I had an experience many, many years ago in the very earliest days of my practice I became very ill, and it seemed to those who were helping me that they were not reaching it and that I could not be saved; until one evening it came very, very, very clear that this night I will pass. And I thought well if that’s the way it is to be, that’s the way it will have to be. And I went to bed, relaxed and I thought now, if this is God’s plan if this is God’s time there’s nothing that can prevent me from going. On the other hand, if it isn’t, there’s no power that can push me over. And then came the word that I was about to pass. And with that realization this is what sprung into my mind: “Oh heavens no, God. Don’t let it be. I haven’t yet done anything on earth that would even repay my mother for the birth pangs she had. My life hasn’t been worth living so far as adding anything to this world is concerned or justifying having been born. Don’t let me go yet. Let me find myself. Let me find my mission.” And I woke up healed in the morning.
Now the reason for it is that in that moment my heart was pure. In other words, I wanted nothing for myself. I wasn’t afraid of passing, but I knew that I had not fulfilled myself. I knew that there was no reason that I should have lived up to that time—just to be an ordinary human being earning a living, that’s hardly a reason to occupy space on earth, and I knew it. Just as I have learned since that no one gets anything more out of life than they contribute to it. And if they aren’t making some contribution to the whole globe—not just to themselves or to their families—if they aren’t making a contribution to the entire world, all they are ever going to get back out of life is the little bit of living that they’re getting.
Really to live means to contribute. Really to live means to add something to the sum total of the good in the world. So it is then when we pray let us not think that we’re going to fool God. Therefore, let us not pray with the lips. “Father, reveal Thyself.” That’s all right to declare. “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth.” That’s good to declare. And then open those ears to hear that still small voice until eventually the way is opened through which that still small voice can be heard. It is for this reason that I say to you, when you reach the fourth dimensional consciousness your prayers are wordless and thoughtless. Oh they may be preceded by some statements of truth just to set your own mental house in order and give you the ability to listen. But the moment you’re in the depth of prayer, there are no more words. Why?
Well now let us follow this a moment. Let us pray..
What do I want to pray for? Nothing. What do I believe God is withholding from me? Nothing. Then why am I closing my eyes at this moment in prayer? The answer is: that you may receive the grace of God, that His Spirit may be upon you; that you may be healed physically, mentally, morally, financially—whatever the need may be. I would have no other reason in going into prayer at this moment, except that God’s grace descend upon you; the Holy Ghost descend upon you. Now just think. God is omniscience, the all-knowing mind. Do I have to tell that to God, or do I merely have to close my eyes and be still. I close my eyes and I’m still, and do you not know that God knows that I have closed my eyes to be still for the purpose of being an instrument through which His grace reaches your consciousness? Your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things and it is His great pleasure to give you the kingdom. Therefore, I could pray right now, just these words, “Be still Joel. Be still Joel. Be still.” And then when I’m still enough, let His voice thunder into your consciousness or enter there gently and peaceably, because the all-knowing mind, the all-knowing love, the all-knowing Spirit, the all-knowing Father that is closer to you than breathing knows that we are in prayer to receive divine grace.
Do you see why very often that in praying to God for things we set up a barrier? Because we want things instead of grace. We want conditions. We outline to God as if God were not divine love. And so in the fourth dimensional prayer, there are no words or thoughts. We might use some words or thoughts in the beginning—not for God’s sake, just to bring about an adjustment of quiet within ourselves. We use a form of contemplative meditation in which we ponder some spiritual truth or scriptural quotation. Just for the purpose of bringing ourselves into an inner peace or quiet, stillness, and then be still.
“Thou art closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. Thou knowest the things that I need. It is Thy good pleasure to give me the kingdom and I am here in the silence just to receive Thy peace, to receive Thy kingdom, to receive Thy grace.”
And then stillness, quietness, peace, until the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God descends, and inwardly we feel a release, a release from this world, a release from a problem, a release from a fear, a release from anxiety. And in its place we feel a peace, a well being, a confidence, a hope, an assurance, something or other that comes as the gift of God. And then in its season we find that God’s grace takes the form of a healing, of an uplifting, of supplying, of a happier human relationship, something very tangible to ourselves.
Now actually I call this a life built on prayer; a life built entirely on the word of God. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Well he says, man shall not live by bread alone. So I have my breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I have them because they are as necessary part of my day’s life as my bath or my shaving. They’re just natural functions that belong to my every day living that are for the time being necessary. And I do all things that are necessary and then throw them out of my mind so that the rest of my time can be in prayer.
Now that doesn’t mean that I’m praying all the time. It means I am in prayer and in prayer merely means in a listening attitude, in this inner stillness so that if the still small voice should speak, I would hear it. I would not be cluttered up with outside noises. Personally I have no objection to all the noises there are outside or the jet planes going overhead. They don’t annoy me. And the reason is that there is a part of me inside which is unmoved by those outer things, and which is able to listen for the still small voice even in the clamor of outside. But to help me live this life of prayer and more especially in the beginning I learned this, it is necessary to practice the presence of God. Consciously make an effort to keep God in our consciousness.
We have in our work worked out what we call a ten second meditation. It consists only of stopping periodically to remember some passage of scripture. From the earliest part of the day to remember that, “This is the day the Lord has made and therefore God governs this day harmoniously, joyously, peacefully.” This you see is building the temple with truth. Except truth build our temple it will not be a spiritual temple. And so we will start our day with truth. This is the day the Lord hath made, and God governs it as he governs the sun, moon, stars, planets. As he governs the time and the tides, so God governs my day from rising to setting, from waking to sleeping and through the night.
And at breakfast time again, a momentary pause just to say, “Thank you Father, the earth is full of Thy bounty.” Not only my table is full, that would be a selfish kind of prayer. “The earth is full of Thy bounty. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof and Son, every son and daughter, all that the Father hath is thine.”
And leaving the house in the morning, “The presence goes before me to make the crooked places straight. The presence goes before me to build mansions for me.” It won’t be long until some problem will arise. There must come another ten seconds of remembrance. “God is closer to me than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. I shall not fear what mortal man can do to me. The presence of God is where I am. The place whereon I stand is holy ground.”