THE ANSWER to real prayer is like the echo of a voice. It is automatic and instant. It is the materialization of the WORD which has gone forth. There is no question about the results. "Before you ask I will answer" takes care of that. The eternal substance of the thing asked for is always there just as the acoustics are always there to cause the echo to take place. The echo is the materialization of the Voice—the agreement, the answer. The moment the WORD is released it is done—what follows is entirely outside of the power of the one speaking. The moment the prayer is made it is finished so far as the prayer is concerned — the answer is entirely automatic just as the echo—and nothing can be done about it.
The Prayer or the WORD which has its echo (manifestation) has little to do with the "words" of human thinking. There is only ONE Word indivisible and eternal—there are millions of words in hundreds of languages, none of which are capable of accomplishing anything of great merit. "My WORD shall not return unto me void—but shall accomplish where unto it is sent." This is the voice of pure Recognition speaking, just as the person in a canyon could say with absolute certainty that his voice would return to him as an echo.
No illustration is adequate to bring anything but a faint impression of the Power of God, but the WORD in contradistinction to the "Words" gives a certain something. "Only Speak THE WORD." Not the WORDS. Words, phrases, affirmations, and mantras are as useless and incapable of obtaining results as the braying of a donkey. Yet the human mind persists in making long and wordy prayers or treatments hoping to win the ear of God and cause Him to do something He would not otherwise have done.
There is no question about the answer to prayer which is made in accordance with the instructions of Jesus Christ, i.e., "When you pray believe that you receive and it shall be so." This pure appropriation of the IT IS Done consciousness which believes, actually and literally, that there is a GOD. Anyone will confess with his lips that he believes in God, but nine times out of ten he knows something called problem which has proven stronger than God, and it is for this reason he has come to pray and beg and beseech this God-thing to set aside the wrath of an apparently stronger power.
The Prayer that is made from "It is Done" consciousness takes off at the same easy level that the child does when he enters into his legend of Santa Claus. He accepts it. He cannot think it out for it is not so, on a think plane, neither is the answer to prayer possible on a think plane. The moment you try to think that the "prayer is answered before it is made," the intellect is so insulted that it simply dismisses the whole thing as impossible, and that is exactly what it is. Everything you are seeking is impossible, or else you would have brought it forth long ago. Jesus was the doer of the impossible, and not by overcoming the impossible but by the happy faculty of believing in God—believing in something greater than human thinking and its out-picturing. So he did not overcome — he entered into the consciousness of the IT IS DONE before you ask, without trying to analyze it on the three dimensional plane of thinking. "Who by taking thought, etc.?" "Who can Understand God?" No one can understand the infinite with the finite. The more he tries the more he runs into the age-old problem of "Chicken and the egg and the egg and the chicken—which came first?" He is up against a wall which he cannot scale.
"Answer before the asking" is impossible for the human mind to grasp. Jesus did not know how to solve that "impossibility" from the Jesus consciousness for he exclaimed "Of Mine own self I can do nothing"—but he did do precisely what the child did, and that was to appropriate—or believe in God—believe and enter into the consciousness of the Christ and in so doing he found the impossible possible, and the unseen, seen; the unheard, heard, and heaven on earth, or in the midst of the human hell. There is no explaining the supernatural which becomes natural as soon as it is accepted. Jesus entered into this Christ consciousness which he discovered indigenous in every man, and functioned from that level. He found it natural to do those things which had formerly appeared supernatural, and possible to do those things which had been impossible. Hence, the LIGHT that comes to us from his revelation of the way of prayer.
"Believe and thou shalt be saved." This is not a thought taking process which is filled with all the limitations of the world, but a definite recognition and acceptance of the Presence, here, there and everywhere.
This consciousness can "look again" and SEE that which the sight of the human eye cannot even vision, and the touch which can reach across the universe and release virtue and cause transformation. It is wonderful when you see you are through with the old idea that you are a "worm of the dust" busy trying to correct this fallacy or to better the condition of the worm. The caterpillar crawls over every inch of the ground and dreams of flying, but he never can fly in that state of consciousness. Man crawls over every inch of his history and his problems and dreams of a freedom from pain and fear, but in the consciousness of the Adam thinking he has nothing with which to take his freedom, and until he can take it he cannot take it. Any trying to prove God only results in the descent of the opaque curtain of human thought. You do not pray to find out whether God will do a thing or not, you pray the prayer of recognition and releasement. The automatic power that sets in to bring about the "echo" is entirely out of the mind of man. The moment it has gone forth, it is like the letter dropped into the post box—it is on its way and the answer will return eventually. The carrier pigeon must be released if the reinforcements are to come up. Holding him by a string no matter however long, and pulling him in every little while to see if he is all right, will bring about disaster. So with the so-called prayer of the human thought. It constantly examines, questions and doubts its words, and eventually is self-annihilated.
In the consciousness of a problem you cannot take the answer, just as the egg cannot fly, at the same time being filled with the power to accomplish just that thing. The consciousness must be changed. The Child cannot bring forth anything that he does not accept without question, and neither can you. This reference to the Child is in accordance with Jesus' teaching, indicating how simple and natural the whole thing is. It has nothing to do with childishness but a state that can BELIEVE without seeing or having it proven.
The change of consciousness is a poor way of indicating the appropriation of the Gift, but since there are few words to convey this revelation of Jesus Christ, we must apply them as best we can.
When the actual recognition of This inner Lord takes place in the consciousness of man, he suddenly rises. He suddenly sense-feels something beyond thinking. He is able to grasp a no-thinking state of recognition, a "beholding" as it were, where words and thoughts are superfluous and the consciousness is impressed with pure recognition that there is a GOD, a sensing of the substance of "My Lord and My God." A heavenly contemplation of LIFE here and now which the narrowing dimensions of thought cannot grasp with its measure of health and sickness, poverty and riches, happiness and wretchedness. There is the moment when he can say "Thank you, Father," because he actually believes and sense-knows that it is so—and that his WORD is accomplished. He does not wait for the echo — he is not expectant of it — he is divinely indifferent to it all, for it automatically takes place. "Thank you, Father, I knew that this was done," yet did he say it because of the heavy thought-taking ignorance? Jesus tried to show them the MIRACLE, they heard only the echo, and the next day they were looking for more echo and there was no voice with which to create it or release it. Hence, man has sought God perpetually for results instead of for Cause and has failed to find his Echo, because he could not accept the facts of his being. "Whatsoever you ASK in my nature"—not in the nature of the present consciousness of problem, but in MY nature, in the nature of your Christ—not in the nature of the caterpillar but in the consciousness and the full acceptance of the butterfly. And once this acceptance is made he enters into his cocoon and awaits the echo which says "Come forth into manifestation" — no matter whether this waiting be one instant or longer. The Reward is always with the word, and the manifestation will take place at the exact moment it is necessary.
As the revelation of this glorious freedom dawns upon the hard-pinched consciousness of man—he begins to sense an inner warmth, a secret consciousness developing in him. It is like the hard kernel of popcorn on the heated stove — presently it bursts the shape or outline and spreads itself into a new and glorious manifestation. So the diseased consciousness suddenly lets go of the bondage of human thinking and comes out into its illimitable sense of Life. From that new elevation all things new are his and an entirely different outlook on the whole universe takes place.
As the butterfly looks down upon his cocoon and the bird his egg—so man sees at last the limitations he has left behind him, sees them at that moment actually disintegrating and knows that presently they shall be no more for they are gone and the place thereof is also gone. It is wonderful how the mercy of God covers the earth as the waters.
Presently man stops working with problem and turns to the recognition of consciousness — the mind which was also in Christ Jesus, and feels the new consciousness spreading its wings for the new day of realization. A peace that passeth all understanding descends upon him, and he enters unconsciously into the paths of peace and harmony. He is not then constantly approaching the throne of God with a bag full of problems, but with the recognition and the glory of it all.
As soon as the greedy human mind stops trying to get, it finds itself in the place of the giver — and understands the overflowing chalice of God's LOVE to man. It is wonderful to approach God with a clean mind—a mind free from the selfishness of trying to get something, and to enter into the heritage naturally and normally.
"Come boldly unto the throne of Grace"—"Come unto ME all YE that labor and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest."
Come into this consciousness of God and speak the word. The echo "I will" will come back to you and you will be at peace.
Even though you have faith or recognition as a grain of mustard you shall say to yon mountain of problems "be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea" of oblivion and it shall be so, for the grain of mustard is multiplied a thousand-fold when it is cast into the earth and allowed to come forth untrammelled by human thought. The film as small as a postage stamp is enlarged and thrown onto the screen a thousand times its original size by the light which penetrates it—so the prayer which is asked in this consciousness comes forth in manifestation a thousand times greater and more abundant than the idea in the mind of man.
The automatic power of the Light causes the manifestation to be more than you ask or think. The moment the consciousness is taken from the idea it disappears with the same ease a picture disappears from the screen the moment the film is cut. This also applies to the film of human thought which has been projected on your body and which has seemed so real and terrible—the moment the thought is broken the manifestation is gone — in a mysterious way the body is found perfect and normal—man is found sitting at the feet of the Master in his right mind. He has suddenly arisen to his God self and the body is thereafter a willing servant and not a separate intelligence.
Speak the word—and echo answers with sure and certain results "I will' and the servant is healed in the same hour. Your WORD shall not pass away—neither shall it return unto you void. The ease of recognizing this will destroy the disease of human thinking.
Peace be unto you.
Walter C. Lanyon