The Prayers in Part II of the Workbook

There are 140 prayers in Part II of the Workbook addressed directly to God. What are the characteristics of those prayers?

Relating to God

The language is simple and unadorned
I have no prayer but this: I come to You to ask You for the truth. (254)
Father, let me remember You are here, and I am not alone. (348)
No flowery addresses to God; “Father” is virtually the only address
* 71 prayers start with addressing God as “Father”
* 27 more call God “Father” in the first sentence
* 9 address God as “Father” in second sentence
* 14 address God as “Father” elsewhere in the prayer
* 19 do not address God as “Father” at all
* 1 prayer addresses God as “Lord” (268)
There is great intimacy and familiarity with God
I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so dear and deep and still the universe smiles back on You. (341)
As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still of You and of Your Love. (232)
God is characterized as extremely personal, loving, attentive, and trustable
See previous handout, “Is God Personal?”
We often acknowledge that God hears and answers
I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me. (221)
You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. (290)
The praise of God is muted and consists of simple acknowledgments of His gifts
Father, how certain are Your ways, how sure their final outcome, and how faith
You are beside me. Certain is Your way. (298)
You only give. You never take away. (343)
There is definite rejoicing
And I am safe, untroubled and serene, in endless joy, because it is Your Will that it be so. (329)
How glorious and gracious is this world! (270)
We give love to God, but after receiving His Love first
Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me. I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind. (225)
There is deep humility before God
Be You the Guide and I the follower who questions not the wisdom of the Infinite, nor Love whose tenderness I cannot comprehend, but which is yet Your perfect gift to me. (233)
And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. (291)
We give God gifts, but always for our benefit and that of our brothers
Father, I give You all my thoughts today. (233)
I rule my mind, and offer it to You. (236)
My Father, Christ has asked a gift of me [to use His eyes], and one I give that it be given me. (295)
The Holy Spirit needs my voice today, that all the world may listen to Your Voice, and hear Your Word through me….that I may find escape, and hear the Word Your holy Voice will speak to me today. (296)
And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me. (347)
There is much thanks of God; ten prayers open with thanks
Father, my thanks to You for what I am; for keeping my Identity untouched and sinless. (229)
We thank You, Father, that we cannot lose the memory of You and of Your Love. (234)
We thank You, Father, for the light that shines forever in us. (239)
And for that peace, our Father, we give thanks. (251)
We thank you, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end. (292)
Thanks for this instant, Father. (308)
I thank You, Father, for the many gifts that come to me today…from every Son of God. (315)
Father, I thank You that Your promises will never fail in my experience. (327)
Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring. (340)
I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save me from the hell I made. (342)

What Do We Ask For?

We only once ask for help with externals, and even then do not set the specific help we need
We do not ask for anything that we may think we want. Give us what You would have received by us. You know all our desires and our wants. And You will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to You. (242)
We often make a choice or take a stand against thoughts of the ego
Judgment will bind my eyes and make me blind. (352)
We would not bind the world again today. Fear holds it prisoner. (332)
We ask to be able to forgive
Let us forgive him in Your Name. (240)
Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed. Help us forgive, for we would be at peace. (359)
Today I would behold my brother sinless. (334)
We ask to help our brothers, to save the world
Where I go, Your peace goes there with me….I bring it to the desolate and lonely and afraid. I give Your peace to those who suffer pain, or grieve for loss, or think they are bereft of hope and happiness. Send them to me, my Father. (245)
We ask to hear God’s Voice
We have no goal except to hear Your Voice. (256)
Father, today I would but hear Your Voice. (254)
My Father, speak to me today. I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love. (221)
We ask to experience peace
Father, I come to you today to seek the peace that You alone can give. (221)
And I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own. (346)
We ask for true perception
Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes. (223)
Father, You have one Son. And it is he that I would look upon today….Let me not see him as a stranger to his Father, nor as stranger to myself. (262)
And I would see only this [real] world before my eyes today. (293)
We ask to realize our true Identity
Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son. (252)
We ask to realize the truth
I have no prayer but this: I come to You to ask You for the truth. (254)
We ask for the memory of God, the final awakening
Let me remember You. (231)
Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me. (291)

The Journey

We often admit our mistaken thinking and choices, often from the past
Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from which I came. (228)
Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have. Straighten my mind, my Father. It is sick. (347)
We have betrayed them [our minds], held them in a vise of bitterness, and frightened them with thoughts of violence and death. (249)
I have had many foolish thoughts about myself and my creation, and have brought a dream of fear into my mind. (278)
We acknowledge that God has made possible our salvation
Father, You are the One Who gave the plan for my salvation to me. (324)
I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save me from the hell I made. (342)
We often make statements about our progress
Father, our eyes are opening at last….Now we see that darkness is our own imagining, and light is there for us to look upon. (302)
I did not understand what made me free, now what my freedom is, nor where to look to find it. Father, I have searched in vain until I heard Your Voice directing me. Now I would guide myself no more….Your Voice directs me, and the way to You is opening and clear to me at last. (321)
The key is in my hand, and I have reached the door beyond which lies the end of dreams. (342)
We sometimes announce our homecoming
Father, my dream is ended now. Amen. (337)
We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again. Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home. (241)

What Kind of Statements Do We Make?

There is much acknowledgment of our true condition, which is shared with God
The peace in which Your Son was born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged. I am as You created me. (230)
Father, my heart is beating in the peace the Heart of Love created. (267)
There is much acknowledgment of what we really want, of our true will
What we denied ourselves [peace and truth] You have restored, and only that is what we really want. (251)
Father, it is my will that I return. (321)
There is a great deal of acknowledgment of who our brothers really are
My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them, and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well. (247)
We often acknowledge truths about God as Source
You are the Source of everything there is. And everything that is remains with You, and You with it. (259)
There is no Source but this [God’s Love], and nothing is that does not share Its holiness, that stands beyond Your one creation, and without the Love which holds all things within itself. (264)
Father, Your Mind created all that is, Your Spirit entered into it, Your Love gave life to it. (263)
We often make statements of what the way to God is or of choosing that way
My brother’s is the hand that leads me on the way to You. (288)
Father, Your way is what I choose today. (317)
And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way [forgiveness]. (256)
Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You. (258)
Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You. (333)
We do make the occasional request
Give us what You would have received by us. (242)
Give us faith today to recognize Your Son, and set him free. (240)
The only questions are rhetorical questions we ask of ourselves
What need have I to linger in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams, when Heaven can so easily be mine? (226)
What can I seek for, Father, but Your Love? (231)
Would you allow Your Son to suffer? (240)
How can he fear or doubt or fail to know he cannot suffer, be endangered, or experience unhappiness, when he belongs to You, beloved and loving, in the safety of Your Fatherly embrace? (244)
What could we want but to remember You? What could we seek but our Identity? (258)
There are many statements of our intention (prayers often climax with these)
I would come, my Father, home to You today. I choose to be as Your created me, and find the Son whom You created as my Self. (261)
We come to You in Your Own Name today, to be at peace within Your everlasting Love. (264)
And this [what Christ beholds] I choose to be what I would look upon today. (271)
Now I give them [my illusions] up, and lay them down before the feet of truth. (227)
There are statements of intention about the day
Give us faith today to recognize Your Son, and set him free. (240)
Father, today we will forgive Your world, and let creation be Your Own. (359)
And so we give today to You. (242)
Today I would behold his [my brother’s] gentleness, instead of my illusions. (250)
And so, my Father, would I pass this day with You. (255)
And so begins the day I share with You as I will share eternity. (346)

In What Language Do We State Our Requests?

Our asking is extremely confident; there is not one “please”
Remind me, Father, now [of my true Name], for I am weary of the world I see. Reveal what You would have me see instead. (224)
Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. (291)
Much of our asking takes the form of “let me” (which is not so much a request but a statement of desire and intention meaning “may it be so” or “I want it this way”)
Let me not be Your critic, Lord, today, and judge against You. Let me not attempt to interfere with Your creation, and distort it into sickly forms. Let me be willing to withdraw my wishes from its unity. (268)
Father, let not Your holy world escape my sight today. Nor let my ears be deaf to all the hymns of gratitude the world is singing underneath the sounds of fear. (293)
We sometimes say “I ask” but then often affirm it is something we already have
Now I ask but to be what I am. (230)
I ask Your blessing on my sight today. (269)
Father, I ask for nothing but the truth. (278)
What I ask have You already given me. (290)
There are a very few “help me’s”
Help me to use the eyes of Christ today. (295)
Help us today but to accept Your gift, and judge it not. (305)
Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed. Help us forgive, for we would be at peace. (359)

The Prayers as Induction to Meditation

Prayers are meant as introductions or inductions into the quiet experience of God
I come in silence. In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice. (221)
Father, we have no words except Your Name upon our lips and in our minds, as we come quietly into Your Presence now, and ask to rest with You in peace a while. (222)
And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am. (228)
Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me. (252)
In deepest silence I would come to You, to hear Your Voice and to receive Your Word. (254)
This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. (291)
If I would have what only You can give, I must accept Your Will for me, and enter into peace where conflict is impossible, Your Son is one with You in being and in will, and nothing contradicts the holy truth that I remain as You created me.
And with this prayer we enter silently into a state where conflict cannot come, because we join our holy will with God’s, in recognition that they are the same. (307)

Summary

The above characteristics show prayer being conceived in an entirely different way than most of us grew up conceiving it.

Relating with God. Rather than praising God and addressing Him with magnificent titles, we acknowledge His Love of us and thank Him for His gifts to us. We acknowledge our relationship with Him in Heaven, where He has created us as His beloved Son. He relate to Him with great intimacy and familiarity. We give Him gifts, but only for our sake, not His. We thank Him, but again, only for our sake. He is on the giving end, needing nothing but that we receive.

The subject of the prayers: Rather than being about our external lives, our external journey, the prayers are about our internal journey. This journey can be viewed in the following stages: First we separated from God, went insane. Then we began to turn around, under the influence of God’s plan and guidance. Then we increasingly make progress, as we follow the way He has set out for us. Finally, we come home, we reach our goal of returning to Him.

The desired result of the prayers: Rather than seeking changes in our external circumstances, we primarily seek inner experience. We seek to be able to forgive, to experience peace, to realize the truth, to gain true perception, to hear God’s Voice, to realize our true Identity, and to remember God. In short, we seek inner experiences that will speed our inner journey toward its goal.

Whose mind are we trying to change? Most communication aims to effect some sort of change in the mind of the receiver. So, in prayer, we usually think that we are trying to change God’s Mind, so that He will act (usually in our external lives). We are trying to get Him to do something. One of the ways we do this is through lavish praise, as well as thanking Him for past gifts. In these prayers, however, we are trying only to change our own minds, not His. This is unexpected. We don’t think of communicating with someone as having the purpose of changing only our own minds. This purpose is reflected in the fact that we spend most of our time acknowledging the truth, stating our intentions, and asking ourselves rhetorical questions–all ways of bringing our own minds to a new resolve. It is also reflected in the fact that our requests of God ask for what He has already given. God is always loving us, helping us, guiding us, seeking to lead us home. We don’t need to motivate Him. Thus, rather than trying to get Him to do something in these prayers, we are simply trying to open our minds to what He is always doing, so that we can experience it, and so that that experience can speed us on our inner journey back to Him.

 

[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]