THE SPACE BETWEEN
THE "space" between making the prayer and receiving the answer is usually so filled with human speculation that it becomes an absolute opacity through which nothing can pass.
The "how" of prayer cannot be answered. There is no "how" to it, for, according to the human mind, it is impossible for something to happen that cannot happen. Yet this is exactly the dimension of the WORD of which Jesus spoke. Everything you pray over is impossible to you in your present human state of progress.
Having exhausted every possible means, and found them of no avail, you are now ready to "ask" of the Power. When you have come to an end of the human power and have decided to "pray" over the situation, all human reason and blundering, man-made intelligence must go by the board. Any attempt to find out "how" or "why" only shows you are still imagining the prayer will be answered according to the human thought process.
Is it true that God Almighty can transcend your intellect and the intellect of all the others (no matter how man-honoured they may be), or do you still believe that some man, or group of men, has power which exceeds that of God? Do you believe, "I have a way ye know not of ?" or do you know the WAYS of God, which are "past finding out"? Perhaps some teacher, lecturer, or prophet knows these ways, and you arc still running to a person to have the solution given you? Come out from all this human reasoning and "turn ye even unto ME and ye shall find rest for your soul."
The strange human approach to prayer brings defeat and the vapid sense of futility. How often do you hear someone saying, "I have tried everything and done everything and I cannot see why it does not work for me"? It does not work for you because you are trying to run this glorious power over the insufficient wires of human thought. They are not equipped to function from that level. They cannot receive or take the message of revelation which comes with recognition of the Presence. It is wonderful!
If you do not see that "when ye pray" you are to "unloose the latches of your sandals, for you are standing on HOLY ground," you will certainly be ejected from the Holy of Holies. You do not understand that when you pray you are entering into a new state of consciousness, and that no human reason, belief, or opinion is permitted therein.
"Be still, and know that I AM God " ---again the trite quotation, but until you absorb this truth you cannot alter the next state of consciousness. We are at no time trying to cure or help a situation; we are attaining a new consciousness. The aim when sick is not merely to get rid of the sickness, but the attainment of a sense of Life from which will emanate health and vitality and power. The object of Life is not to assist you to get relief from poverty, but to cause you to become conscious of substance which automatically frees you from a thousand and one limitations of the flesh and the human thought. When you conceive of the quality of "LIFE" in the midst of thee, you will understand the allusion to the Tree of Life and all its various interpretations, and how it bears all manner of fruits-----symbolically. The River of Life in the midst of the Garden also is an illustration of this Power, but so many are looking for the "loaves and fishes" they fail to see the miracle back of it all.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity," for the simple reason that man has at last expended his every possible human effort and thought, and he has come to the place, "I can of myself do nothing." If he then conceives of the Power, he will continue with the outburst of recognition, "But I can through Christ do all things," and will immediately arise from his human consciousness and enter the new day of LIFE. It is wonderful.
The place between prayer and the answer to prayer is, then, the "no man's land," since to venture into this is sure destruction as far as the answer to prayer is concerned. It is the place wherein the unseen Power is moving "in a way ye know not of," and which is bringing about the alignment of that which is necessary to answer your prayer. It is wonderful when we once grasp this idea, and move with the Power instead of trying to use or handle, or personalize it.
The old human thought asks over and over again, "But HOW does it take place?" And there is NO HOW to it. We do not hear the Voice of God when it offers us Life Eternal, we are so confused with the ways and means of How. When the woman at the well of Samaria was given her opportunity into Life Eternal, she began the same old story of human reasoning.
"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water; Jesus saith unto her, 'Give me to drink.' Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, 'How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.'
"Jesus answered and said unto her, ' If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, "Give me to drink," thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living waters.
"The woman saith unto him, 'Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; from whence hast thou that living water?'
" 'Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well and drank there-from himself, and his children and his cattle?'
"Jesus saith unto her, 'Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing, into everlasting life.' "
The Power never asks the "how" or interposes the need of your doing something; it offers you a gift, just as in the case of Jesus and the woman. He offered something, but she at first, and quite naturally, began the old tedium of, "Sir, the well is deep, and you have no bucket, or rope," and then, not being satisfied with that, she went back to the history of the case and proved all that she wished to prove.
So man constantly fails to see that the Presence is offering what he is seeking; but he cannot take it because the "well is deep," and there is no possible way of doing the thing or accomplishing the purpose without a rope or bucket, and to prove his point he cites the history of the case. It is wonderful when you begin to see that when the Spirit offers you the GIFT it does not require you or anybody else to furnish a way and means for it to come into manifestation. It offers---you take; or you begin the harangue of "HOW ": and you have nothing but the water of the well which your father Jacob gave you, of which he drank, and his children and his cattle drank, and died. Do you see the revelation, and how impossible it is for you to "take" through the old thought mind?
"Well, it is all very well to talk that way, but if you need something, how are you going to get it?" The old question; and the answer is, "By the sweat of your brow." There is no one who knows the ways of the LORD, and he who tries to measure this magnificent power through the human thinking finds it all foolishness, and so it is. When the urge of the Power within offers you the gift, if you try to take it through the conscious thinking, it immediately fades out of the picture and you are snatching at a mirage.
You are the woman of Samaria---the meanderings of the human mind are typical of every unenlightened man. He wants to get everything straight before he can begin. Think of the stupidity of it all. Being offered the living waters, she stops to find out about the difference in nationalities and what possible reason a Jew and a Samaritan could have for an exchange of ideas. And from this she goes on looking and judging from the outside. It is all quite natural and reasonable to the conscious thinking mind. "How could I tell that, it was Jesus?" "It might have been a gangster or a crook." Yes, that is possible. "How" could you possibly know? You couldn't, and you are right in taking all the precaution you can. The relative man has no business with the Divine Law of Indifference. It will work havoc which he cannot undo if he tries to use it.
Do you begin to sense the new consciousness which is necessary before you can see that the Spirit does not offer you something it cannot deliver in its own way? Your part is to be able to TAKE, instead of asserting that the "well is deep and you have nothing with which to draw." It is the same acceptance that moved the beggar at the temple gate. He was instantly functioning in a new consciousness--above the thought, reason, and argument of the human mind.
"Be not discouraged---I have overcome the world"---the WORLD is merely this huge thing called your conscious belief. The more you recognize the "I" of which Jesus spoke, the more you will understand that the way the world is overcome is through magnifying the Power and moving off from the new standpoint.
"Come apart from among them and be ye separate." Presently you see that this sort of thing is not for the man whose breath is in his nostrils. He will begin an argument, and will be sure to end with establishing his well of salvation as given to him by his father Jacob, no matter what his name. You have a person in the background, and that person is between ME and you, and everything that takes place will be coloured by this opaque personality. And so the dance of life goes on, and you keep drinking of the waters of Jacob's well and find that you thirst again. You run from one lecturer or teacher or book to another, because you are not drinking of the living waters, but are still looking for another to come. So will it continue, until you arrive at the recognition to which Jesus referred when he invited you to "leave all; follow ME."
If you can "stretch forth your hand" you will find it well, healed, and gloriously perfect. This stretching forth is through a thousand years of established belief that a paralysed arm cannot move. If you can "open your eyes you can SEE ; but you will never open them by trying to do it. If you can "take" the living waters, you can live and experience LIFE instead of some silly concocted thing which is always waiting for something to happen.
Do you begin to see what the Recognition of the Power Within brings to you?
"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing into everlasting life."
Once you discover the rather within and are identified with him, you begin to realize that you will never thirst again, for you have this living water within you. You are not "looking for another"; you have finished all the wrangling and arguing about who is who, and what they do or do not believe. "Come apart from among them and be ye separate."
Once I came upon a group of people supposed to have met for the glory of God, but the speaker was raging and haranguing about another person. The whole beautiful hour was turned into a tirade against some speaker who did not agree with him. The audience was moved emotionally by the hatred and evil he gave out, and the whole scene was not unlike a water-front brawl. Presently the meeting ended with prayer-of all things! The audience went its way filled with the sewage of human thought and imagining it had been praising God. Remember that "I came to fulfill," and anything that is tearing down and seeking vengeance on the outside is not of the "I" which we worship. "I come not to destroy" will answer everything.
Are you busy trying to destroy someone who does not agree with you? Do you not see that the only reason you wish to destroy that person is because of your jealousy of him? It is in no way a desire on your part to help. Everyone who indulges in this foolish pastime will find his life filled with a virulent poverty because there is no substance there. The first indication of this trying to set the other fellow right is want; which continues in more wretched degrees until the one trying to steady the ark of another's life ceases, or goes out.
What do you care? Haven't you passed the Saul state of consciousness? Are you still "fighting for the LORD"? Look within, and you will find you are merely giving full force to a subtle jealousy---it is a dangerous pastime for you. "Be still, and know that I AM God."
The loving place of peace which fills the space between the asking and receiving, or the taking in the flesh, will keep you serene and give the Power ample time to come into manifestation through a way, and after a fashion, you dreamed not of. It makes it all so wonderful---the "way ye know not of."
When you pray:
Enter into the gates of prayer naturally; with a lovely simplicity and naturalness, come boldly to the throne of grace. Now is the accepted time; and NOW is the moment when it is accepted as complete and finished within –the manifestation will take care of itself.
"What is told in secret is called from the house-tops." Whatsoever you can accept or tell yourself in the secret place of your being, that can, and will, be called from the housetops of manifestation. But you must not begin the old harangue of "the well is deep and you have nothing with which to draw."
Recognition of this well of living waters within will cause it to gush forth into manifestation, and water the whole parched desert and cause it to blossom as a rose. The WORD that proceedeth from this source will heal and bring the release from the thirst of human thought. You begin to understand why you are told to "give him a cup of cold water in the Name of Jesus Christ and forbid him not "; why it is that you have this well of living waters within you from which you can supply the needs of every man. Not the things, but the needs, the substance, which in turn will start such a flow of ideas that the man will perceive it in the flesh. Believest thou this? Dare you dip into the well of salvation within you and give the cup of cold water in the nature of Jesus Christ---the Word made flesh---and see that paralysed one leap as a hart? Answer me---who are you?
Walter C. Lanyon