"If ye abide in me"

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Doubtless there are few Scriptural passages which have elicited more prayers than the above. Likewise, many disappointments have come from lack of answers to unwise prayers. The eager, grasping human mind sees the promise, "Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you," and rushes into a mad prayer for material advancement, material blessings, material good, possibly with a supposed faith that these prayers will be granted, and a supreme wonder and dismay that they are not, but without considering the condition imposed by the promise. All Bible promises have conditions, and without these they simply cannot be fulfilled. "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." In this case of asking what we will, we may bring our gift of prayer to the altar, but we must leave it there until we are reconciled to our brother. In this case "our brother" is divine Principle, the creator of man's spiritual being. When one is reconciled to this brother, one may depend fully upon the promises, and they will all be fulfilled. One may ask fully and freely and receive more than he can ask or think. "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name," said the Master: "ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

Hitherto what we thought we asked was really nothing and allied to nothing, being merely requests for material things, which in themselves are "nothing" and have no satisfying power or possibility. This seems a little abstruse and difficult, but when we consider that all material things, because they are material, must eventually pass away, for they have no stability, no lasting power, no real substance, we may catch a glimpse of the substantiality of Spirit, the reality which can never be taken from us. And how, we ask, can one receive of this better and spiritual gift? The answer is given us in the first quotation of this article, "If ye abide in me." There is a mighty and potential "if," for when one truly abides in divine Spirit one cannot ask anything amiss or fail to receive according to one's needs, but away beyond anything one has ever asked, or thought, or hoped, or prayed for, because the gifts of Spirit are far beyond anything mere mortal praying can compass. "If ye abide in me"—if one abides in spiritual selfhood, recognizes the true self as the child of Spirit and not of matter, the channel is opened to receive all there is, because "all things are your's; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."

"The time for thinkers"
September 25, 1920

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