Teach Us to Pray, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
IT IS MAN'S concept of God that makes prayer intellectual or spiritual. There is a vast difference between mere intellectual silence and that constructive silence which always gives the victory within the soul. The intellectual silence, which is limited in its power, is the silence where one's whole attention is fixed on the intellect.
Herbert Spencer once said that he would gladly turn his life over to anyone who would live it for him and relieve him of its burdens. This no doubt can be said of hundreds of other weary ones. It reveals however the fact that man lacks the true vision of life and is not living it as God intended. Man should lift his eyes "unto the hills, from whence cometh" his help. He should dwell much on the truths taught by Jesus and make them a part of his very nature.
Jesus ushered into the race consciousness a thought atmosphere that we contact in the silence by just affirming in spirit and in truth the name "Jesus Christ." There is true magic in this name.
When He said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," He was mentally freeing man from his many trials and
tribulations, and leading him into the broad highway of spiritual freedom, and joy, and abundance. To accept Jesus Christ as Saviour means to take His way of thinking and acting and make it ours.
There is a popular teaching that just accepting Jesus Christ as one's Saviour will set into operation a spiritual magic that will save the soul from all past and future sins. The word "magic" implies accomplishing something with the assistance of the supernatural. We find that in deed and in truth there is magic in adopting the way of life taught by Jesus. But this is not mysterious to those who study the transforming power of thoughts and words. It is all contained in the formula stated by Paul "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Instead of doubting, distrusting, and hating man, which is the fruit of the intellect, Jesus taught us to love man with all our mind, soul, and strength. Instead of fighting life and struggling to compete with millions of others in the same foolish war, as the intellectual man does, Jesus taught man to co-operate. Instead of wasting energy in tearing down, Jesus taught man to conserve his energy in building up. Jesus does not load on man's back all the burdens of humanity; in fact He shows humanity how to love life, how to love the Author of life, and how to love life's activities. In this state of consciousness man automatically drops the burdens of the intellect and enters into the freedom of real living. In the past the intellect has thought its power supreme. But while it is a wonderful faculty, it is in truth the tool of Spirit,
and as such it needs discipline if it is to be able to perform its perfect work.
The intellect is always busy, jumping from one thing to another, much of the time dwelling on the daily routine of the workaday world or on conditions in the world at large. The first step in scientific silence is simply to still these outer intellectual thoughts so that the consciousness may become subservient to the Spirit within.
In I Peter 2:2 we read, "As newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation." Those who are seeking and receiving spiritual understanding are born anew every day, and every day the milk of the spiritual word continues to feed and nourish the soul.
Moses was commanded by Jehovah to make all things after the pattern shown him on the mount. In the heavens of the mind, the spiritual center in the crown of the head, the Lord keeps ever before man life's perfect pattern. But man must have the spiritual ability to discern this pattern if he is to fulfill the requirements of scientific prayer.
By quieting the mental man, by passing through the discipline of intellectual silence, man arrives at the very threshold of God's workshop, the threshold of Being. As he passes into the inner chamber he finds he is entering the holy of holies, where noiselessly, silently a mighty work is always going on but where there is "neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard." God works in the stillness. As man comes into the presence of God with his
prayer in the form of an affirmation of Truth, holding the prayer steadily in mind and consciously unifying his mind with the mind of God, he is aware only of the soundlessness of God's word as it weaves itself in and out through the whole soul and body consciousness, illumining, redeeming, and restoring him according to his faith and trust, according to his strength and power to receive. This is quite different from mere intellectual silence that does not know the way of spiritual unfoldment. In this spiritual silence man's realization is established in his heart and he has the assurance that his prayer is answered and that the law of demonstration brings forth the fruit.
The realization is not only written in the soul but in the intellect, whose seat of action is in the front forehead. The intellect always perceives what has taken place within and has power to retain its perception and to express itself accordingly. Thus the intellect serves Spirit, and as it unfolds it becomes more and more like Spirit, and it becomes in deed and in truth the instrument of God.
Carlyle must have had an intellectual understanding as well as a spiritual understanding of divine law when he wrote, referring to the kingdom within: "Art not thou the living government of God? O Heaven, is it not in very deed He then that ever speaks through thee--that lives and loves in thee--that lives and loves in me?"
Constructive thought force is a great and mighty power, but when it is realized in the silence it becomes
the one and only power in all the earth. The understanding of this made Jesus an adept in the domain of scientific prayer.
"The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands." Jesus was born down among the animals in the manger at Bethlehem. There is a truth symbolized in this; for not only the intellect in man is to be redeemed through prayer but also the body; even every animal propensity must be redeemed and lifted up through Jesus Christ. "In the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . . and . . . every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."