God is love and love is all there is
Prayer and the Ever-After
"You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience - wanting - in your reality. The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication but a prayer of gratitude.
"When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there...in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.
"If you are saying, 'Thank you, God, for such and such,' all the while being very clear that it isn't there in your present reality, you can't expect God to be less clear than you and so produce it for you. God knows what you know, and what you know is what appears as your reality.
"Because I said, and have said to you in every conceivable way, through every teacher you can name, that whatsoever you shall choose, choosing it in My name, so shall it be.
"No prayer goes unanswered. When it is said that a prayer has not been answered, what has in actuality happened is that the most fervently held thought, word, or feeling has become operative. Yet what you must know - and here is the secret - is that it is the thought behind the thought - what might be called the Sponsoring Thought - that is the controlling thought.
"If, therefore, you beg and supplicate, there seems a much smaller chance that you will experience what you think you are choosing because the Sponsoring Thought behind every suuplication is that you do not have now what you wish. That Sponsoring Thought becomes your reality.
"The only Sponsoring Thought which could override this thought is the thought held in faith that God will grant whatever is asked, without fail. Some people have such faith, but very few.
"If you believe that God is some omnipotent being who hears all prayers, says 'yes' to some, 'no' to others, and 'maybe but not now' to the rest, you are mistaken. By what rule of thumb would God decide? If you believe that God is the creator and decider of all things in your life, you are mistaken.
"God created you, in the image and likeness of God. You have created the rest, through the power God has given you. God created the process of life and life itself as you know it. Yet God gave you free choice, to do with life as you will. In this sense, your will for you is God's will for you.
"This is the grand illusion in which you have engaged: that God cares one way or the other what you do. I do not care what you do, and that is hard for you to hear. Yet do you care what your children do when you send them out to play? Is it a matter of consequence to you whether they play tag, or hide and seek, or pretend? No, it is not, because you know they are perfectly safe. You have placed them in an environment which you consider friendly and very okay.
"You will tell them, of course, which games are dangerous to play. But you cannot stop your children from doing dangerous things. Not always. Not forever. Not in every moment from now until death. It is the wise parent who knows this. Yet the parent never stops caring about the outcome. It is this dichotomy - not caring deeply about the process, but caring deeply about the result - that comes close to describing the dichotomy of God.
"Yet God, in a sense, does not even care about the outcome. Not the ultimate outcome. This is because the ultimate outcome is assured. And this is the second great illusion of man: that the outcome of life is in doubt.
"Yet God has full power to match intentions with results. You cannot and will not believe in this (even though you claim that God is all-powerful), and so you have to create in your imagination a power equal to God, in order that you may find a way for God's will to be thwarted. And so you have created in your mythology the being you call 'devil.' You have even imagined a God at war with this being. Finally, you have actually imagined that God could lose this war.
"All of this violates everything you say you know about God, but this doesn't matter. You live your illusion, and thus feel your fear, all out of your decision to doubt God. But, what if you made a new decision? What then would be the result?
"I tell you this: you would live as the Buddha did, as Jesus did, as did every saint you have ever idolized.
"Yet, as with most of those saints, people would not understand you. And when you tried to explain your sense of peace, your joy in life, your inner ecstasy, they would listen to your words, but not hear them. They would wonder how you could have what they cannot find. And then they would grow jealous. Soon jealousy would turn to rage, and in their anger they would try to convince you that it is you who do not understand God.
"And, if they were unsuccessful at tearing you from your joy, they would seek to harm you, so enormous would be their rage. And when you told them it does not matter, that even death cannot interrupt your joy, nor change your truth, they would surely kill you. Then, when they saw the peace with which you accepted death, they would call you 'saint' and love you again."