PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Dynamics For Living
IN SPIRIT, praise accumulates. In sense consciousness this faculty is called acquisitiveness. It accumulates material things. Praise opens the portal of the mysterious realm called the superconsciousness where thought is impregnated with an uplifting, transcendent quality. Every lofty ideal, all the inspiration that elevates and idealizes in religion, poetry, and art, originates here. It is the kingdom of the true and real in all things.
Praise is the complement of sight and hearing. It is the redemption of weariness. From it issues the Savior of the world. Instead of a supplication, prayer should be a jubilant thanksgiving. This method of prayer quickens the mind miraculously. Like a mighty magnet, it draws out the spiritual qualities that transform the whole man when they are given expression in mind, body, and affairs.
Spirituality (prayer and praise) is one of the foundation faculties of the mind. It is the consciousness that relates man directly to the Father-Mind. It is quickened and enlarged through prayer and through other forms of religious thought and worship. When we pray we look up from within, not because God is off in the sky, but because this spiritual center is in the top of the head and becomes active and our attention is naturally drawn to it.
Prayer is natural to man. It should be cultivated in order to round out his character. Prayer is the language of spirituality. When developed, prayer makes man master in the realm of creative ideas. In order to get results from the use of this faculty, right thinking should be observed here as well as elsewhere. To pray, believing that the prayer may or may not be answered at the will of God, is to miss the mark. It is a law of mind that every idea is fulfilled as soon as conceived. This law holds true in the spiritual realm.
In the light of our knowledge of mind action, the law expressed in these words is clear. Moreover, the faith implied is absolutely necessary to the unfailing answer to prayer. If we pray asking for future fulfillment, we form that kind of thought structure in consciousness, and our prayers are always waiting for that future fulfillment which we have idealized.
If we pray thinking that we do not deserve the things for which we ask, these untrue and indefinite thoughts carry themselves out, and we grow to look upon prayer with doubt and suspicion.
It should not be inferred that the will of Divine Mind is to be set aside in prayer. We are to pray that the will of God enter into us and become a moving factor in our life. The Father does not take our will from us. He gives us the utmost freedom in the exercise of the will faculty. He also imparts an understanding of the law, through the operation of which we can make any condition that we desire.
One of the offices of spirituality is to aggregate divine ideas. Through this action man draws absolutely true ideas from the universal Mind. Thus prayer is cumulative. It accumulates spiritual substance, life, intelligence. It accumulates everything necessary to man’s highest expression. When we pray in spiritual understanding, this highest realm of man’s mind contacts universal, impersonal Mind; the very Mind of God is joined to the mind of man. God answers our prayers in ideas, thoughts, words; these are translated into the outer realms, in time and condition. It is therefore important that we pray with understanding of the law, important that we always give thanks that our prayers have been answered and fulfilled, regardless of appearances.
With understanding and realization of the relation between the idea and the fulfillment of the idea, Jesus quickened the slow processes of nature, and the loaves and fishes were increased quickly. We may not be able to attain at once such speedy operation of the law, but we shall approximate it, and we shall accelerate natural processes as we hold our beliefs nearer to the perfection of the realm of divine ideas.
Praise is closely related to prayer. It is one of the avenues through which spirituality expresses itself. Through an inherent law of mind, we increase whatever we praise. The whole creation responds to praise, and is glad.
Animal trainers pet and reward their charges with delicacies for acts of obedience. Children glow with joy and gladness when they are praised. Even vegetation grows best for those who praise it. We can praise our own abilities, and our very brain cells will expand and increase in capacity and intelligence when we speak words of encouragement and appreciation to them.
There is an invisible thought-stuff on which the mind acts, making things through the operation of a law not yet fully understood by man. Every thought moves upon this invisible substance in increasing or diminishing degree. When we praise the richness and opulence of our God, this thought-stuff is tremendously increased in our mental atmosphere. It reflects into everything that our mind and our hands touch. When common things are impregnated with our consciousness of divine substance, they are transformed according to our ideals.
Through persistent application of praise, a failing business proposition can be praised into a successful one. Even inanimate things seem to receive the word of praise, responding in orderly obedience when, before, they seemed unmanageable.
A woman used the law on her sewing machine, which she had been affirming to be in bad order. It gave her no trouble afterward. A linotype operator received a certain spiritual treatment given him by a healer at a certain hour, and his linotype, which had been acting badly, immediately fell into harmonious ways. A woman living in a country town had a rag carpet on her parlor floor. She had for years hoped that this carpet might be replaced by a better one. She heard of the law and began praising the old carpet. Greatly to her surprise, inside of two weeks she was given a new carpet from an unexpected source. These are a few simple illustrations of the possibilities latent in praise. Whether the changes were in the inanimate things, or in the individuals dealings with them, does not matter so long as the desired end was attained.
Health and Supply
Turn the power of praise upon whatever you wish to increase. Give thanks that it is now fulfilling your ideal. The faithful law, faithfully observed, will reward you. You can praise yourself from weakness to strength, from ignorance to intelligence, from lack to affluence, from sickness to health. The little lad with a few loaves and fishes furnished the seed that, through prayer and thanksgiving of Jesus, increased sufficiently to feed five thousand people.
All causes that bring about permanent results originate in Spirit. Spirituality, faith, and love are God-given faculties. When we are raised in consciousness to their plane they act naturally under a spiritual law that we may not comprehend. If we make proper connection with Divine Mind in the kingdom of heaven within us, the Father will surely answer our prayers. No good thing will He withhold from us if we comply with the law.
We all need a better understanding of the nature of God if we are to comply with the laws under which He creates. We must begin by knowing that “God is Spirit.” Spirit is everywhere–the breath of life and the knowing quality of mind active in and through all. The highest form of prayer is to open our mind and quietly realize that the one omnipresent intelligence knows our thoughts and instantly answers, even before we have audibly expressed our desires.
This being true, we should ask and at the same time give thanks that we have already received. Jesus expressed this idea. When we think or silently speak in the all-potential substance of Spirit, there is always an unfailing effect.
“Always praise the cooking of the cook” is the instruction of the veteran hobo to the novice. Experience has taught the gentlemen of the road that praise and thanks melt the hardest heart and often open the door to amazing hospitality. Tradespeople have found that “Thank you” has commercial value. The prophets of old knew the power of increase inherent in thanksgiving. “Praise ye the Lord” is repeated again and again in the Psalms.
We increase our vitality by blessing and giving thanks in spirit. To bring about this increase efficiently we must understand the anatomy of the soul and mind centers.
It has been found by experience that a person increases his blessings by being grateful for what he has. Gratitude even on the mental plane is a great magnet. When gratitude is expressed from the spiritual standpoint it is powerfully augmented. The custom of saying grace at the table has its origin in man’s attempt to use this power of increase.
A woman who had been left with a large family and no visible means of support related how wonderfully this law had worked in providing food for her children. In her extremity she had asked the advice of one who understood the law, and she had been told to thank God silently for abundant supply on her table, regardless of appearances. She and her children began doing this, and in a short time the increase of food was so great at times that it astonished them. Her grocer’s bill was met promptly and in most marvelous ways the family was supplied with food. Never after that time did they lack.
A simple word of blessing poured out upon that which we have or that which we can conceive as possible for us as sons of the all-providing God will at least begin to release the superabundance of Spirit substance, and we shall have an inner confidence and faith in the providence of our Father.
Jesus warned us not to be anxious about temporal needs but to pray, believing, and to bless and give thanks; then right in the face of seeming insufficiency we should be enabled to demonstrate plenty.
When we commune with the Spirit within and ask for new ideas, they are always forthcoming. When these ideas from within us are recognized, they go to work and come to the surface. Then all the thoughts we have ever had, as well as the thoughts of other people, are added to them and new things are quickly produced. Let us quit depending slavishly on someone else for everything and become producers, for only in that direction lies happiness and success. Let us begin to concentrate on this inner man, this powerful man who produces things, who gets his ideas from a higher-dimensional realm, who brings ideas from a new territory.
What kind of character are you giving to this inner substance by your thoughts? Change your thought and increase your substance in the mind, as Elisha increased the oil for the widow. Get larger receptacles and plenty of them. Even a very small concept of substance may be added to and increased.
The widow had a very small amount of oil, but as the prophet blessed it, it increased until it filled every vessel she could borrow from the neighbors. We should form the habit of blessing everything that we have.
It may seem foolish to some persons that we bless our nickels, dimes, and dollars, but we know that we are setting the law of increase into operation. All substance is one and connected, whether in the visible or the invisible. The mind likes something that is already formed and tangible for a suggestion to take hold of. With this image the mind sets to work to draw like substance from the invisible realm and thus increase what we have in hand.
Elisha used a small amount of oil to produce a great amount of oil. So when we bless our money or other goods, we are complying with the divine law of increase that has been demonstrated many times.
Blessing and Curse
The Israelites set great store in blessing. Rightly understood, a blessing is a great source of inspiration. It lays a firm foundation in the mind. It brings out the good. A curse sees the evil and emphasizes it. A blessing sees only the good and emphasizes only the good. He who uses his mind to curse gets the curse in return, while the mind that blesses receives blessings in return. Blessing imparts the quickening spiritual power that produces growth and increase. It is the power of multiplication.
Praise is the positive pole of life. If you depreciate your life you decrease your consciousness of life. All who have reached heights in things spiritual have been noted for their devotions. Jesus spent whole nights in prayer. He seemed to be asking the Father and thanking Him in almost the same breath on every occasion where He did a great work or expounded a notable truth. Praise is an active principle in our spiritual thoughts and should be given first place in all our thanksgiving.
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Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
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