II. The Answer to Prayer 7-12
7. I love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive you, but they cannot deceive me. Knowing what you are, I cannot doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, who speaks to me through you. If you would hear me, hear my brothers in whom God’s Voice speaks. The answer to all prayers lies in them. You will be answered as you hear the answer in everyone. Do not listen to anything else or you will not hear truly.
8. Believe in your brothers because I believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me by believing in them, for the sake of what God gave them. They will answer you if you learn to ask only truth of them. Do not ask for blessings without blessing them, for only in this way can you learn how blessed you are. By following this way, you are seeking the truth in you. This is not going beyond yourself but towards yourself. Hear only God’s Answer in His Sons, and you are answered.
9. To disbelieve is to side against, or to attack. To believe is to accept, and to side with. To believe is not to be credulous, but to accept and appreciate. What you do not believe you do not appreciate, and you cannot be grateful for what you do not value. There is a price you will pay for judgment because judgment is the setting of a price. And as you set it you will pay it.
10. If paying is equated with getting, you will set the price low but demand a high return. You will have forgotten however that to price is to value, so that your return is in proportion to your judgment of worth. If paying is associated with giving it cannot be perceived as loss, and the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving will be recognized. The price will then be set high, because of the value of the return. The price for getting is to lose sight of value, making it inevitable that you will not value what you receive. Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and you will not want it.
11. Never forget, then, that you set the value on what you receive, and price it by what you give. To believe that it is possible to get much for little is to believe that you can bargain with God. God’s laws are always fair and perfectly consistent. By giving you receive. But to receive is to accept, not to get. It is impossible not to have, but it is possible not to know you have. The recognition of having is the willingness for giving, and only by this willingness can you recognize what you have. What you give is there for the value you put on what you have, being the exact measure of the value you put on it. And this, in turn, is the measure of how much you want it.
12. You can ask the Holy Spirit, then, only by giving to Him, and you can give to Him only where you recognize Him. If you recognize Him in everyone, consider how much you will be asking of Him, and how much you will receive. He will deny you nothing because you have denied Him nothing, and so you can share everything. This is the way, and the only way to have His answer, because His answer is all you can ask for and want. Say, then, to everyone:
Because I will to know myself, I see you as God’s Son and my brother.
Jesus loves us for the truth in us. We are created by God and we have truth established within us. Lies and illusions about what we are may mess up our sense of identity but lies and deception do not hide the truth about us from Christ. That is why He does not doubt us because He relates only to the truth in us, to the spirit in us, to that which is holy in us. Just as He extends His grace to us are we required to extend this grace to our brothers. We will find the answer to all of our prayers in one another. Only when we accept what others are communicating to us from Holy Spirit within, can our prayers be answered. Close ourselves off from our brothers, refuse to listen to them, refuse them the grace that God extends to us through Christ, we will not hear truly.
It is tempting in our walks with God to rely solely on our own guidance. It is easy to mistake the ego for the Voice for God. For years I let the ego deceive me thinking that it was protecting me from harm, from being taken advantage of, from making witless decisions about my life. When people would tell me things, I would not trust them, nor would I make any effort to see beyond my tainted perceptions of what they were saying and hear the truth. In other words I lost about all faith in people and believed that my hope was not in people but in God.
But Jesus tells us to believe in our brothers because He believes in us. Just as Jesus saw past all my own self-deceptions, my ridiculous ego, and all my mistakes and wrong decisions – He asks me to extend His grace to you and to all humanity. To find joy, love, and peace with you. If I ask only truth from you, that is what you will give me.
I have had some problems with this. So many times people simply refuse to tell you the truth. They will either refuse to acknowledge your worth out of a spirit of enmity and jealousy, or they will refuse to address your areas of improvement. In other words most people refuse to use their words to tell us what we need to know about ourselves. However, Jesus tells us that when we learn to ask only truth of others, they will give it to us. We are again being asked to take full responsibility for our journey to God. We cannot project this failure to take responsibility upon others by saying, “Well, our brothers didn’t help us. They didn’t give us good advice, they misled us, they purposefully puffed us up on our own pride and took great pleasure in watching us fall.” When we learn to give only blessings to our brothers, to communicate only truth to them and ask for truth in return, we are practicing the way of truth, we are learning how to handle the truth, we are not going beyond ourselves by seeking it outward, but rather we are taking the perceptual world and translating its lies and delusions into truth. We are hearing God’s Answer in His Sons, Jesus says.
In paragraph nine, Jesus seems to be telling us to keep open to what we can glean from each other and to accept the truth that is in each one of us. We are to appreciate our brothers for what they are, we are to be grateful for them. We can get our answers to prayer through them, whether we agree with them or not. People have so much to teach us through both positive and negative example.
If we are too busy judging others and setting a price for truth, for salvation, for the path that leads to God, we are the ones who will have to pay the price. Thinking of another as having less worth than I do because they do not attend church services, belong to a different denomination, or read a different religious text is setting a price. It is saying that your salvation must look like and be like mine or it isn’t real or deep or has as much meaning.
Only when we adopt the Kingdom principle of giving rather than paying will we recognize the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving. We are blessed to give blessings; Jesus extends His Grace to us in the form of trust, and we extend this to our brothers. We receive to give salvation, not pay for our salvation or put any stipulation or charge upon our brothers. In other words when I see Jesus in my brothers, as I see the answer to all my prayers in them, the grace I extend to them will not be a business transaction, it will be an extension of what has been given me. Because I understand the reciprocal relationship of getting and receiving, I would keep giving because I see how valuable it is to me unless I hoard it for only a few and refuse to extend salvation to all.
In paragraph eleven, Jesus tells us that we can never bargain with God. The ego would have us believe that we can get and keep it for ourselves or make others pay for what was given to us freely. To believe that we can receive God’s Grace and then withhold it from others in our minds, or make stipulations, or keep it only for ourselves and people who believe like we do is not understanding the way things work in God’s Kingdom.
If my prayer is to lift you out of a state of anxiety and depression, I will extend to you all the love, peace, and joy that is possible because love, peace, and joy mean so much to me and I so appreciate living in the state of abundance that these attributes give me. I will not judge you for being so sad, so condemning, or for allowing your mind to ruminate upon negativity and ill will. I will not lecture you on how much you have to be thankful for. I will not join with you in your complaints about others or the sad state of the world. Nor will I grumble about you to others or condemn you for needing some extra TLC. I will simply hear the truth behind what you are telling me. I will give you love, peace, and joy. I will see your state of anxiety and depression as a call to God no matter how you deny Him, for I know God as Love, and all sadness and depression come from its being hidden from our awareness.
When I think of you, I will think of you with love, joy, and peace. When I mention your name, I will mention it with joy and with devotion. When I do anything for you, it will be my gift to you for love and peace and joy are God’s gifts to me and the more I give to you the more I accept in return. You may not fully appreciate my love and peace and joy, but love and peace and joy are creations of God. When I extend God’s gifts to you, they keep extending in every direction with or without your help.
We make our requests known to Holy Spirit by giving to Him and we give to Him where we recognize Him. If we make a point to recognize Him in everyone, we are asking of Him and receiving from Him. When we do not deny Holy Spirit, He will not deny us – we will share in everything. This is the only way to have His answer to our prayers because His answer is all we can ever ask for and all we can ever want.
Whenever anyone comes to mind, whenever we encounter anyone anywhere, quietly and with no great show, join with Holy Spirit in their minds and say: Because I will to know myself, I see you as God’s Son and my brother.
This is the answer to all our prayers for love, for joy, for peace. This is the answer to all our prayers for health, healing, and wholeness. When we recognize our brothers’ truth, we recognize our own.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. II The answer to prayer. 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com