Neville Goddard Your Faith Is Your Fortune Chapter 17
When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. – Matt. 6:6
What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe
that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. – Mark 11:24
Prayer is the most wonderful experience man can have. Unlike the daily murmurings of the vast majority of mankind in all lands who by their vain repetitions hope to gain the ear of God, prayer is the ecstasy of a spiritual wedding taking place in the deep, silent stillness of consciousness. In its true sense prayer is God’s marriage ceremony. Just as a maid on her wedding day relinquishes the name of her family to assume the name of her husband, in like manner, one who prays must relinquish his present name or nature and assume the nature of that for which he prays.
The gospels have clearly instructed man as to the performance of this ceremony in the following manner: „When ye pray go within in secret and shut the door and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” [Matthew 6:6]. The going within is the entering of the bridal chamber. Just as no one but the bride and groom are permitted to enter so holy a room as the bridal suite on the night of the marriage ceremony, likewise no one but the one who prays and that for which he prays are permitted to enter the holy hour of prayer. As the bride and groom on entering the bridal suite securely shut the door against the outside world, so too must the one who enters the holy hour of prayer close the door of the senses and entirely shut out the world round about him. This is accomplished by taking the attention completely away from all things other than that with which you are now in love (the thing desired).
The second phase of this spiritual ceremony is defined in these words, „When ye pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall receive”. As you joyfully contemplate being and possessing that which you desire to be and to have, you have taken this second step and are therefore spiritually performing the acts of marriage and generation. Your receptive attitude of mind while praying or contemplating can be likened to a bride or womb for it is that aspect of mind which receives the impressions. That which you contemplate being is the groom, for it is the name or nature you assume and therefore is that which leaves its impregnation; so one dies to maidenhood or present nature as one assumes the name and nature of the impregnation.
Lost in contemplation and having assumed the name and nature of the thing contemplated, your whole being thrills with the joy of being it. This thrill, which runs through your entire being as you appropriate the consciousness of your desire, is the proof that you are both married and impregnated. As you return from this silent meditation, the door is once more opened upon the world you had left behind. But this time you return as a pregnant bride. You enter the world a changed being and, although no one but you knows of this wonderful romance, the world will, in a very short while, see the signs of your pregnancy, for you will begin to express that which you in your hour of silence felt yourself to be.
The mother of the world or bride of the Lord is purposely called Mary, or water, for water loses its identity as it assumes the nature of that with which it is mixed; likewise, Mary, the receptive attitude of mind, must lose its identity as it assumes the nature of the thing desired. Only as one is willing to give up his present limitations and identity can he become that which he desires to be. Prayer is the formula by which such divorces and marriages are accomplished. „Two shall agree as touching anything and it shall be established on earth” [Matthew 18:19]. The two agreeing are you, the bride, and the thing desired, the groom. As this agreement is accomplished, a son bearing witness of this union will be born. You begin to express and possess that which you are conscious of being. Praying, then, is recognizing yourself to be that which you desire to be rather than begging God for that which you desire.
Millions of prayers are daily unanswered because man prays to a God who does not exist. Consciousness being God, one must seek in consciousness for the thing desired by assuming the consciousness of the quality desired. Only as one does this will his prayers be answered. To be conscious of being poor while praying for riches is to be rewarded with that which you are conscious of being, namely, poverty. Prayers, to be successful, must be claimed and appropriated. Assume the positive consciousness of the thing desired.
With your desire defined, quietly go within and shut the door behind you. Lose yourself in your desire; feel yourself to be one with it; remain in this fixation until you have absorbed the life and name by claiming and feeling yourself to be and to have that which you desired. When you emerge from the hour of prayer, you must do so conscious of being and possessing that which you heretofore desired.