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Does the U.S. Syrian ‘back off’ prove that prayer works?
Can there be any doubt that prayer works? The most recent developments regarding Syria certainly suggests that it does.
People around the world have been praying for a peaceful resolution to the current situation in Syria, with an end to the threat by the U.S. Government to launch a strategic missile strike there in order to disable the ability of the Syrian regime to use chemical weapons.
And now, Russia and the United States have come to an agreement that calls for the Syrian Government to turn over its chemical weapons to international inspection and control—leading to their complete destruction—within a week.
Is any of this the result of humanity’s prayer? I believe it is. Does that mean that God answers our every prayer in just the way we want God to? No. To me it does not. That is not what Conversations with God has told me.
I have received many messages and emails in recent days asking me what is the best way to approach this crisis spiritually. I have said to everyone, simply…pray.
In thinking about this, I found myself going back to Book One in the Conversations with God texts to get a reminder of what it had to say about “prayer.” Here’s what I found:
You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience — wanting — in your reality. The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.
When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there — in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, God has answered. Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate.
Gratitude cannot be used as a tool with which to manipulate God; a device with which to fool the universe. You cannot lie to yourself. Your mind knows the truth of your thoughts. If you are saying “Thank you, God, for such and such,” all the while being very clear that it isn’t there in your present reality, you can’t expect God to be less clear than you, and so produce it for you. God knows what you know, and what you know is what appears as your reality.
The way to be grateful for something that is not there is through faith. If you have but the faith of a mustard seed, you shall move mountains. You come to know it is there because God said it is there; because God said that, even before you ask, God shall have answered; because God said (and has said to you in every conceivable way, through every teacher you can name) that whatsoever you shall choose, choosing it in God’s Name, so shall it be.
No prayer — and a prayer is nothing more than a fervent statement of what is so — goes unanswered. Every prayer — every thought, every statement, every feeling — is creative. To the degree that it is fervently held as truth, to that degree will it be made manifest in your experience.
When it is said that a prayer has not been answered, what has in actuality happened is that the most fervently held thought, word or feeling has become operative. Yet what you must know — and here is the secret — is that always it is the thought behind the thought — what might be called the Sponsoring Thought — that is the controlling thought.
If, therefore, you beg and supplicate, there seems a much smaller chance that you will experience what you think you are choosing, because the Sponsoring Thought behind every supplication is that you do not have now what you wish. That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality.
The only Sponsoring Thought that could override this thought is the thought held in faith that God will grant whatever is asked, without fail. Some people have such faith, but very few.
The process of prayer becomes much easier when, rather than having to believe that God will always say “yes” to every request, one understands intuitively that the request itself is not necessary. Then the prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is not a request at all, but a statement of gratitude for what is so.
So regarding the ongoing Syrian crisis, perhaps we might say a prayer of gratitude today. Here is mine…
Thank you, God, for helping us to understand that this problem has already been solved for us. Thank you for the peace that will prevail, and for the perfection of the process that leads to that peace.
Thank you for the comfort of knowing that All Will Be All Right in the History of Humanity, and that every living creature returns ultimately to reside in Perfection Itself, in the paradise that is the Presence of Divinity in, as, and through us, completely and absolutely, forever and even forevermore.
I am grateful for this apparent diplomatic breakthrough involving the United States and Russia, even as I am aware that this must be only the beginning of a larger human effort to bring an end to all the suffering in Syria, not just the chemical weapons crisis. And then to bring an end to all the suffering of humanity everywhere.
Can we do it? Can such a thing ever occur? It can, and has, in all of the advanced civilizations of the cosmos. The question is, are we willing to advance as well? If so, we are going to find that using the tools of Spirituality will be the only approach that will get us there. We’ve already tried every other approach. And as Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for you?”
And what spiritual tools am I talking about? Well, one suggestion might be to start with the 1,000 Words That Could Change the World, found elsewhere on this front page. Have you read them yet?