What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. (M-21.1:3-4)
Watch carefully and see what it is you are really asking for. Be very honest with yourself in this, for we must hide nothing from each other. (T-4.III.8:1-2)
- When you look forward to things (especially at the beginning of the day), what kinds of things do you find yourself looking forward to? Is it external events, pleasure for your body, things of the world, or to inner events, holy encounters, miracles you can do for others, things of God?
- When you burn with desire, what is it usually for? How often is it for God (or things of God)?
- When you daydream or fantasize about something, what is it usually about?
- When you have spare time, time you can use for just you, what do you usually do with it? How often do you use it to pursue God or extend God to others?
- Take one of the examples from above of you asking for an idol and turn it into a verbal prayer: “Dear ego, you are my father and my source. Please give me__________________. This is what I want, so that I can turn it into an offering to you, and lay it on my altar to you. I also ask that you protect this dream of mine from the miracle, so that the miracle cannot come and heal it and cause God to dawn upon my mind. My devotion belongs only to you, for you alone are real and you alone can make me happy. Amen.”
- Looking at your answers to questions 1-4, can you see that you are asking for too little? Do you have any insight into why you don’t ask for more? Mentally go through the things the Course wants you to have and see if you have any fear around really desiring those things, with every fiber of your being. If you do have such a fear, what is it?
- Look at some of the idols you ask for and try to think bigger. First, get really extravagant with the idols. If you want money, think of asking for all the money in the world. If you want sex, think of asking for unlimited sex with the world’s most desirable partners. Then realize that you are still asking far too little. So think even bigger. Realize that you want total release from guilt, total release from anxiety and fear. Realize that you want everything, all of reality. You want eternity. You want infinity. Now realize that you want to have and to be no less than God Himself. Give your desires permission to expand to their full scope. Now write a prayer down that expresses you taking all timidity and all limits off of your asking, that expresses your right to ask for everything.
[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]