Prayer

Jesus, as our teacher, is at his best in A Course In Miracles (ACIM) regarding prayer. Instructions about prayer, and how it may lead to salvation, are most concise in the pamphlet, The song of Prayer, Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing An Extension of the Principles of "A Course in Miracles." The Course itself is, nevertheless, replete with passages about prayer, as the Text, Workbook, and Manual for Teachers all offer passages which include Jesus' new instructions.

The Song of Prayer was scribed by Helen several months after the Course In Miracles (ACIM) was published, and is considered to be Jesus' reaction to the then already misunderstanding of his new teachings. "The Ladder of Prayer," a metaphor for how we can progress in our use of prayer, is a most valuable section from the pamphlet.

The Ladder has these steps:

All of these kind of entreaties for valueless worldly things reinforce our desire for them and delay our return to God. Such prayer is based on our wish to bring back past, places or relationships, which are all illusions. Instead the purpose of prayer should be

...to release the present from its chains of past illusions; to let it be a freely-chosen remedy from every choice that stood for a mistake. What prayer can offer now so far exceeds all that you asked before it is pitiful to be content with less. [S-IV.3:5-6.]

Three, "Praying with others." To make this step we need to accept Jesus' simple teaching:

Praying for others, if rightly understood, becomes a means for lifting your projections of guilt from your brother, and enabling you to recognize it is not he who is hurting you. [S.III.1.4]

Here we let go of our fault finding and grievances (which Jesus teaches prolongs the separation), and consider a complementary concept of the Golden Rule.

What I have asked for for my brother in not what I would have. Thus have I made of him my enemy.
[S.1.III.3:5-6]

Holding on to the thought of enemies impedes our progress to the next step, because we cannot hold joint goals with an enemy. Instead we need to realize that we make our enemies and can change by the realization that letting go of that belief is the key to progress to the next step up the ladder of prayer.

Four, Praying with Ohers, where we say,

"I cannot go without you, for you are a part of me."
[S-1.V.3:9.]

This admission completes our ascent up the Ladder of Prayer. Our joint prayer is a song we sing with God to celebrate our creation as his One Son. Jesus concludes:

A dream has veiled the face of Christ from you. Now can you look upon His sinlessness. High has the ladder risen. You have come almost to Heaven.There is little more to learn before the journey is complete. Now can you say to everyone who comes to join in prayer with you. [2.1.V.3:3]
I cannot go without you , for you are a part of me. Here time will end forever.Prayer has become what it was meant to be, for you have recognized the Christ in you." [S-1.V.4:4+6]

These words bring us to a deeper understanding of the "Golden Rule." Others are our self—we are all part of one self united in God.

This brief summary of "The Song of Prayer," affirms religion author, Karen Armstrong's thoughts about prayer expressed in her blog in "On Faith," 5, February 2007 in the Washington Post. "I have always had difficulty with prayer." She asks if, "as the Qur'an says, 'God is closer to me than my jugular vein,' why does God need to hear my requests?"

The answer is: God does not need to hear hers or anyone’s requests, because we are as God created us;  part of and extension of his Mind (which is much closer than any part of our body).  We remember that on the last step of the Ladder of Prayer where we see everyone as part of the Christ.

Armstrong concluded her entry by maintaining that prayer helps us to use language differently, which helps us reduce our ego.  That may cause us to help folks around us and, “make the world a better place without asking God for a miracle.”  A miracle, however, occurs when we change our mind about the world, see if for what it is, and remember we are still with God in Heaven.