From the Infinite Way October 1962 Letter

“The Meaning of Prayer”

by Joel Goldsmith

The Humility of True Prayer

There is no way to pray other than to make of oneself a stillness, a quietness, a peacefulness, and a listening ear.  Prayer that contains words and thoughts meant to reach God is not really prayer at all.  True prayer has neither words nor thoughts because it has no desires except one – to know God’s will, to know Him aright, to be a fitting instrument for His grace.  With that one exception, prayer is a desireless state of being.  It is one in which this inner stillness waits for God’s will to be known and made evident.

Prayer is an inner stillness that waits for God’s thoughts – “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”  Therefore, let us be still with our thoughts and our ways, and let us hear God’s thoughts and, by listening, let us come to know God’s ways:

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”  Thou wilt keep me in perfect peace in proportion as my mind is stayed on Thee.  Thou leadest me beside the still waters.  Thou makest me to lie down in green pastures.

What must I do?  Only acknowledge that, because the Lord is my shepherd, I need not fear.  He feedeth me in the wilderness and setteth a table before me.  My function is not to tell that all-knowing Intelligence, but rather to listen and be still.

Prayer is acknowledging God as Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence – All-power, All-knowledge, and the only Presence.  Prayer is being still so that Omnipotence may establish Itself in our consciousness, being still so that Omniscience and All-wisdom may impart Itself to us and that Omnipresence may reveal Its presence to us.  Prayer does not bring God to us.  Prayer does not bring God’s grace to us:  prayer reveals God and God’s grace active where we are.