The Song of Prayer
Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing
III. Praying for Others
1. In our last lesson, in paragraph 6, we said that “prayer at any level is always for yourself,” and this is so. Why, then, should we pray for others at all? And if we should, how should we do it?
Praying for others, if rightly understood, becomes a means for lifting your projections of guilt from your brother, and enabling you to recognize it is not he who is hurting you. The poisonous thought that he is your enemy, your ungodly counterpart, your nemesis, must be relinquished before you can be saved from guilt.
For this, the means is prayer of rising power and with ascending goals, until it reaches even up to God.
2. The earlier forms of prayer, at the bottom of the ladder, will not be free from envy and malice. These prayers call for vengeance, not for love. Nor does the one praying these forms of prayers understand that they are but calls for death, made out of fear for those who cherish death. These types of prayers call upon a vengeful god, and it is this “god” that even seems to answer them.
Remember, anguish cannot be asked for another, and then be escaped by the one who is asking. And only those who perceive themselves to be anguished, can ask for anguish. Those who have been forgiven, and who accepted their forgiveness, could never make a prayer like that.
3. So at these levels, then, the learning goal must be to recognize that prayer will bring an answer only in the form in which the prayer was made. A prayer from ego, in the form of ego, will bring an answer from ego. A prayer from spirit will bring an answer from spirit. Learning this for now will be enough. From here, it will be an easy step to the next levels.
The next ascent begins with this:
“What I have asked for for my brother is not what I
would have. Thus have I made of him my enemy.”
It is apparent that this step cannot be reached by anyone who sees no value or advantage to himself in setting others free. This step may be long delayed, because it may seem to be dangerous to forgive, instead of merciful. It may seem that by setting a brother free of your guilt that he will escape punishment for what you see as his sins, and that it is yourself that will then be imprisoned and punished for this same sin/guilt. Better him than you? At this level, that is the question.
To those who see themselves as guilty, then, there seems indeed to be a real advantage in having enemies. Otherwise, upon WHOM would they project their guilt??? Not themselves, surely. Guilt must be projected onto a brother in order to be escaped, according to those who are experiencing guilt. Otherwise they do not know what to do with it, or how to handle it -- and meanwhile the “real offender” goes "free."
So to the guilty there seems indeed to be a real advantage in having enemies, and this imagined gain must go, if the idea of “enemies” is to be relinquished for you both. And it must be relinquished if there is to be any freedom for EITHER of you.
4. Simply, guilt must be given up – not concealed and not projected onto a brother either (no matter how much you may think it is your brother’s fault). Yet giving up guilt cannot be done without some pain (to the ego). Without a glimpse of the merciful nature of this step (to you both – you and your brother are one, remember?), it may for some time be followed by a deep retreat into fear. For thought of giving up guilt is fearful to the ego, and to the brother who identifies with ego. To give up guilt is to give up life to the ego. Yet the real escape from guilt can lie only in the recognition that the guilt is completely gone – not merely given to a brother to bear for you. And how can guilt be recognized as gone, as long as you hide it in another, so you cannot see it is your own? (Re-read this paragraph. It is important to understanding.)
Fear of escape from guilt makes it difficult to welcome the freedom it brings. To make a jailer of an enemy seems to be safety, yet safety never falser was than this. Projection is not real. Sending your guilt to your brother, even if he accepts this “gift” from you, is not possible. This defense will not work.
So now what must you do?
5. Stand still an instant, now, and think what you have done. First of all, since you were the one to project your guilt thus, only you can be the one to undo it. See instead that this person has come to bless you. Instead of seeing him as enemy, take his blessing, and feel how your heart is lifted and your fear released. Remember he is a Son of God along with you. He is not a jailer, but a messenger of Christ. Be a messenger of Christ to him, that you may see him truly.
6. Prayers for things, for status, for human love, for external “gifts” of any kind, are always made to set up jailers and to hide from guilt. These things are used for goals that substitute for God, and therefore distort the purpose of prayer. The desire for them, then, becomes the prayer, and the desire to share thankfulness and Love with God is lost.
The goal of God is lost in the quest for lesser goals of any kind, and prayer, then, becomes requests for enemies, things that are not God, things that separate you from Thoughts of God. And no one who wants an enemy will fail to find one. The power of prayer can be quite clearly recognized even in this.
But just as surely will you lose the only true goal that is given you (salvation: finding your way to God, perfect happiness), if you request things, instead of praying with the goal of remembering, thanking, and loving God. ALL other goals are at the cost of knowing God.
Perhaps it should be noted here, that the Holy Spirit is ever present to answer your worldly needs. Simply ask Him for what you want or need, go to Him if you have a problem. He realizes that you have need of “things” while you appear to be sleeping. He has been sent to you expressly to help you to find your way back home, to remember Who you are, and that you have no needs as everything was given you in your creation, and primarily, then, to remember Who GOD IS!
Meanwhile, release your brothers and yourself from guilt, and pray to God only with Love.
Here is a prayer that you may use to release others from your projections of guilt upon them, and thus release yourself as well:
"___(Their Name)___ , I give you to the Holy Spirit as part of myself.
I know that you will be released, unless I want to use you to imprison myself.
So, in the name of our freedom, I will your release.
Because I recognize that we will be released together."
"We go together, you and I." Amen