Teach Us to Pray, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
TO BE "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" means that we are seeking strength and power from sources other than the physical. Food and exercises are the usual sources of bodily vigor. We are not discussing mental vigor, which is gained by combining diet, discipline, and idealism.
A study of Truth reveals that words based upon the authority of Spirit develop dynamic force. The difference between the force of a word based in physical things and one based in spiritual things is the difference between the effect one gets from contact with a wire carrying a light and a wire carrying a heavy voltage.
The time will come when scientific metaphysics will measure mathematically the currents of energy
emanating from a brain charged with material ideas and one charged with spiritual ideas. At present the science of mind is quite primitive. We are, like Franklin, flying a few kites and making cursory excursions into a field of energy the control of which will eventually change our whole world.
We have found however that very definite changes occur in our mind and body when we practice concentration in the silence. This means that when we want to gain spiritual power we get still mentally and physically and turn our attention within. On our first entering this "silence" we close our eyes and ears, and with our concentrated attention fixed on an imaginary point within, we repeat silently any set of words that carry a spiritual idea. With practice we can make the inner connection without closing the eyes.
In His directions for effective prayer Jesus told His disciples to go into the secret place and close the door, there to pray to the Father in secret, and the response would appear outwardly. Jesus sometimes prayed all night. He taught persistence in prayer. We find that contact with the supermind--which Jesus named the Father--is sometimes quickly made in concentrated prayer; then again our mind is slow to see the inner light. The relation of our mind to creative Mind may be compared to the relation of a radio receiving set to a broadcasting station. As we must tune our radio set so that it will pick up waves from the proper station, so we have to acquire the ability to attune our mind to Divine
Mind, so we may learn by spiritual understanding the true ideas that exist eternally in Divine Mind.
Every word has a quality that sympathetically relates it to an idea innate in the mind of man, and when the word is released it radiates an energy that contracts or expands the body cells and through them external nature. For example, words of praise, gratitude, or thanksgiving expand, set free, and in every way radiate energy. Words of failure or impotence congest energy and cause the cells to crowd together, making nerves trembly and bones brittle.
When the thoughts are lifted up to the contemplation of our all-pervading and all-powerful Spirit Father and our voices ring out in words of praise and thanksgiving, the withered hands and shackled feet are freed, the walls of negation are shattered, and we step forth into a new consciousness of life.
To those in the clutches of adverse words it seems a travesty to praise and give thanks to the God of strength and power, but thousands of those who have endured poverty and sickness for years find that their prison doors open when they praise and give thanks, like Paul and Silas, as related in the 16th chapter of Acts. They were praying and singing hymns to God when suddenly there was a great earthquake, all the prisoners' chains were loosened, and Paul and Silas stepped forth free men.
So you will find that you can be freed from all the prison cells of mind's blind thinking by lifting up your voice and heart in songs of praise and thanksgiving to the God of freedom, light, and life.