Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

The practice of ceaseless prayer only becomes sensible, and therefore possible, as you awaken to just how truly senseless is the tendency of the unattended mind.

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Guy Finley explains how even though aspirants have sought stillness for centuries, it can’t be brought about by will. True relationship with stillness begins with seeing, through self-observation, that it’s actually the willfulness of the mind that keeps us apart from the relationship with stillness that we long for.

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The one great exercise of prayer is . . .
To come wide awake
And to place the center of myself
Into the center of my will and . . .
Having done so, take this gathering of attention
And surrender it wholly to my God . . .
To do with whatever I am
As He wills . . . forever.

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When it comes to the possibility of spiritual rebirth, it isn’t that God does not will this for all of his earth-clad children. Quite the contrary: In this world of ours the goodness of God’s Will is always active through his Son. What nullifies the birth of this eternal Life within us is that we have yet to learn how to ask and receive it. What is freely offered to us goes unaccepted because we haven’t yet the heart to surrender ourselves for it. We cannot let go. Too many parts of us cling to their fleeting and altogether conditional sense of self – so that we remain willful and self-certain instead of being reborn a citizen of Heaven.

For anyone willing to see the truth of this secret self-centeredness, and the sorrow of the separate sense of existence it perpetuates, this unseen state of arrogance may be found running through many, if not all, of our prayers. Just see how the sense of “I” dominates our dialogues with God. With this finding in mind we must ask ourselves a spiritually telling question: “How many times need the word ‘I’ appear in any prayer of ‘Thy will be done’?”

In the majority of our supplications to God a perpetual sense of “what I want” rests squarely above all that it requests. Virtually undetected by us is that this same petitioning nature sits there within us as a would-be ruler over the very relationship that it asks God to come in and be the King of! We are betrayed in the very core of ourselves by an imagined wealth of sincerity coupled with certainty. In these self-pleasing states of self are found ample amounts of selfish motive and its attendant means, neither of which (it turns out) can bring about the release of one drop of God’s Good Grace.

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