II. The Ladder of Prayer (Paragraphs 1-4)
Our study of The Song of Prayer
In the Ladder of Prayer, we come to learn that Prayer is circular. As Jesus says, it’s a part of life. The form may change and different times along our spiritual path. At times we will ask for worldly solutions and at other times we embrace the utter beauty of the connection with God.
On the lower levels of prayer, we are praying for what we think we lack. In truth, we lack nothing at all. In God, we have everything. And when we say “everything” that is, it is not “everything” of this world we seem to walk and talk about in. it is in Heaven where we have no lack or need for anything here in the illusion. That takes a lot of faith to be in that much acceptance, does it not?
So it is a journey as we go along. In fact our thoughts are prayers and we are always praying. It is to ask “For WHAT am I praying?”. Is it really that I get the job or someone heals their cancer? When we ask for those things (and it’s not wrong to do so, let’s remember that!) we are asking for something in the world to relieve our discomfort. We are uncomfortable and we do not know for what to ask.
We can now adjust our prayer to one of recognizing I do not like how I am experiencing a situation: a job loss, family member’s illness, or a partner leaving.
And now to one of:
Holy Spirit, today I offer to you my situation. I am feeling terrified at this situation. I am exhausted with worry. I am so uncomfortable and I feel so vulnerable and incredibly alone. I am not at peace. My family is not at peace either and feel much of the same. Certainly I would like this resolved and quickly, however, I know that it is not the situation that has brought this pain, it is my own thinking.
I bring these feelings and needs in relation to my situation to You today. I know I cannot fix this by myself or even dare to try. I am willing to let go of all that I feel surrounding this situation. I ask Your Assistance in remembering peace as I realize that is my ultimate need. I release this gladly to You and I trust that I will receive what I have asked.
These last two paragraphs we use within our monthly Healing Circle Meditation session. By this process we are focusing in on the feelings we are having and the thoughts of fear plaguing our minds instead of focusing on the problem in the world. We are not at peace and we need peace. Simply put.
And we can receive it. As I said previously, one can still pray for solutions in the world but just remember that they are only temporary solutions until another situation comes along. Remember Peace is always yours.
II. The Ladder of Prayer in 1. Prayer in THE SONG OF PRAYER
II. The Ladder of Prayer
S-1.II.1. Prayer has no beginning and no end. 2 It is a part of life. 3 But it does change in form, and grow with learning until it reaches its formless state, and fuses into total communication with God. 4 In its asking form it need not, and often does not, make appeal to God, or even involve belief in Him. 5 At these levels prayer is merely wanting, out of a sense of scarcity and lack.
S-1.II.2. These forms of prayer, or asking-out-of-need, always involve feelings of weakness and inadequacy, and could never be made by a Son of God who knows Who he is. 2 No one, then, who is sure of his Identity could pray in these forms. 3 Yet it is also true that no one who is uncertain of his Identity can avoid praying in this way. 4 And prayer is as continual as life. 5 Everyone prays without ceasing. 6 Ask and you have received, for you have established what it is you want.
S-1.II.3. It is also possible to reach a higher form of asking-out-of-need, for in this world prayer is reparative, and so it must entail levels of learning. 2 Here, the asking may be addressed to God in honest belief, though not yet with understanding. 3 A vague and usually unstable sense of identification has generally been reached, but tends to be blurred by a deep-rooted sense of sin. 4 It is possible at this level to continue to ask for things of this world in various forms, and it is also possible to ask for gifts such as honesty or goodness, and particularly for forgiveness for the many sources of guilt that inevitably underlie any prayer of need. 5 Without guilt there is no scarcity. 6 The sinless have no needs.
S-1.II.4. At this level also comes that curious contradiction in terms known as “praying for one’s enemies.” 2 The contradiction lies not in the actual words, but rather in the way in which they are usually interpreted. 3 While you believe you have enemies, you have limited prayer to the laws of this world, and have also limited your ability to receive and to accept to the same narrow margins. 4 And yet, if you have enemies you have need of prayer, and great need, too. 5 What does the phrase really mean? 6 Pray for yourself, that you may not seek to imprison Christ and thereby lose the recognition of your own Identity. 7 Be traitor to no one, or you will be treacherous to yourself.