1952 New Washington Series
Joel S. Goldsmith
6B – 8th Chapter Romans
This is Joel beginning a new series of three weeks of work on the message of The Infinite Way and carrying us into the fourth dimension from a basis of the letter of truth. In other words, in these three weeks, we will go from the letter of truth to meditation upon the truth, and then ultimately into that dimension in which we find ourselves to be that man who had his being in Christ.
Just to start the foundation of our work during these next three weeks here—and I’m speaking now both in the open classes and in the closed classes—the major point that I ask you to remember as a starter is that all inharmony, all discord, whether of a sinful nature or a “sickful” nature or a lacking nature—whether it’s sin, disease, lack, limitation, old age, or death—that entire parade of evils or errors is due only to one thing, and that is a sense of separation from God. It doesn’t make any difference what else you think may have caused it or may be the cause, basically the cause is one and the same thing: a sense of separation from God.
How can we be positive of that? Because the moment that sense of separation from God is cleared up and one has a conscious oneness with God, they have no more problems. Oh, I don’t mean that they do not have discords and inharmonies come up of an occasion, because as long as we’re in this human sense of existence, there will be some form of discords to meet, but they will not be problems. They will just be suffer it to be so now, until we’ve met it.
Problems are over in the life of the individual who consciously realizes his oneness with God. By that we know that discords and inharmonies come as long as there is a sense of separation from God. Now then, the natural question is, “How do we overcome this sense of separation from God? How do we attain a consciousness, an awareness of our oneness with God? The answer throughout all ages is through prayer. It is through prayer, through meditation, through communion, that we ultimately realize our oneness with God, and so it is that we must devote ourselves to an understanding of prayer.
James tells us that if we pray and do not receive, it is because we pray amiss, so while everybody really believes that they pray, as a matter of fact, there are very few people in all the history of the world who know how to pray, because all answers come through prayer, and when they’re not coming you may be assured that even if you believe you are praying—believe James, you are not praying, you are praying amiss, and it becomes necessary to change one’s concepts of prayer.
Now I suppose there are those of you here who have had the same struggle I had. As a boy I was taught to say, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” and when I grew up I found it very difficult to break myself of that prayer. I had a guilty feeling if I went to sleep at night without saying, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” That was my sense of prayer. That was the only sense of prayer given me, and I couldn’t let go of it. And probably you are not going to be able to let go of your present sense of prayer even though it may be as ineffectual as “Now I lay me down to sleep,” but you will overcome it if you understand that it is only through prayer that you will ultimately make your demonstration.
Now, in order to learn how to pray, it must be necessary, at least in a measure, to know what the object of our prayer is. What is it that we hope to attain? Well of course, I’m going to skip over roughly twenty years in five minutes. I’m going to tell you in five minutes what it took me twenty years to learn about prayer. All of those twenty years that I was praying was praying amiss, and I’ll sum up in very few minutes what that real discovery of prayer was.
First of all, I discovered that I was praying for things. I was praying for better health or more business or better business or greater profits, for more happiness, for a better home. I was praying for things, and it took me twenty years to learn that you can’t get an answer to that kind of prayer except more and more of less and less. The more you pray for things the less things you’re going to end up with, or if you get the things they’ll become Frankenstein’s and turn on you and rend you in the end, and the things that you attained, hoping to make your servants, ultimately make you their servant.
Some of you may have enough silverware in your home to know what I’m talking about or glassware or chinaware. However, this is no fun and no fooling. It took twenty years to learn that praying for things is a waste of time, and is more than a waste of time, it is a violation of all the truth that is known about prayer. And so, in order to pray aright, the first step is to give up all prayer for things, conditions, circumstances. Give up all prayer and all desire for things of any nature including employment or home or companionship. Until one gives up praying for those things, one has not entered even the first rung of the ladder of the prayer that leads to God realization, that leads to God pouring out infinite abundance upon us.