1955 Johannesburg Closed Class
Joel S Goldsmith
The Inner Meaning
And so it is, when we pray, and we say, “Do not have any desires, do not have any ambitions,” we mean, “Do not take into your prayer, material desires and material ambitions, but open yourself for the realization of God’s grace.” And whether you call it grace, Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things… Now you see when you say, “Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things” that word grace means bread, meat, wine, water, housing, clothing, transportation. Thy grace is my sufficiency in all things. It doesn’t make any difference what department of life. So really and truly, we only have one thing to pray for, God’s grace. And God’s grace could also mean God’s presence. Thy presence is my sufficiency, or Thy power is my sufficiency, or Thy substance is my sufficiency, or Thy wisdom is my sufficiency, or Thy love is my sufficiency. And so you see as long as we understand that God is spirit, we must go to God spiritually.
That is what the Master meant when he said, “No longer shall you pray in this holy mountain, nor yet in Jerusalem.” Now you know when Jesus said that no longer shall you pray in Jerusalem, he was saying the same thing as if someone came in here and said, “You must never again pray in church” because that’s what he meant – the holy temple in Jerusalem. You see that temple in Jerusalem was considered so holy that the Hebrews had to go there once a year. That was compulsory that they go there once a year to pray and to bring their offerings. If they didn’t do that they lost God’s blessing.
Well, they had to come from all over the Holy Lands, that’s how come that Joseph and Mary were on their way to Jerusalem at that season of the year; that once in a year when every Jew had to appear at that temple, in order to keep the standing with God. And yet he violated the sacredness of that thing by saying, “No more shall ye do that! You must pray in spirit and in truth. And the Father loveth those that worship Him in spirit and in truth.” Not in temples, not in holy mountains, but in spirit and in truth. Now that is virtually the same thing as saying that in worshiping or praying to God, don’t pray for material things because God is spirit, but pray in spirit and in truth. Pray for the revelation of truth. Pray for the revelation and unfoldment of spirit. Pray for a realization of the presence of God and then what? All these things shall be added unto you. All these things, food, raiment, housing; all these things will be added unto you if you pray only for spiritual things.
It was a wonderful experience last summer to hear the No. 1 Roman Catholic of the United States, Bishop Sheen, say to an audience of ten million on television, “May I close my program by saying to you, you must never pray to God for a material thing, because God does not answer such prayers? God is a spirit and you must pray to God only for spiritual things.” It’s a marvelous thing for ten million people to hear who have been accustomed to going to church to pray for a new automobile or a new house or shingles….
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