My experience of prayer in the Course

When I left the Lutheran church, I basically stopped relating to prayer on a personal level. As a Course student, I did notice the prayers in Part II of the Workbook, but, oddly enough, it never occurred to me to actually pray them.

Then one weekend I was on a personal retreat and I decided to look for hints about what the Course wanted us to actually do with those prayers. Based on close inspection of comments in the introduction to Part II, I concluded that—wait for it—we were supposed to pray them!

So right then I sat down and prayed the first twenty or so prayers in the Workbook. I will never forget what I felt. What almost jumped off the page was a God Who was totally near and accessible, Who cared about me like the most loving father imaginable, and Who is always right here, ready to answer my calls and wanting to shower me with His Love. I was astonished. My reaction was almost like, “Where did that come from?” I realize now that my surprise was inappropriate. That is how God appears throughout the Course. Yet I hadn’t seen it—that is, until I prayed these prayers.

That was more than dozen years ago. Since then, the prayers in the Workbook have become a real staple in my life. I experience them as a kind of channel that leads into a safe harbor, where I can set down anchor and rest safely in God. I feel like they, along with the rest of the Course, are slowly drawing me toward that safe harbor, so that I visit there more often. I have the sense that one day that safe harbor could be where I live. That is a day I really want to reach. And if I do, it will in no small measure be because of those prayers in the Workbook.