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The Secret to Answered Prayer

***All quotes are from Chapter 1 of Neville Goddard's "Prayer: The Art of Believing" 
unless otherwise indicated.***

Have You Ever Thought of Prayer as an Art Form?

We’re starting a conversation this week around Neville Goddard’s book “Prayer: The Art of Believing.” In the first chapter of this book, he talks about prayer as an art form that you must practice.

Every art form has a set of skills that, when mastered, make you an expert in that art form. For example, you cannot become a master at music without becoming highly proficient in the skills that make one a master of music.

Mastering the art of prayer requires you to develop proficiency in the following skills:

  • controlled imagination
  • inner tranquility
  • peaceful state of mind
  • faith

Mastering these four components makes you an expert in prayer.

Skill #1: Controlled Imagination

A central tenet of Neville’s teaching is that the Christ of your being is actually your imagination. That statement threw me for a loop when I first read it. I wanted to understand how it fit with the metaphysics I was already studying.

Originally I thought Neville’s position on imagination stood in opposition to what I was studying through the Universal Foundation for Better Living. But, when I looked up the definition for imagination in The Revealing Word, I found that Neville and Charles Fillmore were saying the same thing.

Charles says of imagination: It is the “faculty of mind that images and forms; the power to shape and form thought… What man pictures or imagines in his mind will eventually appear in his body.” Neville agrees. The differences between them seem to be one of semantics. Fillmore talks about imagination being a faculty of mind developed under the direction of the Christ; whereas Neville talks about the imagination¬†being the Christ.

Both agree that the secret to answered prayer begins with a controlled or disciplined imagination.

Every Process is Reversible

Neville writes in chapter 1: “The universal law of reversibility is the foundation on which [answered prayer is] based.”

Huh? What?

Let me explain. I’ll be using Neville’s example.

We know that electricity creates friction. That fact was known for a long time before it was discovered that friction could produce electricity. Your voice produces sound currents; in reverse, those sound currents can produce a voice. Heat produces mechanical movement; in reverse, mechanical movement produces heat.

Every process can be reversed. This is a principle that repeats across all creation. In Neville’s words: “Cause and effect, energy and matter, action and reaction are the same and interconvertible.”

So, what does that have to do with answered prayer?

Prayer and the Law of Reversibility

Feelings and emotions are the end products of experiences. Everything we do is in service to creation of some desired feeling and/or emotion. We do not want the car; we want the feeling and emotion that comes from having the car. It’s not about the house; it’s about the feeling and emotion that comes from having the house.

So, the law of reversibility says, “what is the feeling that you’re reaching for with the thing you’re praying about?” Give me the feeling and emotion you’re going for and we can reverse engineer the experience.

In Neville’s words: “The injunction, to pray believing that you already possess what you pray for, is based upon a knowledge of the law of inverse transformation. If your realized prayer produces in you a definite feeling or state of consciousness, then, inversely, that particular feeling or state of consciousness must produce your realized prayer.”

God Does Not Change

The laws governing this Universe are consistent. They never change. If a process is reversible anywhere; it is reversible everywhere. You can count on the consistency of God. Whatever happens anywhere can happen everywhere. Water can become steam; steam can become water.

The secret to answered prayer is that everything is reversible.

Start with the finished product (i.e. the feeling or emotion you want to experience). Reverse the conditions that created it and, by law, you must produce the other form of it. As metaphysicians, our job is to master the art of expansion and reduction.

Can I take a feeling or emotion and hold it until that feeling or emotion objectifies itself in my life? Inversely, can I take an experience I don’t want, identify the feeling it’s supplying me and stop supporting that feeling until the experience disappears from my life?

All Experience Is Objectified Feeling and Emotion

We’re going to talk about this further in tonight’s Bible Hangout. I am praying for open ears because if we get this, baby, we’ve got it!

“The feeling of the wish fulfilled, if assumed and sustained, must objectify the state that would have created it.” To objectify means to express something abstract in a concrete form. Feelings are abstract. Held in mind consistently they develop skin and become living realities for us.

“Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled and continue feeling that it is fulfilled until that which you feel objectifies itself. If a physical fact can produce a psychological state, a psychological state can produce a physical fact.” Can you put yourself in a psychological state that represents how you would feel if you already had what you wanted? Then, can you HOLD that psychological state until the physical fact materializes?

That’s why you must master the skill of a controlled imagination.

Develop a Controlled Imagination

In his book Christian Healing,¬†Charles Fillmore says that “To allow the imagination to drift in daydreams never brings anything to pass. Ideas must be worked up into living, breathing, thinking things.” You cannot work up an idea into a living, breathing, thinking thing¬†until you learn to control your imagine.

Do not let your mind just run all over the place. Why? Because you waste your creative power on forms that are not worthy of the energy of God that indwells. Your imagination never stops creating. “Whatever we mirror in our minds becomes a living, active thing” (Fillmore, Christian Healing).

Many times we thoughtlessly bring into expression things we definitely do not want. But because we remain ignorant of the way life is created, we believe something is being done to us from an outside force. In reality, we create our own experience.

When you allow your imagination to run on in a thoughtless way, you set yourself up for experiences that you do not want. Here are some things you can stop doing that will work wonders for your imagination:

  • Watching the news
  • Gossiping
  • Having conversations about your shortcomings
  • Reading negative information about yourself and the world

All these things become fodder for your imagination. And, because your imagination never rests, these negative habits become the raw material for future experiences.

How to Develop a Controlled Imagination

There are many schools of thought on how to develop a controlled imagination. Rather than create an exhaustive list of things to consider, I will share with you the things I do on a daily basis to discipline/control my imagination.

I treat the process of disciplining my imagination like I do my physical workouts. I know that I have to be in the gym a certain number of days per week and doing a certain amount of exercise. If I hit that minimum (and manage my diet), I can trust my body to look the way I want it to look.

I approach the effort to discipline my imagine in the same way.

Morning Habit Stack

Every morning I get up before Jordan and complete the following practices:

  • Personal Wealth Commercial
  • Meditation
  • Mental Rehearsal
  • Prosperity Conditioning
  • Gratitude Expressed
  • Reading

Midday Habit Stack

The time for this habit varies. In general, I work in 25-30 minute blocks of time. I set a timer. When the timer goes off, I take a break and, if I do not have to go to the bathroom, then, I set the timer for 5 minutes and work with an entry from UFBL’s¬†The Daily Inspiration or¬†Science of Mind Magazine.

Once the timer goes off, I start working through the next 25-30 minute block.

Evening Habit Stack

Before I go to bed, I do the following things, which take about 30 minutes:

  • 5-minute devotional with¬†Daily Inspiration, Daily Word or¬†Science of Mind Magazine
  • Journal 3 thing I learned today
  • Journal 3 things that made today great
  • Focus on forgiveness (lately I’ve been concentrating on self-forgiveness)
  • Journal 1 new dream I am adding to my goal list
  • Read some positive literature (currently I’m reading Angela Duckworth’s Grit)

Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever worked on disciplining your imagination? If so, what tips can you share? Put your thoughts in the comments below. You never know whom you might inspire with your response.

Comments

  1. Brenda BeLton says:

    I have been working with Vision Boards through an app for doing collages- I Place a picture of myself or the person I am praying for or sending greetings to (birthday, healing, etc) and I surround that picture with positive posts/pictures I have taken from places like Facebook, Instagram and that become a vision board and thus a visual prayer with the individual st the center.

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