Now, we have students all over the globe and quite a few of them are in this room. And they, too, dedicate themselves to prayer and meditation for as many minutes out of every hour as they possibly can, as many hours out of every day or night as they possibly can. And so their lives are also far ahead in Spiritual living of that of the average person. So that when they meet and they meet in the afternoon before our evening work, and then they meet again a half hour or hour before the actual meeting, and by their meditation and prayer, they are lifted up. And then anyone who comes into this room with any degree of receptivity must very quickly feel that Presence, that quiet, that peace. And it is so. It is proven so in every city of the world where our work takes place.
Now, the benefit of all of this is just this. That we have proven, that by the degree, the measure of our meditation and prayer, do we avoid the major problems of this world. We avoid the major diseases, or we avoid the large percentage of them. In other words, measure the lives of these students over a ten-year period and compare their periods of illness, or poverty, or sin, and with that of the usual world, and note the difference. And you ought note their families. Note the lesser amount of children’s diseases in those households, the lesser amount of juvenile delinquency, or bad conduct, and then you’ll see what the fruitage really is of this life of prayer and meditation.
Do not, however, shut your ears at this point and say, “Oh, this is not for me, because I have a household to take care of, and a family to bring up, or a business to take care of, and I don’t have that kind of time.” None of this takes any time at all from your work, your duties, your household, your families. Not a moment has to be taken from them. No obligation has to be set aside. It is all done in the course of a 24-hour day.
It is true that you must face the fact, which many people don’t like to face in the beginning of their study, that there really, well actually we all have 24 hours in every day. Now, that’s a terrible indictment. It is really a terrible indictment, because a lot of people believe that they haven’t time. Certainly not as much time as someone else has. But if they are to start out honestly, they’ll have to admit that they have the same time that everyone else has—24 hours in every day—and therefore, the decision has to be made as to how these hours are to be spent.
It doesn’t take much thought to realize that every quarter hour taken from radio or television is a quarter hour that can be devoted to spiritual work, without interfering with family or business duties. Well, I am not going into all of the minutes of the days and the nights that we waste that could be spent in prayer and meditation, even while performing our functions at home and in business.
The point that I wish to make is this. That by prayer and meditation, we enter a whole new domain of life, and we bring into our experience a transcendental Presence and Power. Something that is not available to the human race as such. Something that is not available to the natural man. Paul tells us, “The natural man receiveth not the things of God.” This natural man is not under the Law of God, neither indeed can be. Therefore, there is a point we have to rise above being the natural man that we were born. Into what? Well, he quickly goes on, our friend Paul, by saying, “but, but, even though you, as the natural man, are not under the Law of God, if so the Spirit of God dwells in you, then do you become the children of God. And the children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs, to all that God has and is.”
Ah, how then do we have the Spirit of God dwell in us? Well, we have the Master. We have Paul, and we have some of the great Hebrew prophets who have told us how we become children of God. The Master in one place said, “It profited you nothing to pray for your friends, but if you pray for your enemies, you become children of God.” And so we have one way of becoming children of God, and that is setting aside some few minutes every day or night to consciously pray for our enemies. We won’t, of course, pray that they be successful over us, but we can pray that the Spirit of God dwell in them, or that the Spirit of God be upon them, or that their eyes be opened, or their ears be opened to hear the still, small Voice, or see the vision of God. We can pray that their sins be forgiven them, even as the Master prayed. We can pray that our enemy be forgiven their sins. We can pray that they awaken to the realization of their Spiritual identity, as children of God, or there are many other ways, but these you learn for yourself while you’re in meditation.
Again, Paul says, “Pray without ceasing,” and the Master confirms this with, “If you abide in the Word, if you let the Word abide in you, the Word of God, you will bear fruit richly.” Now, you can’t bear fruit, Spiritual fruit richly and at the same time be suffering from the sins, and the diseases, and the poverties of the natural man. “Thou will keep them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” Or in another word, “Lean not unto thine own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all thy ways, and He will give thee rest, peace, strength.”
All right, this is not asking you to give up your business or your household, but while going about your business, or your household, or driving a car to consciously remember that the Presence of God is closer to me than breathing and nearer than hands and feet, consciously to remember that I cannot flee from His spirit. If I mount up to Heaven, God is there. If I make my bed in hell, God is there. If I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is there, because I and the Father are one. This indestructible relationship of Oneness makes it impossible for me to be outside the realm of God.
Yes, further, neither life nor death can separate me from the love of God, which means the life of God, the care of God, the protection of God. But, and this is the whole secret of The Infinite Way, if you want to call it a secret. It’s published in every page of every book and booklet. The Presence of God and Power of God does nothing for the natural man, the man that is not “praying without ceasing.” It takes the conscious activity of thought in you. It takes the conscious remembrance or conscious acknowledgement in order to bring, in other words, it takes the abiding in the Word of Truth.
Let’s put it in another way from Scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” How are you to receive every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God? There’s only one way. You have to listen for it. Now, listening is prayer, and listening is meditation. At any moment of the day or night that you open your ear, “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth,” and then listen even for one second, you are praying. And you know it only takes one second or one minute to bring about miracles.
But remember, praying does not mean stopping your activities, and going off somewhere, and neglecting anything or anybody. It means the ability to listen. “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth. The kingdom of God is within me,” and God’s ah, God is not in the whirlwind. God is not in the evils of this world, the storms. God is not in the sins or diseases of this world. God is in the still, small Voice. Do we then want God? Do we need God? Why, we can’t live without God! And therefore, to have God means to have the ability to hear that still, small Voice.
Will It speak to us in words? Sometimes. Is it necessary that It speaks to us in words? Not at all. It is only necessary that we pause for a moment of listening. This sets up a vacuum in us into which the Spirit of God enters. Then, as the days go by, you will begin to perceive that something is operating in your life that never operated before. Something is going before you to make the crooked places straight. Something is going before you to prepare mansions for you, to solve problems for you, to overcome difficulties for you, and all of a sudden, you wonder what it is.
But don’t wonder, it is that moment of listening, that moment, “Speak lord, thy servant heareth,” and then listen for a second, and the invisible Presence then becomes a tangible part of your life, and you’re no longer the man of Earth. You are now that man who has his being in Christ. You are no longer living by bread alone but by “every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” You are no longer living by your own brainpower, or your own physical strength, or your own education. Now, you have a transcendental Something coming in to give you far more wisdom than you ever learned in school, to give you far more strength than you can ever build with exercise, to give you far more judgment, far more inner peace than any outer circumstance can give you. But all of this, by virtue of this transcendental Presence that is within you, has been within you since you were formed in the image and likeness of God but from which you have become separated by living out here and by accepting two powers.