"All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them," is not merely the arbitrary promise of a personal God who may grant our petitions today and deny them tomorrow; it is a strictly scientific statement of the Law of our Being, that law which governs the whole Universe, "from an atom to an archangel" the Law of Creation by which we not only live, but, in our own turn, create.
Prayer is not beseeching God for what He may or may not grant us, it is simply putting out our hands to take what is already our own, consciously exercising the power which is ours in virtue of our oneness with God.
Ah! if we would only trust more this great all-loving Power, resting in its embrace as a child rests in its mother's arms, conscious that, as Emerson puts it, "we are dear to the heart of Being." We must trust our Heavenly Father for all things, not as a far-off personality whose aid has to be invoked in times of special trouble, but as a constant, ever-loving Presence, beyond whose guidance we cannot stray.
This constant trust, however, does not either imply or excuse indolence on our part. We are not helpless as the child is; God has not made us the mere passive recipients of His bounty, but He has put into our own hands this wonderful power by which we become co-workers with Him.
To trust in God means, in one sense, to have confidence in oneself; for when we realize our oneness with Him, the absolute identity, not only of our interests but of our very Being with His, we see that we cannot, we simply cannot want any good thing. How can God allow even the smallest part of Himself to be in danger or difficulty when He is All-power? If we have any lack it is not because God will not give us what we want, but because we will not take it. We are not to strive and fight with adverse circumstances as if they had any real power over us. We have the Power in ourselves, inherent in our inmost Being, to overcome them if we will only let it. I had an experience when a young girl that seems rather aptly to illustrate this. I was bathing one morning with a friend, when a larger wave than usual threw me off my feet, and my head went under water. The more I struggled the deeper I sank, while my friend, who thought I was only making fun, stood at a little distance laughing. In my extremity it flashed into my mind that I had once heard that if one lay quite still in the water one's head would come to the surface. I had sufficient presence of mind and mastery over myself to act upon that, and, of course, my head did rise, and I regained my feet. Just so, it seems to me, is it in our struggles with what are called "the waters of affliction," or "the billows of adversity." The more we oppose to them our mere personality the more will we be tossed about, and the deeper will we be submerged.
Let us but recognize that instead of fighting against anything, we are to cease our struggles, bring ourselves into harmony with the Law, act with it and trust it, and in every instance the force of this all-conquering Power will lift us right above our troubles and plant our feet firmly on the upward path of Wisdom, Life, and Love. There we may walk securely in the consciousness that we are free with a freedom of which nothing can ever deprive us, because it is eternally at the very root and spring of our Being.