III. Love Without Conflict, P 6
6 No force except your own will is strong enough or worthy enough to guide you. In this you are as free as God, and must remain so forever. Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His Love for you and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request, because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call truly are always answered. Thou shalt have no other gods before Him because there are none.
It seems obvious to me that when Jesus talks about the force of my own will, he does not speak of the ego will, but the will that made the ego. It is this self that must be willing to be healed before healing will occur. God will not coerce us into accepting His Love. We must decide on healing and thus ask for healing before we can be healed. It is this I do when I am vigilant for the thoughts that oppose the Will of God, become willing to release them, and so accept the Atonement.
I like the second line of this paragraph, which suggests that I ask God, in the name of Jesus Christ, to keep me mindful of His love for me and also to keep me mindful of my love for Him. In other places in the Course we are told to pray in Jesus’ name. I forget this most of the time, to tell the truth, but I like the idea that I am joining my will with his. When two join for the same purpose the intent is magnified, and when I join my will with the will of Jesus, I am expressing the desire to join my true will with one who has only truth in his mind. This has got to be a good idea.
Jesus also refers to true prayer in this paragraph. He says we should pray that we remember God’s Love, that He loves us and that we love Him. Often, in intent if not actual words, I pray for something that I think will take the place of His Love. I pray for a thinner body, more money, a relationship, that I will be liked and accepted, that my kids will be safe, and many other idols.
I don’t say these words in the form of a prayer anymore, because I understand on one level that this is not necessary, that all my needs are met in God’s Love. But every thought is prayer and my longing is a thought. So when I put my pants on and can barely snap them at the waist, I am disappointed and concerned and want them to fit well. This is a prayer and it is a prayer for an idol. It is teaching me that I could be happy if only my pants fit nicely and I would stop gaining weight.
Instead, I notice this thought and I remember that a thinner body is not the source of my happiness regardless of my present reasoning. I ask that my mind be healed of this belief, and I accept the Atonement for myself in this situation. Another way to say this is that I see I am praying for the wrong thing. I pray only that I be aware of my love for God and His love for me, because this is the only thing that will ever make me happy. I join my will to Jesus’s will in this true prayer.
I am happy to give up the god of thin bodies, and the god of finances and all the other false gods. I have been praying to them all my life and even when my prayers seem to be answered, the answers have never satisfied. In truth, there are no other gods, and I am just praying to illusions. There is only one meaningful prayer and that is to remember God’ Love. In His Love, all things are met.