover which is a psychological feast.
To meditate means to eat of Me. The Me referred to is I Am or God. In prayer we eat of God or our good until we are filled full of the feeling of possession or of being the one we long to be; our wish has become a conviction; we no longer seek that which we have. We must have everything in consciousness before we can have it or experience it in the world. All things flow from the invisible to the visible.
And he shall show you a large upper room furnished, there make ready. No matter what we seek or desire, it already subsists in the Infinite Mind. We cause it to be objectified or precipitated by feeling the reality of the state or thing desired; then the mood that is retained is manifested; we say that it exists. Regardless of what man thinks, it is already a fact of consciousness; all we have to do is make ready; this implies we must be willing to receive the gift. "I am a gift unto you." Making ready means recognition, accept-ance, and conviction. God is the giver and also the gift.
And when his hour was come, he sat down and the twelve disciples with him. The hour means the time you are ready to demonstrate, or you are ready to put the law into operation constructively. To sit down means to be in a receptive, psychic, or passive state of mind; it is a state of effortless effort.
As previously stated, the twelve disciples represent the faculties and qualities of mind within all of us; sometimes they are referred to as the twelve powers of man. They are disciples only when they are disciplined in meditation or scientific prayer. In meditation all of the senses are withdrawn into the deep; your mind is focused on one objective or ideal; this is one-pointed-ness, wherein you consciously direct the subjective mind.
For thought to be effective, it must be consciously, wisely, constructively, and systematically directed. Sitting down with your twelve disciples represents the disciplined attitude of mind; you are now tuned in with the Infinite Power; you are hearing the good news. This is an inner hearing; it is the inner, silent knowing of the mystic.
And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave it unto them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." The He is your I Am, and bread is your ideal, or the thing that would bless you. "I am the bread of life." The true bread is the spiritual food of which man partakes. Bread also symbolizes thoughts of peace, love, and happiness. "Man doth not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God doth man live." Man may eat of physical bread, but he will hunger again. The bread that he breaks is the bread of life; it is the noble, dignified, God-like state of consciousness.
When man feasts in this manner, he will not hunger again. Some men live to eat, and they hunger for peace of mind, integrity, happiness, security, love, and companionship. All of the real things of life are intangible; therefore, the bread spoken of is the bread that cometh from heaven, which is peace, happiness, and freedom; the latter are the urges of the Spirit or God within him; hence they are called bread from heaven.
This is my body . . . The body means your pictorial image or your ideal. When the ideal or image is impressed on the subconscious, it is made manifest in the exact image and likeness of the mood that entertained it.
For example, if your ideal is to become a great artist, this ideal inflames the mind and generates a delightful mood or feeling; this mood conceals the body or form of your ideal. The mood is the Father which generates its likeness on the objective plane. "As within so without."
A similar example is the acorn that contains the oak, or the mustard seed in the ground that brings forth the mustard plant. Within the mustard seed is the body or form of the mustard plant.
This do in remembrance of me. When we remember, we reass-emble all of the parts that complete the whole; we realize the Oneness or wholeness. "We are all parts of one stupendous whole whose body nature is, and God the soul." To remember means to become one with God. The ultimate meaning of remember is to awaken to the all-good that is everpresent now. The body of a thing is the pattern which we fashioned, moulded, and shaped in our own minds. Man's body is a pattern of his subjective state of thought. The subconscious thoughts and beliefs fashion and shape the body.
Likewise, also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. The new testament means to testify to a new state of consciousness. "I come as a witness." A witness testifies to that which is. When you have prayed successfully, you become a new being. You are transformed; you testify to a new state of consciousness. You have changed your name or nature.
If, for example, you were crippled and you now walk, this is the new testament in my blood. Blood symbolizes life. The cup means the cup of wine; the wine symbolizes joy. So it is the happy, joyful state of mind, wherein you pour love and feeling into your ideal, and contemplate the joy of the answered prayer. You enter into a great, psychological feast of peace and happiness. You contem-plate the reality of the thing desired; in other words you behold the joy that would be yours if you now received your ideal, or if you now were the being you long to be.
If you continue to feast on the accomplished fact, the moment comes when you can eat no more; then you say, "It is finished," or "Amen," or "It is done." These words of confirmation refer to the finished, psychological state in consciousness; you subjectively know that the thing prayed for is a fact in consciousness. This is the silent, inner knowing of the soul; it is a fourth dimensional feeling, whereby you know that you know. You do not have objective proof as yet, but you are not waiting for results, because you know that the moment you think not, the manifestation or demonstration will appear. You remain unmoved in the absolute conviction that the solution felt as true within must be experienced without.
Behold, the hand of him that betrayed me is with me on the table. This quotation symbolizes the last process of prayer. Judas betrays Jesus. Judas represents limitation, or your problem. The opposite of your problem is the solution, or Jesus. Your limitation or Judas betrays or reveals Jesus, the solution. Every problem contains within itself its own solution in the form of a desire. It is necessary for Judas or limitation to commit suicide. The suicide referred to is the turning away from the problem, and placing the attention on your good or ideal. By feeling the reality of your ideal, you bring about a fixed state in consciousness followed by a sense of peace and happiness. The acceptance of your desire in consciousness is true prayer; it always brings rest, peace, and happiness; this always results in the death of Judas or limitation, and the birth of your new concept.
In John 17:12, Judas is called the son of perdition, or sense of loss or guilt. In the Book of Acts we are told that Judas purchased a field with the reward of iniquity, and that he died as the result of a fall. In the Book of Matthew, we are informed that he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple; departed, and hanged himself.
The Bible gives conflicting stories as to what happened to Judas. It is significant that we know that we are not dealing with a man, but we are concerned with a mental attitude of lies, fears, and unholy beliefs. Judas is the personification of the adversary, or our negative thought which comes from the world around us; in other words, Judas is our false belief. Also, Judas is the type of man who believes power and honor are in worldly possessions and suprem-acy over others.
We must die or commit suicide to these false beliefs. Realize that the only peace and the only source of supply and power are from God. We must give complete recognition to Him. "I am, and there is none else." When we die to the belief in disease, there is only health. When we cease believing the lie, symbolized by Judas, God or good is revealed. This is the reason Judas reveals or betrays Jesus. Jesus symbolizes the solution or the realization of your desire.
For example: if you now desire an apartment in this city, the belief that it is difficult to get one is Judas. Judas must die; then the apartment appears. Desire, without fear, is manifestation.
Satan or Judas tempting Jesus means that man is tempted to sacrifice his spiritual growth for material possessions, such as, worldly power, pomp, and ceremony. Many prefer to live the lie rather than accept the truth.
"I die daily," says Paul. We die to the old state, and live to the new; in this way we go from glory to glory.
The last supper takes place every night as you drop into the deep of sleep. Your last waking concept of self—prior to falling asleep—is the last supper for that day. Man should always go to sleep feeling successful, happy, and prosperous; then he has supped with God or his good. Inasmuch as the conscious and subconscious mind are joined every night in sleep, man carries to the deep all of the reactions of the day unless he changes them before going to sleep. These reactions of the day are etched in conscious-ness, and expressed on the morrow as experiences, circumstances, and events.
By constant feasting on the One, the Beautiful, and the Good, we will finally die to all fear and doubt; then we will be back in the garden of Eden or paradise. When we have died to all false beliefs, we give birth to the Christ-Consciousness; this is the ultimate meaning of the Last Supper. Now man awakens and goes back to the glory which was his before the world was. He has found the All. There is neither time nor space, now nor then; neither he nor she. There is only the ever-flowing Reality flowing on forever!