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28 December, 2012

Renewal of Mind

First Step in Scientific  Prayer

      True prayer is essentially wrapped-up in the Psalmist's call to "listen and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10).  This is really what is all about.  How simple!  Yet we make it so complex.  The first step is to relax the involuntary tensions of the mind, and lift your thoughts to synchronize with the steady flow of transcendence... to affirm how wonderful you are, how beautifully you are created.

       Now again, here is your reminder:  God can do no more for you than he can do through you.  There is no way that your prayer can be answered unless you change the level of your thinking.  Paul says, "Be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Rom.12.2).  The root of this phrase in the Greek is the word mentanoia - literally meaning, "to think differently."  In short, if you want to be healthy, you must stop thinking of yourself  as sick.  If you want to be prosperous and successful, you must renounce the practice of thinking of yourself as a failure.

       Now, make no mistake about it, this is not easy.  It calls for a disciplined effort to let go of attachments to the past, to clear out of the mind the prejudices, the pessimism, the self-pity renounce gripes, grudges and grouches ... to relinquish all hates and hurts, all false belief's and foolish fears, all ideas of lack and limitation.  Traditional medicine may do a pretty good job of curing your symptoms, but you can only be healed casually by making a concerted effort at mental housecleaning ... then consciously letting go, and letting God.  The words cure and healing are used in this way purposely.  An aspirin may cure a headache.  But healing can only come through the release of tension and by dissolving the attitudes or emotions that are responsible for the tension.

Letting Go of Resentment

       In the early days of the American Revolution, one man was overcome with fear that the British army would overrun his village and subject it to unspeakable indignities.  He wisely secreted a boat at the river, hiding it on the bank near some bulrushes, and one night he heard the frantic cry.  "The British are coming!"  According to his carefully formulated plan, he dashed out of his house, ran to the river, and jumped into his boat.  There seemed to be a strong current, but he rowed confidently,l feeling smug about his preparedness.  It was dark and foggy night.  He rowed all night until exhaustion set in.  Then, as the sun rose and the fog lifted, he suddenly became aware that he was right where he had started, for he had forgotten to cut the boat free from its mooring.

       It is important lesson.  You can't have a harmonious relationship and hold onto your resentment, too.  You can't hold onto your anger and bitterness and still have a healthy heart and a settled stomach.  Jesus makes it very clear that you can't expect God to help you or heal you unless you make room for the answer to your prayers by letting go of your negative feelings.  He says, "If  you come to the altar with your gift (symbolizing your prayer effort), and there remember that your brother has aught against you (and perhaps you have aught against your brother) leave there the gift, and go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift."  (Mathew 5.23,24).  

       In other words, if you are blocking the flow of life or substance or love by your resentment or unforgiveness, not even God can break through with the good you desire.  That may shock you, to hear that there is something God cannot do.  For haven't we been told that God can do all things?  But you see, God is not someone who works on you from the outside.  God is the dynamic potential of your being ... and again, God can do no more for you than he can do through you.

Emmet Fox says in his Book on Power Through Constructive Thinking

When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a cosmic link -- a really rough metal chain.  You are tied by a cosmic tie to the very thing you late.  The thing, you hate is inexorably a part of your consciousness.  The one person in the whole world whom you most dislike is the very one to whom you are attaching yourself by a hook that is stronger than steel.

And don't delude yourself that when you pray, you bypass all this and achieve God's forgiveness.  In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus says, "Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors."  God forgives as we forgive.  But that is not entirely correct, for God doesn't really forgive... because there is no unforgiveness in him.  God is love.  And through the attitude of forgiveness we open ourselves to that love.  Love is always and eternally present, but we block it with our resistance.  Jesus' statement is like saying, "The sun comes streaming in the window when we raise the blinds."  But of course we know that the sun doesn't really come in.  It simply shines, and we accept the light and warmth as we eliminate the barrier.

       There is a tendency to rush pell-mell into prayer without adequate preparation.  Like the man with his escape boat, we neglect to cut ourselves free from that which binds.  Let go!  This is the first step in scientific prayer.
Source: Excerpts from the book on "The Universe is Calling" written by Eric Butterworth.

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