"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
Course in Miracles
The Journey Back
XI. The Answer to Prayer
Everyone who has ever tried to use prayer to request something has experienced what appears to be failure. This is not only true in connection with specific things which might be harmful but also in connection with requests which are strictly in line with this course. The latter, in particular, might be incorrectly interpreted as "proof" that the course does not mean what it says. You must remember, however, that the course does state, and repeatedly, that its purpose is the
Let us suppose, then, that what you request of the Holy Spirit
what you really want, but you are still
of it. Should this be the case, your
of it would no longer
what you want, even if
is. This accounts for why certain
forms of healing are not achieved, even though the state of healing
. It frequently happens that an individual asks for physical healing because he is fearful of
harm. At the same time, however, if he
healed physically, the threat to his thought system would be considerably
fearful to him than its physical expression. In this case he is not really asking for
from fear but for the removal of a symptom which
has selected. This request is, therefore,
for healing at all.
The Bible emphasizes that
prayers are answered, and this must be true if no effort is wasted. The very fact that one has asked the Holy Spirit for
will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that
response given by the Holy Spirit will
be one which would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard at all. It is
, however, that it will be lost. There are many answers which you have already received but have not yet
. I assure you that they are waiting for you. It is indeed true that no effort is wasted.
If you would know your prayers are answered, never doubt a Son of God. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in
. If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth which is in him. You will unite with the truth
him, and his words will
true. As you hear
, you will hear
to truth is the only way you can hear it now and finally
The message your brother gives you is
up to you
. What does he say to you? What would you
him say? Your decision
him determines the message you receive. Remember that the Holy Spirit is in him, and His Voice speaks to you
him. What can so holy a brother tell you
truth? But are you
to it? Your brother may not know who he is, but there is a light in his mind which
know. This light can shine into yours, making
words true and making
able to hear them. His words
the Holy Spirit's answer to you. Is your faith in him strong enough to let you hear?
Salvation is of your brother. The Holy Spirit extends from your mind to his and answers
. You cannot hear the Voice for God in yourself alone because you are
alone. And His answer is only for what you
. You will not know the trust I have in you unless you
it. You will not trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit or believe that it is for you unless you hear it in others. It
be for your brother
it is for you. Would God have created a Voice for you alone? Could you hear His answer
as He answers
of God's Sons? Hear of your brother what you would have me hear of you, for you would not want
to be deceived.
I love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive
, but they
. Knowing what you are, I
doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, who speaks to me through
. If you would hear
, hear my brothers in whom God's Voice speaks. The answer to
prayers lies in them. You will be answered as you hear the answer in
. Do not listen to anything else, or you will not hear truth.
Believe in your brothers
I believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me
believing in them for the sake of what God gave them. They
answer you if you learn to ask truth of them. Do not ask for blessings without blessing them, for only in this way can you learn how blessed
are. By following this way, you
looking for the truth in you. This is not going
yourself. Hear only God's Answer in His Sons, and you
To disbelieve is to side against or to
. To believe is to accept and to
with. To believe is not to be credulous but to accept and
. What you do not believe, you do not appreciate, and you
be grateful for what you do not value. There
a price you will pay for judgment because judgment
the setting of a price. And as you set it, you
If paying is equated with
, you will set the price low but demand a high
. You will have forgotten [that to price is to
so] that your return is in
to your judgment of worth. If paying is associated with
, it cannot
perceived as loss, and the
relationship of giving and receiving will be recognized. The price will then be set high because of the value of the return. The price for
is to lose sight of value, making it inevitable that you will
value what you receive. Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and will not
Never forget, then, that
have set the value on what you receive and have priced it by what you give. To believe that it is possible to get much for little is to believe that you can bargain with God. God's laws are
fair and perfectly consistent.
giving you receive. But to receive is to
, not to get. It is impossible not to
, but it
possible not to
you have. The recognition of having is the willingness for
by this willingness can you recognize what you have. What you give is therefore the value you put on what you have, being the exact measure of the value you put upon it. And this, in turn, is the measure of how much you
of the Holy Spirit, then, only by giving
Him, and you can
to Him only where you
Him. If you see Him in everyone, consider how much you will be
of Him and
how much you will receive
. He will deny you nothing because you have denied
nothing, and so you can share everything. This is the way, and the
way, to have His answer because His answer is all you
ask for and
. Say, then, to everyone,
Because I will to know myself, I see you as God's Son and my brother.
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A Course in Miracles
My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.
Just as God's Son completes his Father, so your part in it completes your Father's plan. Salvation must reverse the mad belief in separate thoughts and separate bodies which lead separate lives and go their separate ways. One function shared by separate minds unites them in one purpose, for each one is equally essential to them all.
God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will? The part that He has saved for you to take in working out His plan is given you that you might be restored to what He wills. This part is as essential to His plan as to your happiness. Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you. They will see their function in your shining face and hear God calling to them in your happy laugh.
You are indeed essential to God's plan. Without your joy, His joy is incomplete. Without your smile, the world cannot be saved. While you are sad, the light which God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless. And no one laughs, because all laughter can but echo yours.
You are indeed essential to God's plan. Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go and take their place beside you in God's plan. God's messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs.
We will not let ourselves be sad today. For if we do, we fail to take the part that is essential to God's plan as well as to our vision. Sadness is the sign that you would play another part instead of what has been assigned to you by God. Thus do you fail to show the world how great the happiness He wills for you. And so you do not recognize that it is yours.
Today we will attempt to understand joy is our function here. If you are sad, your part is unfulfilled and all the world is thus deprived of joy along with you. God asks that you be happy so the world can see how much He loves His Son and wills no sorrow rises to abate his joy; no fear besets him to disturb his peace.
You are God's messenger today. You bring His happiness to all you look upon, His peace to everyone who looks on you and sees His message in your happy face. We will prepare ourselves for this today in our five minute practice periods by feeling happiness arise in us according to our Father's Will and ours.
Begin the exercises with the thought today's idea contains. Then realize your part is to be happy. Only this is asked of you or anyone who wants to take his place among God's messengers. Think what this means. You have indeed been wrong in your belief that sacrifice is asked. You but receive according to God's plan and never lose or sacrifice or die.
Now let us try to find that joy which proves to us and all the world God's Will for us. It is your function that you find it here and that you find it now. For this you came. Let this one be the day that you succeed! Look deep within you, undismayed by all the little thoughts and foolish goals you pass as you ascend to meet the Christ in you.
He will be there. And you can reach Him now. What could you rather look upon in place of Him Who waits that you may look on Him? What little thought has power to hold you back? What foolish goal can keep you from success when He Who calls to you is God Himself? He will be there. You are essential to His plan. You are His messenger today. And you must find what He would have you give.
Do not forget the idea for today between your longer practice periods. It is your Self Who calls to you today. And it is Him you answer every time you tell yourself you are essential to God's plan for the salvation of the world.
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My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.
We have several Lessons now that speak to us about happiness and God's Will for us. Our choice for happiness is a choice for healing, which comes about through forgiveness because to forgive is to let go of our ego thought system. This Lesson says that happiness is a choice.
"God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will?"
(W.100.2.1 2) What is the happiness Jesus is talking about? Clearly, it is not a matter of trying to maintain a positive way of thinking or a happy demeanor that covers over any sense of sadness or distress we may be feeling. On the contrary, it is getting in touch with the deep joy already in our right minds. It is not something we manufacturer through our own efforts. It is something we uncover through forgiveness of what stands in the way. This requires staying vigilant in watching our thoughts and bringing them to light so they can be released. These are the blocks that keep us unaware of our true happiness.
Why do we choose against His Will for us, which is our happiness? We choose against His Will because we would rather have our own will, which is to hold onto the small self we have made. We hold onto what we know of ourselves as a body and personality living in this world. We are actually holding onto an image of ourselves and the role we play in the world. This is the character we know as ourselves in this dream. We are very familiar with this character and are reluctant to give it up. Who would I be without the familiarity of my thoughts, my beliefs, my values, and my roles?
In order to keep this dream intact, we sacrifice our true happiness. We value our life drama more than perfect happiness. We value attack and revenge. We value getting what we want. We value blame, judgment, and condemnation, more than perfect happiness. We want to be right about the way we see things, rather than surrendering our judgments and admitting we are wrong. Further, strange as it may seem, we actually want to be victimized by others so we can hold them responsible for our condition.
We hold onto our judgments because we actually want others to be separate and different from us. Thus, we can blame them for our sadness and suffering, instead of taking responsibility for our choices. This is what keeps the ego going. We prefer to hold onto our grievances, our judgments, our distress, and our way of seeing. The ego has set it up so we can project the guilt in our minds onto those we see as responsible for our misery, and thus we believe we can buy our innocence at their expense. We willingly buy into the ego's plan, which is to project our own guilt in the belief that we are getting rid of it. We don't want to see it in ourselves. We prefer to see it in others, and thus we see them as the guilty ones, while we righteously proclaim we would never do what we see others doing.
When we blame others and see them as guilty, rather than getting rid of our guilt, we are actually holding onto it. We chose the ego's plan, even though it brings us pain, because we are invested in the world. We are actually attracted to the guilt because this is how we hold onto our separate, individual selves. Our biggest addiction is to the self we think we are. We believe that if we don't hold onto our specialness, our pain, our suffering, our stories, and our uniqueness, we will lose ourselves. We are therefore leery of God's plan, of His Love, and of His Will for us.
"Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you. They will see their function in your shining face, and hear God calling to them in your happy laugh."
(W.100.2.5-6) God does not have billions of separate plans for each of us. Often we hear that God has a plan for our lives, but it is not so. We are to become part of God's plan, which is the plan for all of us, and that is to be happy. Our part in God's plan is to reawaken the happiness already in us that God has willed for us to experience. He wants to restore to us our happiness. It is not that God actually has any wants, as He already knows us as whole and perfect and at home in Him. When we hear that God wants our happiness, it motivates us to wake up from this dream, as it is also what we want. When we bring our guilt and fear to the Holy Spirit, it is shined away by Him. He is our bridge back to our home. As long as we choose to listen to the ego, we are opposing His Will, which is actually our own true will. In the service of the ego, our will is actually imprisoned because it is bound to the ego thought system of sin, guilt, and fear.
If someone is distressed today and this upsets me, or if someone says something unkind to me today and I respond with anger, I make the situation real, rather than see it as an appeal for help and for love. Only by connecting to the deep joy and peace in myself can I respond with love and kindness. Love and kindness come through me when my attack thoughts are brought to the light. We have a choice to offer blessings instead of attack in every situation. There is a beautiful passage in Chapter 8 that speaks of this to us.
"When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself."
(T.8.III.4.1-7) (ACIM OE T.8.IV.19)
This Lesson means a lot to me because my husband died on the day that this Lesson came up for me. I turned to the Lesson and read:
"God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will?"
(W.100.2.1-2) It made me realize that the grief and sadness in me were a choice I was making and that healing was available when I was ready to bring the sadness to His healing light. How would you have me look at this situation, Holy Spirit? Then I realized, suffering was a decision.
"While you are sad, the light that God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless, and no one laughs because all laughter can but echo yours."
(W.100.3.4) I saw that my sadness came from believing I had suffered loss, I felt lost and alone, and everything about this illusion seemed real, including death. Would I choose to participate in the healing, or would I use this experience as an opportunity to see myself as victimized? I was standing on the precipice of a decision. Which way would I turn? I did not deny my grief and sadness, but in the back of my mind, I felt the freedom available to me to choose how to see it. I resolved to stay open and asked Holy Spirit to help me see how this was an opportunity to go deeper into my process of opening to Spirit.
"You are indeed essential to God's plan. Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, and take their place beside you in God's plan. God's messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs."
The synchronicity of this Lesson given to me at this time seemed as though the Holy Spirit were speaking very specifically and directly to me and to my situation. I did not have to understand why this had happened. I only needed to surrender my pain, although this was not something forced on me. I could take my time and feel whatever feelings were coming up. It was not about denying what I was experiencing. I was simply recognizing that, with willingness, there was a way out of this pain. I realized that understanding could only come with peace.
"Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you."
(W.100.2.5) Did I want to understand why this was happening to me, or did I want peace? That was the question that came to me. I learned I did not need to understand. Time was still here for me to continue to do the healing. I was not the victim of this situation. Clearly, I set it up this way, as it was in my script for this lifetime. Who am I to argue with it, since I apparently wrote this script?
"God asks you to be happy, so the world can see how much He loves His Son, and wills no sorrow rises to abate his joy; no fear besets him to disturb his peace. You are God's messenger today. You bring His happiness to all you look upon; His peace to everyone who looks on you and sees His message in your happy face."
The healing continues, and the joining in purpose brings deeper levels of peace and joy and wonderful holy encounters that are such a blessing. This does not mean there are not many challenges, but they all bring more opportunities for undoing the ego thought system. As we heal, we show the world a genuine shining face and a happy laugh to which others will be attracted. This is not an outward focus of a happy face but a reflection of the quiet inward joy of our Being, which comes about with the undoing of the ego through forgiveness. I now see all the distress and sadness of these kinds of events in our lives is not to be denied, but neither is it to be indulged. We can take as long as we need for the healing process to unfold.
We may think we will lose something if we don't respond to the issues in our lives with anger and attack. We may think we will get taken advantage of. We may think there is something we can get from the situation, or we will need to sacrifice something we value.
"You have indeed been wrong in your belief that sacrifice is asked. You but receive according to God's plan, and never lose or sacrifice or die."
(W.100.7.6-7) If anyone does anything that appears cruel, our upset makes that behavior seem real. When we come to a place in our journey where we can see in it an appeal for help, it is our own call for healing. When we do our part to bring the light of our Being to that person, we receive the same light. This is only possible when we commit fully to our own healing.
Today, be the messenger for everyone you meet or even think about.
"It is your Self Who calls to you today."
(W.100.10.6) The Answer is in our own minds. We just need to work with Jesus to remove the blocks that are keeping us from knowing the joy already present in us. He says, "For this you came." (W.100.8.3) There is no other reason to be here except for our healing.
Today, we are asked to let any sadness go so we can participate fully in His plan. We are the ones to bring joy to the world by getting in touch with it in ourselves.
"Today we will attempt to understand joy is our function here."
(W.100.6.1) Our sadness deprives the world of joy along with ourselves. God will be known through us today when His message is seen in our happy faces. We are not here to deny our sadness. That would be a mistake. We are here to look at our sadness with the Holy Spirit so we can willingly release it. There is no spiritual bypass that is helpful if we are to fully embrace whatever feelings come up. Investigate the beliefs you hold that have brought about these feelings of sadness, grief, despair, or anything else at the forefront of your mind today. Look at what you must be thinking in order to feel sad, investigate those beliefs, and recognize them as just thoughts, which are not the truth about you.
"My part is essential to God's plan for salvation."
(W.100) What is that part? It is to be happy.
"Look deep within you, undismayed by all the little thoughts and foolish goals you pass as you ascend to meet the Christ in you."
(W.100.8.5) Be confident knowing
"He will be there."
(W.100.10.1) Remind yourself,
"You are essential to His plan. You are His messenger today. And you must find what He would have you give,"
(W.100.10.2-4) which is joy.
If you find yourself not willing, just watch the experience from above the battleground and recognize that it is not up to you to change your feelings nor is it helpful to indulge them. Simply see them for what they are without judging them. They have no reality. Looking at your thoughts and feelings without judgment helps you to see that you need do nothing but look. He will do the rest.
Love and blessings, Sarah
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