A Course in Miracles - 6. The Song of Prayer


Chapter 1 - Prayer


Section 1 - Introduction


Prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation. It was then what it is to become; the single Voice Creator and creation share; the song the Son sings to the Father, Who returns the thanks it offers Him unto the Son. Endless the harmony, and endless too the joyous concord of the Love They give forever to each other. And in this creation is extended. God gives thanks to His extension in His Son. His Son gives thanks for his creation, in the song of his creating in his Father's Name. The Love They share is what all prayer will be throughout eternity, when time is done. For such it was before time seemed to be.


To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need. You have but one. What God created one must recognize its oneness, and rejoice that what illusions seemed to separate is one forever in the Mind of God. Prayer now must be the means by which God's Son leaves separate goals and separate interests by, and turns in holy gladness to the truth of union in his Father and himself.


Lay down your dreams, you holy Son of God, and rising up as God created you, dispense with idols and remember Him. Prayer will sustain you now, and bless you as you lift your hearts to Him in rising song that reaches higher and then higher still until both high and low have disappeared. Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the lawns of Heaven and the gate of peace. For this is prayer, and here salvation is. This is the way. It is God's gift to you.


Asking is holy, and it is holy because it is a way of reaching God. He is the Answerer because you are in need of an Answer. No-one can ask for another and receive the Answer for him. But you can, and indeed you must, help him by offering your love and support that his answer be holy and his true need recognized. That is prayer; it is the same for yourself or for another. There is no difference. If you received the answers for another, there would be a difference.


This does not mean that you cannot get messages for another, if it is God Who chooses this way of reaching him. This will usually happen unexpectedly, generally in the form of a sudden feeling that you have something to tell him; a message to deliver. You have not been wrong in the past about how you have asked, but you are ready for a step ahead now. There are joint decisions in which unanimity of response is a good indication of authenticity. This should not be abandoned. But asking is a lesson in trust, and no-one can trust for another. He can only strengthen another's trust by offering it to him and having faith in his ability to hear for himself.


Asking is the way to God because it offers us His Will as He would have us hear it. We will have a series of lessons on asking because you have not understood it. But do not think because of that that you have been mistaken in your attempts. You have done well and will do better.


Any specific question involves a large number of assumptions which inevitably limit the answer. A specific question is actually a decision about the kind of answer that is acceptable. The purpose of words is to limit, and by limiting to make a vast area of experience more manageable. But that means manageable by YOU. For many aspects of living in this world that is necessary. But not for asking. God does not use words and does not answer in words. He can only "speak" to the Christ in you, Who translates His Answer into whatever language you can understand and accept. Sometimes words will limit fear; sometimes not. That is why some people hear words, some receive feelings of inner conviction, and some do not become aware of anything. Yet God has answered, and His Answer will reach you when you are ready.


Answers are not up to you. Any limit you place on them interferes with hearing. God's Voice is silent and speaks in silence. That means that you do not phrase the question and you do not restrict the answer.


Asking is prayer. It is not a demand. It is not questioning. It is not limitation. The only real request is for God's Answer. It needs the humility of trust, not the arrogance of false certainty. Trust cannot lie in idols, for that is merely faith in magic. Trust requires faith that God understands, knows, and will answer. It means a state of peace. For this you can safely ask. In fact, if you do not feel that you have it, asking for it is the only real request you can make.

A Course in Miracles - Urtext material - reproduced with permission from the Foundation for Inner Peace (, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles ( ©2021 Paul West