Until the second step at least begins, one cannot share in prayer, for until that point, each one must ask for different things. But once the need to hold the other as an enemy has been questioned, and the reason has been recognized if only for an instant, it becomes possible to join in prayer. Enemies do not share a goal, and it is here their enmity is kept. Their separate wishes are their arsenals; their fortresses in hate. The key to rising further still in prayer lies in this simple thought; this change of mind:
We go together, you and I.
Now it is possible to help in prayer, and so reach up yourself. This step begins the quicker ascent, but there are still many lessons to learn. The way is open, and hope is justified. Yet it is likely at first that what is asked for even by those who join in prayer is not the goal that prayer should truly seek. Even together they may ask for things, and thus set up but an illusion of a goal they share. They may ask together for specifics, and not realize that they are asking for effects without the cause. And this they cannot have. For no-one can receive effects alone, and choose a cause from which they do not come to offer them to him. Even the joining, then, is not enough, if those who pray together do not ask, before all else, what is the Will of God. From this Cause only can the Answer come in which are all specifics satisfied; all separate wishes unified in one.
Prayers for specifics always ask to have the past repeated in some way. What was enjoyed before, or seemed to be, -- what was another's and he seemed to like, -- all these are but illusions from the past. The aim of prayer is 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 that it is pitiful to be content with less.
You have a newborn-chance each time you pray. And would you stifle and imprison it in ancient prisons, when the chance has come to free yourself from all of them at once? Do not restrict your asking. Prayer can bring the peace of God. What time-bound thing can give you more than this, in just the little space that lasts until it crumbles into dust?