The Fifty Miracle Principles of A Course in Miracles
by Kenneth Wapnick

Principle 11

Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator.
Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.

This principle introduces the idea of prayer, a word not often used in the Course. Usually, the Course's treatment of prayer has to do with the idea of petition, of praying for something or praying for someone. That is usually the way that A Course in Miracles uses the word "prayer" and, as it says later on in the text, the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness because you have everything else (text, p. 40; T-3.V.6:3). Once you pray to God for something to happen on the level of the body, whether it is your body or another person's body, you are making the body and the world real, which means you are falling into the ego's trap. As we saw earlier, you are then basically telling God what He should do. You are telling God, "This is my problem," or "This is what I want You to take care of, and now I am expecting You to do so." That is just another example of the arrogance of the ego which usurps the place of God.

So when the Course says "the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness," it is saying that the only thing we should ever pray for is that our minds be healed from the ego's way of thinking to the Holy Spirit's way of thinking. In effect, that is what our little willingness does. It is a way of praying to the Holy Spirit for help that we share His perception of the world rather than our own.

The Holy Spirit does not have to be told where He should extend His miracle or His Love in the world. All that is necessary is that we get ourselves out of the way, which is what forgiveness does, so that He can then work through us and use us as His instruments. The pamphlet "The Song of Prayer" uses the analogy of prayer as a ladder, and the highest rung on that ladder is what we would call mystical prayer, or prayer as an experience of communion with God. All the earlier rungs are the steps towards that experience. It begins with the idea of praying for things or praying for other people, and progresses through that, recognizing that we do not pray for others; we really pray for ourselves. But, almost always, when the Course uses the word "prayer," it is using it in the way that traditional religion has -- as praying for things -- and, obviously, it has a different way of looking at that.  Here, however, when it talks about prayer, it is reflecting that top rung of the ladder, which would be an experience of having joined with God through the Holy Spirit. In that sense, then, prayer becomes the "medium of miracles." It is aligning our wills with that of Jesus or the Holy Spirit that allows their miracle to work through us.

Basically, only in this first chapter does A Course in Miracles talk about revelation, which is expressed here when it talks about prayer as "a means of communication of the created with the Creator." The Course makes a distinction between revelation and the miracle -- that revelation is a temporary experience of oneness with God, which is not the goal of the Course. This is why it really does not discuss it afterwards. Revelation is in contrast with the miracle, the experience of joining with the Holy Spirit that thereby joins us with everyone else. "Revelation unites you directly with God. Miracles unite you directly with your brother" (text, pp. 4f; T-1.II.1:5-6). If a person has a revelatory experience, that is all well and good, but that is not the thrust of the Course.

"Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed." What is being discussed here is the experience of feeling God's Love and then letting the Holy Spirit take that Love and extend it through us. The goal of this, therefore, is to let ourselves become purified of any of the things that would hinder the Holy Spirit's using us as a channel for His Love.

Q: What about the prayers at the end of the workbook, all addressed to God the Father?

A: That is another example of the Course's inconsistency on the level of language or expression. Elsewhere, as we know, A Course in Miracles makes it very clear that God does not even know about this world, the dream of the sleeping Son that is outside His Mind. So, it would not make too much sense, on that level, to pray to Him. But the Course is not rigidly adhering to a form of expression. What it is really doing here is using "God" as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, who is His Voice. You will find the same thing at the very end of "The Song of Prayer," where the first person is God Himself. So, really, the Course is giving the reader a choice in terms of form, whether you ask help of God, the Holy Spirit, Christ, Jesus, or anyone else you might feel comfortable with -- it does not matter.

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