This blog is intended to create a dialogue about learning to receive with grace and ease.

So much has been written about the importance of giving that we forget that in order to give,

someone has to be receiving.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last week I shared a bit of my writing with some fellow authors to get their feedback and suggestions. I read two pages from the introduction of Learning to Receive with Grace and Ease. I opened with a quotation from Wallace Wattles’ The Science of Getting Rich in which he writes, “It is perfectly right that you should desire to be rich; if you are a normal man or woman you cannot help doing so.” Most of the writers seemed offended by this statement, thinking it suggested taking or getting rather than receiving.

I was startled by their reaction. I was introduced to Wattles’ book in a class on prosperity being offered my church. The emphasis is not on getting, because that implies there isn’t enough and I have to strive to get what I need – and my doing so may leave someone else with not enough. The foundation of the workshop and The Science of Getting Rich is that we live in prosperity. This is always more than enough for everyone; it just doesn’t always appear that way.

In reality, it is possible for everyone to be “rich.” Consider that not everyone would define “rich” in the same way. We all don’t want the same things. In addition, if you look around, you’ll see abundance everywhere in nature – oxygen, water, sand, stars, and countless species of plants and animals. You’ll also notice that these life forms are supplied with what they need (unless we humans have upset nature’s balance). I like to remember that Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Don’t be afraid to define what it would mean for you to be rich or to desire it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Do Not Get What You Pray For

I’m finally starting to figure out that I cannot expect to get what I pray for. Over the years, I’ve gotten the impression that prayers do work, although sometimes it may take a while. I suspect there was more to my spiritual teachers’ messages that I was overlooking. The way I now believe it works is this: you do not get what you pray for. You get what you believe you will get.

Jesus actually made this clear on several occasions. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matt 21:22) is one example. Notice the statement starts with the qualifying point. However, being so action oriented in our culture, it’s much easier for most of us to pray than to believe.

Can’t we just keep asking and believe after we’ve received? I’ve tried this approach for years, without much success. Occasionally I have received things I never thought I would. Rev. Lei Lanni Burt explains that there is always more with God. I like to think of these blessings as encouragement from God, because it is easier to believe when we have received in the past.

To receive what we desire, let’s first stop and examine what we believe. When you start a new treatment plan, make a different choice or try something new, are you skeptical? When the results don’t come, do you find yourself thinking, “I knew it wouldn’t work”? If you catch yourself in doubt, spend time considering what thoughts you could hold that would build your belief. You may want to read my blog post from October 10, 2010 – Remember What You Know to help you create your own list of times you have received. Finally, consider making your first prayer one for greater faith.