A wealthy man and his son loved to collect priceless works of art. They had everything from Picasso to Van Gogh. They would often take time out from their busy schedules and admire their immense collection.
They had scheduled a buying trip to Europe, but the Iraq war interrupted their plans. The son’s reserve unit was called up and he found himself in Baghdad.
On his second tour of duty the son was killed by a roadside bomb. The father had lost his wife to cancer and now he had lost his only son.
A short time later, just before Thanksgiving, there was a knock at the front door. A young man stood at the door holding a large box.
He said, “Sir, I am a stranger to you, but I served with your son in Iraq. He saved my life. He was the bravest man I’ve ever known. He often talked about you, and your mutual love for art.”
The young man held out the box. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I believe your son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package. It was a painting of his son in military uniform. He stared in awe at the way the young man had captured his son’s personality.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay for the painting.
“Oh, no sir.” Insisted the young man, “I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift for you.” They spent the afternoon talking about the man’s son and the arts.
The father placed the portrait over the mantle. Every time friends visited he showed them the portrait of his son before he showed them any of his other artwork.
On New Year’s day the bereaved widower made his own transition. Some of his closest friends believed it was from a broken heart. At his request upon his death, he wanted his paintings auctioned. Many rich people and art dealers came to add his rare paintings to their own collections.
The portrait of his son sat on the auction easel. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “We will start the bidding with this portrait. Who will bid for this painting of the son?”
There was silence, then nervous whispers. Finally a voice from the back of the room shouted, “We’re not interested in that one. We’re here for the Picassos, and Rembrandts, and Raphaels.”
However the auctioneer continued. “Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100? $200?
Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to bid on this painting. We’re here for the Van Goghs and the DiVincis.”
Undaunted, the auctioneer responded, “The son. Who will take the son?”
Finally, a voice came from the rear of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $100 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. He thought highlyof the man and his son and considered the son his son too
“We have $100. Who will give $200?”
“Give it to him for $100. We want the master’s works, the real art work.” Someone chorused.
$100 is the bid. Won’t someone bid $200?
The gallery became angry. They didn’t want the inferior painting. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel. “Going once, going twice, SOLD for $100.
The room erupted in applause. One man offered $10 to the gardener as a token thank you for speeding up the auction, but the gardener refused. “They always made me feel like I was part of the family,” he countered. “I have always enjoyed my employment with them.”
His purchase of the painting came from answered prayer. He had hoped for a memento, and now he had one. He had received a small inheritance from the man’s will, but the painting of his son was truly wonderful.
All at once, the auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m sorry, but that concludes the auction. The auction is over.”
“What?” shouted the audience. “What do you mean the ‘auction is over?'”
“I’m sorry for such a sudden end to these proceedings. When I was asked to conduct this auction I was informed of a stipulation in the will. I can now tell you what that stipulation is. Only the portrait of the son was to be auctioned. Whoever bought the portrait would inherit the entire estate! The man who bid $100 for the son gets everything!”
It is through the acupuncture of prayer that we find peace, and rest, and answers, and wealth. Like the gardener, we have immediate access to the Omnipresence of Supply. Our good is waiting for us. It is just a prayer away. All we have to do is turn to the Son, the Christ Spirit within.
Although the way we pray differs, most people have been taught by the faith traditions in which they grew up to ask, to petition, to beg an external anthropomorphic deity for things they want. They believe in ‘dial-up’ prayer instead of instant, high speed access prayer.
In this 6th in a series of “Get Over It” messages we have selected the well-known New Thought phrase ‘Be careful what you pray for’ as a phrase which should be laid to rest with the embedded theology which gave birth to it.
It is an assumption which perpetuates the anthropomorphic deity myth which has kept our eyes concentrated on a super-being ‘out there’ who will save us if we’re obedient, patient, and gullible.
The help ‘out there’ motif is perpetuated by the mythological Superman, Batman, and Super Hero characters which Hollywood has so expertly created for us.
We were all born with the belief that the Messiah will come from ‘out there.’ That our Savior must be some kind of super hero with super powers. Essentially the message is we are too unworthy, weak, and whinny to save ourselves.
In his book, Dynamics For Living, Charles Fillmore asserted, “The way to attain health and wealth is to put your prayerful words and creative actions to work and bring into swift action the Superman Christ within.”
The super hero is within us. It is the Superman Christ part of us. The day we identify with our Superman Christ within, and not with fictitious superheroes ‘out there’ we master our earth experience.
The same thing goes when it comes to prayer. We believe there is a collective wisdom at our core, and shared by all of us, that senses an unseen spiritual Presence. A Presence that is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.
In Matthew 21:22 the Christ said: “Whatever we ask in prayer, believing with faith, we shall receive.” The word ‘ask’ actually means ‘affirm or declare.’ And ‘prayer’ means ‘direct, unobstructed communion with Spirit.’
So, what Matthew 21:22 really means is when we affirm our oneness with Spirit by going within to make that connection, and believe that we have passport-free access to Universal Supply, we will receive all we need to manifest our abundance. This verse is the key to manifesting our good.
It is praying FROM this this indivisible connection with the Christ within, that we move toward our good. It is FROM this inner place of alignment with the Omnipresence of God that we position ourselves to receive.
So we do not have to pray TO a God ‘out there.’ There’s no need to dial-a-prayer! We don’t have to be careful for what we pray believing that if we don’t pray right we might get something other than what we prayed for. That isn’t how prayer works!
There’s no dispensing God ‘up there’ waiting for us to make a mistake in our prayer languaging so It can surprise us with something we didn’t expect. There are no prayer police monitoring our prayers to see if we’re asking for the right things.
‘Be careful for what you pray for’ is fear-based theology. It is not wise to build guilt, and fear, and anxiety into a prayer experience.
What is useful is to live a prayer-conditioned life, one which features absolute trust in your oneness with Spirit.
Author: Richard IngersollThis author has published 2 articles so far.