Sermons and Lectures on Prayer

What makes a sermon great? Why were Edna Lister's sermons and Bible interpretations so wonderful? How did they manage to leave such an indelible mark on those who heard them? She ascended to heights of such joy that her message was undiluted, straight from the Source. Often shocking in their richness and simplicity, you may best savor her sermons and outlines by reading them slowly and aloud.

In addition to Edna Lister's written sermon and Bible interpretation outlines, we have included transcripts of her students' notes wherever possible. We have placed her outlines before the transcripts on any given date, and in many cases they are very different. While the outlines may seem sparse, a transcript of a sermon or lecture is much longer; her sermons were typically thirty minutes and lectures an hour in length. Ponder in the silence, and you may tune into the living record in Divine Mind.

Edna Lister approached God as her intimate personal as well as universal Father and often quoted Tenneyson to express this belief:

The Higher Pantheism
The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains,
Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns?
Is not the Vision He, tho' He be not that which He seems?
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?
Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb,
Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from Him?
Dark is the world to thee; thyself art the reason why,
For is He not all but thou, that hast power to feel "I am I"?
Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest thy doom,
Making Him broken gleams and a stifled splendour and gloom.
Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet –
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.

God is law, say the wise; O soul, and let us rejoice,
For if He thunder by law the thunder is yet His voice.
Law is God, say some; no God at all, says the fool,
For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool;
And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man cannot see;
But if we could see and hear, this Vision – were it not He?
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer, which Edna Lister called "talking to God," is a daily, if not hourly, component of life on the Via Christa. She lectured about prayer and used prayer as the topic in many of her sermons. We have drawn the following papers from her outlines and from transcripts of her students' notes wherever possible. We have arranged them in chronological order, from earliest to latest.

A word of advice: You cannot successfully undertake a full study of prayer unless you include such topics as desire, faith, healing and miracles.

























Your Magnetic Powers

This Edna Lister lecture transcript is dated January 13, 1933. Scriptures: Matthew 6:33, Luke 6:38, Romans 13:10. Scribe: C.A.W. Note: We owe a debt of gratitude to the enthusiastic and determined efforts of a woman, known to us only as C.A.W., who rendered her 1933 notes into a series of typed manuscripts, found among Edna Lister's personal papers. In an attached note, C.A.W. wrote, "To our Most Glorious Leader, Edna Lister: Here are my typed notes, and please do forgive the delay. We all believe that we should publish as many of your lectures as you will permit. No one has ever brought such a message to earth. Please accept this humble offering of service, C.A.W."

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. – Luke 6:38.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. – Romans 13:10
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The basis of prayer, to which you can turn forever, is All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21:22. If you then ask intelligently for anything on earth, the invisible substance of it is in your hand. Do not ask again, but know forever that you already have it. Then release love, thank God that you have it now, and let it become visible. Continue releasing a little more love, and praise without ceasing: "Let it become visible. Open my eyes to see it. Let it come to pass." Pray, believe, and thank God for it.

These three laws apply when we consider prayer: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. – Luke 6:38. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. – Romans 13:10. You can integrate yourself with these laws by declaring, "I am in the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom is within me, and all things else shall be added unto me."

Always take your mind off the world of appearances before offering prayer or healing treatments. Release love always, and know that no matter the appearance of the situation, you are living in the inner kingdom of love. When you have released enough love, which is divine substance, you shall have everything for which you have prayed. Praise condenses divine substance and brings it into visibility.

Now is always God's perfect time to let you have you heart and soul's desire, when you have offered sufficient praise and fervent prayer. Take any setback, whatever it is, on the chin. Separate the blow from your confidence, and examine it. Use every delay and obstacle as a guide, a measuring rod of progress, but always give it to God in prayer.

The Master said, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. – John 14:12. To this law you may add, "if you follow, live by my laws and assume the responsibilities that I did, you become personally responsible." Ever increasing responsibility is the yardstick for measuring your progress in soul conquering.

Take your mind off the world of appearances, always, and release love, which is divine substance, always. Know that you are living in the inner kingdom. When you have released enough love, you shall have everything for which you have prayed. Praise condenses divine substance and brings it into visibility. It is always God's perfect time to let you have anything you want.

Your statements must be both specific and general. Sometimes you may need to speak aloud, and emphatically, which releases the Power more dynamically. Use definite tones of command, intense conviction, and name the person you treat. When thoughts of fear, lack or doubt cross your mind, put more Power, more emphasis into your statements.

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Get on the Receiving End of Life

This Edna Lister lecture transcript excerpt is dated January 23, 1933, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe: C.A.W.

You put up your hands, palms level with your shoulders, to pray because you release love through the heart center. Put up your hands and talk to God: Tell Him how much you love Him and ask Him all about what He is using you to do. Then leave your desires in His hands. With hands held up high, say, "Father, let my very own good appear."

Love is a power, not a sentiment. You first experience love through your emotions and desires, which are subject to the corruption of self and negative experiences. Yet you must send love forth in purity, so lay your desires upon an altar for purification.

When you surrender self to the Power, you may release many other people and their desires. You release love into the world as a vibration and a substance, complete in seven grades. Love goes forth on the wings of Light, and it flows out through your hands, under the law of correspondence, "As above, so below."

You create the forms of your "added things" with the substance that returns to you. What you get in life is what you have created. Declare, "Let Love go forth through every situation. Let it go through every room in every home in the city." The sacrificial fires that you light this way are limitless in their Power to heal.

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How to Talk to God

This Edna Lister Bible study transcript is dated February 1, 1933, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe: C.A.W. Scripture: Matthew 6:6-15.

But thou, 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:6-15.

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. – Matthew 6:6. To close the door to your prayer closet means to be silent. Go straight to the heart of God and shut out every outside influence. You can release more Power if you always use the same place for your silence. You make it yours because you consecrate it.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13.

Acknowledging the Father is the perfect way to begin your prayers. Live today without fretting about tomorrow. Your good shepherd never leads you into temptation, but you must listen for His voice so you may know when to avoid it.

No matter what is happening, do not look sad-faced, disappointed, angry or proud. You can be joyous, without being proud that you have grasped the truth. You must look the part of being a purified, radiant instrument of Light. So, smooth out the lines and creases in your face and clothing to look your best.

Hold fast to the idea that God is your banker and hold onto the vision that He has your treasure as you pour love on it. Let your soul shine. Religion should make your life radiant and beautiful. No one whose hand you have touched can escape from love, ever. You may not see immediate results from the love you pour out on another, but it works anyway, silently and invisibly.

No great or small exists in the kingdom. We are all great in God's eyes. How much love you pour forth determines the time it takes for a miracle to manifest. Grab the needy one by the hand and never let him go. Just continue pouring love on him. Eliminate the negative thoughts, emotions and pictures. Replace them with recognition, acceptance and surrender of self.

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This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated September 26, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 6:1-13.

But thou, 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:6-13.

The Lord's Prayer is a perfect formula, covering each phase of life and every human need. The needs of the now is the predominating idea. Yet what does God get from this? The seed is glorified in the flower. Yet God is glorified in your individual completeness and perfection. Everything the Father has works to your infinite benefit, and is available in limitless supply. Anyone who needs anything, "Let him ask of the Father."

Prayer is the only way out of a confused condition. Under the law of forgiveness in prayer, you can break a vicious circle, and only the evil is destroyed. Prayer lifts everything that comes to you to a cloud continent of Light. Your life is only an expansion of I AM consciousness, an extension of your rational consciousness.

An internal combustion engine uses gas, a steam engine uses coal, and an electric motor uses electricity as power. God has designed your body to burn the fuel of spiritual energy, cosmic rays. If you try to use the worldly energy of human emotions, you dissipate your vigor. The motive power of a "wicked, stiff-necked generation" is selfishness and greed, which produces only stiff necks. Spiritual Power has a refined force, potency and strength.

Scripture says that the "Spirit of God created them," meaning mankind, and Elijah saved a boy when he "breathed into him health of life." You must return to the spiritual filling station for more life. Your refill must be steady, not spasmodic. To keep your tank full, fill up every night with the right kind of Power.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. – James 1:8. We need to be "minute-minded men" in regard to God consciousness. Keep your feed line lifted and connected to the refined Power storehouse. Fasting is the discontinuance of cheap mental and emotional fuels, which can cast you into a "den of thieves" who steal your energy. Going without food makes the body's nervous system more "sensitive." Thus, negativity will seize the body if you are mentally and emotionally negative before you begin. Fast from negatives and whatever earthiness you have indulged that has robbed you of your innate divinity.

Prayer is the application of divine principle. Prayer is to the servant of divine principle what practice is to a musician. First, you must surrender to God in devotion, which is a process of sublimation, of perfecting the self. A successful singer, musician or dancer must practice constantly. Thus, you know that to be successful in prayer, you must "pray without ceasing." The urge to prayer originates in the deepest longings of man's nature. Prayer releases the hidden, inner manna that feeds the soul. A soul praying is like a musician playing a musical instrument.

You must overlook (look over) the problem, step into the fourth dimension, and see God. The ancients believed that the gods loved prayers fervent enough to pull the answer down from heaven. Say, "God, here I am. I'm ready." People let too many "little tin gods" block the way of effective prayer.

Ordinary prayer is like going begging every time you want something. At the end of a day, a beggar has only small change to show for his effort. Your true portion is all that the Father has. A doctor told a woman, "There is no hope. Only God can save you." She said, "Oh! Has it come to that?"

You need more than nickels, dimes and quarters. Declare, "My portion is all that the Father has now, available for me to draw upon." Speak the Lord's Prayer through once, without letting go of God-consciousness, and you will receive complete illumination.

Prayer is the magic, and prayer is your luck. Prayer gives you the will to stand still long enough to "let" the Power move forth and create. Wisdom and strength belong to the brave heart. Declare that all delay is good, and a greater door will open.

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Living the Inner Life

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated October 21, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 6:5-15.

But thou, 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:6-15.

Prayer deals with the soul's inner life. Prayer is how the embodied soul communicates with God, the Source of All That Is. Hypocrites embrace two extremes: They love the limelight, but are afraid to be seen in some places or doing certain things.

The Lord's prayer lists several things not to do, for example, do not waste time in mouthing vain repetitions. The Father knows your needs already, and is eager to supply all recompense.

The Lord's prayer also lists some steps to take: Maintain secrecy to avoid being caught doing good. When your pride and ego are no longer on display, others will offer no reaction or interference, for they will find nothing to resist or to overcome.

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The Prayer of Faith

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated December 28, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 24:36-49.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. – Luke 24:36-49.

What is prayer? What is faith? Your prayers rise to God and the answers return to you as the rain of the spiritual substance of faith precipitated into the outer realm. How? In what substance? Ice, water, vapor, and steam, are all varying degrees of the one element, water, which is a substance. The body, too, is composed of the one substance of God.

You can do only two things to substance, you may raise or lower its rate of vibration. When you are sick, the body substance has been lowered too far in its rate of vibration. Healing then is raising the rate of vibration of the body's substance.

Trespasses (transgressions) and sins (disobedience to law) "kill" the body's vibration until you must resurrect it. You can do this only by lifting and raising its rate of vibration. The last enemy you meet in life is fear of death. To "tarry in Jerusalem," which is the City of Peace, the garden at the heart center of Being, symbolizes raising the body's rate of vibration.

Alchemy is the art of transmuting base metal into gold. As a spiritual alchemist, you transmute the cells of your body also into perfect form. A bulb, planted in earth's darkness, only needs abundant Light to coax it into growth. Working to remold the body is fascinating, and changing it is delightful. Your task is to make it to shine, to radiate, to overcome death.

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Prayer: The Broad Highway

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated May 15, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 3:14, Galatians 3:13-29 and Jeremiah 23:35-36.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 3:14.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. – Galatians 3:13-29.

Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken? And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. – Jeremiah 23:35-36.

Prayer is the soul's aspiration voiced. Aspiration is an awakened desire toward God, toward the good and perfection. You must accept God's promises as applying to you. Acceptance is conversion, the revelation of the indwelling divinity. To "put on Christ" is becoming aware of truth, which is not new.

Acceptance is also implied in the principle of nonresistance, which encompasses Christ's Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. Power, life, and strength are all yours to use when you have done away with the old desires, thinking and imagination.

Prayer is intimate communion with God. Communion implies a two-way circuit, sending and receiving, receiving and sending. You give and receive during your prayer communion. Words are first ideas and thoughts, which you must work to interpret in the present as words. Thought is the medium between the idea and the Word. Your thoughts must partake of the truth of reality, which includes the realization and recognition of the Eternal.

Develop the habit of right thinking, and using the right words. When you develop the habit of right thinking, you will always speak the right words. Every man's word shall be his burden. – Jeremiah 23:36, so make your words as buoyant as a balloon.

Prayer can move or remove mountains when you fast from habits of thinking and using negative words. Opinions distort vision, like looking through dirty glasses. Faith cleanses the lens of your perception into perfection. Prayer is like a broad highway from a city to a distant estate with a walled vineyard. This is your heavenly workroom for prayer. The wall surrounding it is omnipresence, which you maintain in good repair through God consciousness and prayer.

As you draw closer, you see that what appeared as picture perfect from a distance is not. The vineyard is filled with weeds, brambles and nettles, but the vines are still there. It takes hard work, but you dig out the weeds. Earth life is like a broad highway to a vineyard, which you have made and kept. If you forget to use the vineyard, you settle down at the side of the road, stagnant, leaving your vineyard unprotected.

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How to Pray

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated May 16, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 6:38.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. – Luke 6:38.

Prayer is a state of being, of communion, and devotion, the intelligent desire to communicate with our Father-Mother God. You pray with treatments, asking and receiving. You receive from God after you have praised to express your thankfulness and gratitude. You can give treatments while you are sitting, standing or lying down, by releasing Power and lifting, but remember to lift your hands to God when you ask.

Why pray at all? The law is, "Give and you shall receive." If no current stirs the water, it becomes stagnant. A becalmed ship is worthless. Souls who allow themselves to become becalmed are worthless to themselves and to the world. When a ship spreads its sails, it slips swiftly, smoothly through the water. If even one sail is gone, the ship drifts off-course. When you spread the wrong sails, life's winds toss your ship around.

A ship's captain knows every sail and what it will do. You have three sets of foundation sails on each side to balance your faithfulness and steadfastness, your hope and patience, your gracious giving and receiving. Your heart sails include purity and sacrifice, desires and compassion, meekness and courage. The imagination sails are pictures and tolerance, justice and right, truth and appreciation.

Love is your top sail, the highway to entering the Seven Degrees: Neophyte, Disciple, Adept, Mystic, Master, Priest, and Christos. It's a long, hard path up to Calvary to attain the Messiah's mantle, the highest degree of self-mastery. Pray your way to the Messiah's mantle. A Messiah is one Disciple who is chosen to give a new added message to the world. Obedience to laws, keeping your vows of silence, developing and expressing the virtues leads to mastery.

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The Lord's Prayer

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated October 13, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Matthew 6:9-13.

But thou, 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:6-13.

The Lord's Prayer, which Jesus taught, is known as the "Prayer of the Law." It contains all the steps you need to make your prayers legal.

"Our Father who art in heaven" acknowledges that God is everywhere evenly present, of all things, of all ways, in all places, meaning that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Heaven is harmony, and hell is disharmony, or a lack of knowing truth.

"Hallowed be Thy name." The Lord's name is I AM THAT I AM, which is blessed, sacred and sainted. To sanctify or consecrate someone or some thing is to make it holy, to honor God.

"Thy kingdom come" must be restated as "Thy kingdom is come," for it has. The kingdom is here, now. What is the kingdom? It is "all things added."

Similarly, "Thy will be done" must be restated as "Thy will is done." God's will is Wisdom beyond dreaming. You must disintegrate the old to prepare a way, a place to rebuild in perfection.

"On earth as it is in heaven." Earth is the outermost level of expression. Earth's expression brings your life's lessons, wherein you learn how laws work.

"Give us this day our daily bread." You must forget tomorrow's needs and use all that the Father gives you today.

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." How have you forgiven, grudgingly or lavishly? Your prayers and their "tone" must reflect "as we have forgiven."

"Lead us not into temptation" means that law reacts perfectly, bringing your needed lessons until you are a perfected creator god.

"Deliver us from all evil" refers to seeing or declaration of any darkness at all, such as, "Oh! That's just awful!"

"Thy kingdom come," the song of God, unbound, unfettered, free. "Thy will is now done." The Kingdom is Thine. The Power is Thine. The glory is Thine. This outlines the proper method of prayer.

The Lord's Prayer, is a model prayer that covers four great phases of life: Supply, forgiveness, deliverance from the reaction of law, and praise. What is prayer? It is to identify, to discover, to realize, and to know. Prayer is then a state of consciousness of being a Christed one, always remembering that identity, and having a conscious identity with God. Prayer is man's highest thought, and a treatment.

The first necessity is to assume the proper approach to prayer, which is the attitude of a conqueror. Prayer takes you into the fold, where the sheep are protected, which is a reason for giving up concern with the outer. Prayer leads to sublime and triumphant glory. This is your compensation. The happiness of the outer world is pallid by comparison to this victorious spiritually glowing joy.

Abraham Lincoln ruled his life by the Lord's Prayer. James Russell Lowell said, "There is dynamite enough in the New Testament, if illegitimately applied, to blow all our existing institutions to atoms." The Lord's Prayer creates intelligence and truth, material and spiritual, receptivity.

The true pattern of the Lord's Prayer is not easy, since easy things are boring. The possible bores us. The impossible is a challenge. The Lord's Prayer reveals the glory of God in man.

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Flaming Desire

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated May 26, 1941, Great Falls, Montana. Scripture: Job 22:22-28.

Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. – Job 22:22-28. This text says that for God to answer your prayers, you must receive the law, make your prayer, and pay your vows. What you decree will then be established.

The Master said, "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." – Luke 11:9-10, which means that the kingdom is free to all who desire.

The Father's pleasure is to give. As the Master said, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." – Luke 12:32.

The Master has chosen you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. – John 15:16.

Yet you must ask in faith, without wavering: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. – James 1:5-6.

You must approach God with a clean heart and clean hands: Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. – 1 John 3:22.

You may have perfect trust in God: This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. – 1 John 5:14.

The River of Life, which is Light, is flowing into and through you twenty-four hours a day. Everyone is alike in this experience, yet what do you take into it? The Holy Breath is pure Light, but if you color it with negativity, you receive no benefit as it flows through you. You send it forth as dark clouds, or as Light, Light, Light. Declare, "I now agree and adjust to the Light above, under all conditions."

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The Glorious Unity of Prayer

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated March 23, 1947, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: John 17.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. – John 17.

A prayer is action, and all about doing. Jesus' prayer is filled with so much action. Imagine the universe filled with principles only, but no personality. Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come." How beautifully he gave us our relationship with God as our Father, a personality and the principle of Light. So many simple statements reveal his closeness with the Father. "The glory which I had with You before the world was," and "I came forth from You," are traces of an intimate history. This is the perfect sample of prayer as an intimate approach to God, including praise, giving treatments, silence and communion.

First, your approach must include praise that is filled with gratitude and expressions of your thankfulness. No prayer is complete without a sense of unity and oneness with God. When Jesus said, "O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was," he was asking to be given the perfect words of praise. Praise opens every vibration on a high creative keynote. Obedience is your basis for praise that ascends to God as incense. Praise your family first. You cannot send your parents or children back to the manufacturer, but you can praise them to make your experiences with them pay dividends.

All prayer treatments must begin with the magic Word, "let." Lift everyone and everything onto a cloud continent of Light and let the Power move through. This is pure love. The love you give returns to you and builds your bridge over the next abyss. Your prayer treatments to "sanctify" those for whom you pray, sanctify you in turn. Consecration means "to endow with authority, to bring under law." Sanctification comes only through giving, and results in the release of pent-up Power. You find that you must take in metaphysical laundry and scrubbing. Even darkness pays dividends when you lift its cause and effects and let Light do the work.

Jesus prayed for "those who will believe in me through their word; that they all may be one … I in them, and You in me; that they may be made perfect in one." This is prayer to enter the golden silence. To know that you are one with God is to comprehend, to understand. To "be still and know that I AM God" is to open your spiritual eyes and ears. Your ears may hear, but you listen to God with your brain cells. To live without entering the silence is like the parents who lived in a twenty-room house with twenty children, but had everyone sleep in one room. Move up in consciousness, clean your spiritual windows and use your soul faculties.

The quality of your praise determines the heights to which your prayers can ascend. Praise sets the creative keynote for your soul work in the silence. Praise everything anyone has ever said. Look for the darkness in any situation or expression, for that is your prayer point of contact with God. You are in the world to serve God by lifting and letting His Power move on your words of praise. Do not weep about what someone said. Lift it up, onto a cloud, and make it pay dividends. This how you can get more from prayer. Make the darkness people present to you a high point of glory, then hold your point of glory.

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Jesus' Prayer of the Ages 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 27, 1947, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 17.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. – John 17.

Since we learned about breaking the sonic barrier, we realize that the way to reach God in prayer is to move up in consciousness. We must accelerate our faith. The doubters and scoffers asked questions to trip Jesus, to prove him wrong. Those who were sincere asked him, "How can we do the works of God?"

If you accept Jesus as the Way-shower, you must accept that his words had special mystical meaning. We share the Hebrew Kabbalistic numerical meaning of his answers and messages to prove the hidden meanings within the King James Bible. In the New Testament, you find only new mysteries unfolded. Each teacher presents a different phase.

Each prayer represents a life approach. Using the intellectual approach, you do not demand answers. Using the devotional approach, you cannot expect an answer to an argumentative question. Both forms of prayer, intellectual and emotional, go to God. Yet the ideal is to become the comprehension of both methods. As many paths lead to God as the number of souls on earth. Each has an acceptable truth and his own approach. You may not demand that others follow your way.

They said to Jesus, "show us a sign." He answered, "I am the bread of life." He taught us to speak with assurance, candor, brevity and confidence. Say, "I am the bread of life," and mean it. Each embodied soul can stand and declare this with every breath from the Source.

Peter was chosen as the first disciple, and he represents faith. Faith is a symbolic rock. "Upon this rock, I found my church." Faith does not leave out love. The totality of Creation is of God.

The differences in faith stem from the different degrees in the spectrum between consciousness and unconsciousness. Faith is everywhere evenly present. Faith is your number one expression, the outstanding flavor of your life, the seasoning that makes the dish.

An agnostic's disbelief illustrates a vacancy in the head and heart. He is advertising that he has a vacuum, an empty room. An atheist has locked truth in the basement and thrown away the key. Open the rooms, and let faith fill you. Look up in consciousness, breathe, and know that God is your faith.

Self cries, "I must be free!" Soul cries, "I must do the greater works!" The first statement admits that one is a slave. Freedom is not doing things out here, but only freedom of the soul. When you have soul discipline, no earthly power can stand against you.

If you have faith to hold that great wall of Light around you, no one can enslave your soul. They can tell you what to do, but you can stand and say, "I cannot do this. It's against principle for me, and I will have to live with its consequences, not you."

When you talk about it, you are playing with it. You do until you can see the place you occupy this moment as the greatest place ever, and can say, "I am now doing my greater works – now." Where you find yourself now is where to begin your greatest works. You can take off from where you are standing – this is your take-off field.

"I am that bread of life, I AM." The manna in the wilderness was only good for one day, then it spoiled. Fresh manna falls every day. Unless you rub truth in like a liniment, every hour on the hour, you forget where you are and where you are going. God planned that all His children should return home. You must do your share now or you will have to return to earth.

God pushes and entices you, has given you the kingdom of heaven, yet you gripe. Right where you are, someone asks you to do something more. You will enter the kingdom of heaven or get kicked into it, for the River of Life is flowing back to the Source.

Faith is unconquerable. The Master says, "Commit yourself unto me and I shall bring it to pass." Love more greatly. Declare, "I love where I am, and I am at my take-off field now."

Anyone can do what he must do every day, or he is a slave to self. The greatest false god is old age and quitting, going to seed, turning brown and shriveled, and shrinking away. If you want life, you have to live it. Moses was 120 and "his vision was undimmed and his power was unabated" because he lived by the faith of God.

"I AM faith, the faith of God." This is free when you give up all old age ideas. When you quit living with your problem, and live with God, the problem will shrink. If you think of it all the time, you are feeding the problem. When an idea tries to enslave you, use the key, "I AM that bread of life, I AM." For faith is unconquerable. It is that mighty law.

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Jesus' Prayer of the Ages 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated April 27, 1947, Buffalo, New York. Scribe: Ruth Bender Collord. Scripture: John 17.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. – John 17.

Jesus' prayer is proof of God as a personality. The Bible describes heaven as a place, and God as both law and as a Father. Ninety percent of prayer is prayed at God, not to God. When you have a sense of praying to God as a Father, it integrates you in the family of personality. A Father is not someone at whom you direct cold statements of truth or law. These never give you a feeling of closeness or a chance to see your heavenly home.

Prayer is your spiritual life brought into expression. Any love or aspiration is prayer. The act or action of prayer is at first a process, then it becomes an act. To know the act of prayer, you must understand that it has three phases. First, prayer is an intimate approach, not an intellectual statement. Prayer is a communion from the personality of heart to the heart of personality. Second, prayer involves treatments, lifting and letting. Third is the silence, which is the supreme activity of God, not a sitting and waiting.

Prayer is a process of activity. The first key is praise. Tell the Father how great He is and how much you love Him. For instance, darkness is increased by praise of it. Curses increase darkness, therefore praising darkness is cursing. "Do not-ers" do not and do nothing, slacking all the time. "Do-ers" do and work harder all the time.

Praise opens the door to the silence. First you must praise your enemies, the people about whom you imagine and declare criticism and condemnation. Those traits and flaws you criticize and condemn in others, you must work out in yourself. When you become pure poise, pure tolerance, you no longer see less than this in the outer. Peace, patience, tolerance, and compassion come from poised ascension in consciousness.

Second, you must aim all your prayer treatments at giving. First you lift. When you gesture with your hands, you start a vibration. So, you reach out and lift up, saying, "I lift you up into the Light." It may take the material light of distant stars millions of years to come to earth, but when God moves, His spiritual Light emanates instantly. The Light of God finishes what began as a thought or idea in the mind of man.

The lifter's mind sets the keynote of Light. The only way to cut corners and get cash from God's bank is to present the Father with a cashier's check. You write that check according to how much life you think He can spare you. You usually give Him just a teaspoon to fill when you need to fill an ocean. Yet remember, when you center your attention on everything around you, you are no longer God-conscious.

Lift everything, all the time. You can lift everything, your memories of the past, difficult personalities, hard situations onto a cloud and call Light down on them. Thus, you redeem your soul substance. If you lift everything up to God, your lifting lifts you. When you are down or low in consciousness, you know that you have not lifted. Then you must climb onto a cloud yourself and lift everything and everyone onto another cloud. You do the lifting and all the letting. When you have nothing more to lift, you have come up through the rainbow fields of color into the golden silence. You must open the door, step by step.

Then listen for commands and suggestions. You hold this silence by the communion of eyes, ears, and brain cells, which "wait upon the Lord." You cannot reach the golden silence without giving. Declare, "As I lift these governments, these people, I sanctify them in truth." To sanctify is to "set apart as or declare holy; consecrate: to make legitimate or binding by a religious ceremony: free from sin; purify: to cause to be morally right or acceptable." The darkest place you lift is the one that pays you the greatest dividends. Do not ask why. Just lift whatever it is because it is there for you to take the responsibility for lifting it.

The golden silence is the true Light of Shekinah glory, the radiance of God's presence. "He who hath eyes to see, let him see. He who has ears to hear, let him hear" in the golden silence. You must become intimate with God before you can reach the Light. You get out of prayer what you put into it. I can say, "Dear Father, Lord, help me," and it is done. What you put into it determines what comes to you. The greatest amount of darkness that you take time to lift becomes your greatest point of glory. It's not how long you pray, but how hot you pray. If you pray lukewarmly, you will have a spoiled life, just as if you had tried to prepare dinner in a lukewarm oven, no love, no affection, just criticism and pride.

You can completely surrender self with just a single word of praise. In just one word you can turn, lift, let, and dare to say, "I am healed." Have you? No you have not. "Dear Father, move in and possess me. I surrender. Please move in and sanctify them and me higher." When you stand there, in the glory of God, say, "I am healed." – Edna Lister, sermon transcript, April 27, 1947.

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The Chalice of Love

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 23, 1950, Tacoma, Washington; she also used it September 24, 1950, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – 1 Corinthians 13.

Jesus' entire ministry paints a picture of his intimacy with his Father. You cannot be intimate with someone who is "far off," they must be near. Prayer is your only method of gaining this intimacy with the Father: "Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet," as Tennyson wrote. Love is the only fulfilling of this law. Nearness to God means to have a "knowing," and assurance that He is there. Your breathing and inspiration of His Breath of Life measures your nearness to the One God, the Source of Life. "Hands and feet" infer action, expression and execution.

What kind of action draws you near to God? According to the plan written within her, a spider chooses the perfect place to build her web. She makes up her mind and acts. Only death can stop from recreating her web in her chosen place, despite nature or accidents. When others tear down the fabric of your life, do you stop or become more determined to succeed? Your answer reveals the quality of your love.

How can you reach this state of God consciousness? What you gain from your prayers depends not on God, but on your approach. If you center your prayers on "needs" – money, a home, a car, health, harmony, patience, companionship or love – you fill your prayer molds with more needs.

People who say, "I hate my life" seek to avoid life, to escape responsibility. A painting without a beautiful background has no meaning, but is a characterless nonentity. You are the picture in the foreground. How you live life creates your background. You cannot leave your place any more than you can send your parents, family or children back to the manufacturer. How you handle your daily tasks paints the highlights, and you stand out by creating your own beautiful background.

Declare, "I AM close, intimate with God, my Father. I AM a creator of beauty, by faith, hope and love, I AM in love with life, with humanity, my lessons and with God. I love life." Life is your challenge. Love is your answer. You are a chalice, overflowing with "faith, hope, love, these three – but the greatest of these is love."

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And It Came to Pass 1

Edna Lister used this sermon outline April 30, 1950, Tacoma, Washington, September 10, 1950, Buffalo, New York, and August 8, 1955, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-11, Hebrews 11:29-34.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:1-11.

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. – Hebrews 11:29-34.

The Old Testament prophecies and promises all begin with the phrase, "Thus says the Lord," and always, without fail, each is followed by "And it came to pass." What have you asked for, and how have you asked? Is it what you really want? Where are you really headed? How can you know that you have asked for the right thing? Sometimes you do not want what you have asked for when it comes. When the answer to prayer is delayed, you often find that it was not good for you anyway.

Yet you never ask amiss if you "Seek first the kingdom of God." This is why the Proverb says, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And with all thy getting get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7. Is what I want good for the whole world? Can I ask it for everyone alike? Houses, lands, clothes, money? Yes. Can I ask for a man (or a woman) to love? No. It may be the wrong one. Just build a portrait frame, with no face. Leave the right person to God. When "Thy will" is done, "only my own can and shall come to me." Is this what you really want? If you forget what you asked for in three days, you have your answer. If what you are asking stays with you, pursues you until you dream of it, yes.

Act as if you have it now. This means you have to work for it. Most people sit, doing nothing, moments at a time for so many hours a day. Fill the idle moments by practicing paeans of praise, just as the aspiring musician practices his instrument. Where am I really headed? Outward or inward? To succeed, you must head outward, onward and upward. How carefully would you shop before buying your soul's "pearl of great price?"

To rise in soul ascension, you must be Light, all weight and color blended into the Christ Light. For example, before doing fine laundry by hand, you first buy the right soap, and prepare, sorting your items by color, putting them on to soak. You change the water before you wash them, then rinse everything.

Just so, you must sort subconscious hunches from super-conscious intuition, and soak your mind in classes, study, prayer, praise and joy. Seek above. Turn on the heat, turn on the Light. Rubbing removes the stains from your comprehension of truth, cleanses your love and joy. The worse the stain, the more beautiful the item when cleaned. The spiritual waters of the River of Life are always flowing through, rinsing and cleansing. You rinse by giving of love, which rinses all darkness away until only the purified gold of Spirit remains.

You must crucify the self until only soul remains. You can use the cross to hang from in pain, or as a ladder to climb above the world until you are suspended in joy. Every promise shall be fulfilled. Yet you must do the fulfilling with love. Then you shall know, "And it came to pass."

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And It Came to Pass 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated April 30, 1950, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe: Ruth Bender Collord. Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-11, Hebrews 11:29-34.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:1-11.

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. – Hebrews 11:29-34.

"And it came to pass" are the thrilling words that announce a miracle fulfilled. Hebrews 11 is one of the greatest chapters of the Bible, all about miracles through unconquerable faith. To find your miracle, you must first know where you are headed. Will you go outward to the world, inward to the self, toward the little self in the Land of Egypt, or inward to the realm of soul, upward and onward to the Source of all Light?

To receive a miracle, you must arise and expand into the realm of the miraculous. Further, you must ask yourself three important questions: What have I asked for? How have I asked? Is this really what I want? Start by adding the right things to your life. In fervent prayer, ask, "Is this right for me?" If the answer is delayed, do you find that you do not want the miracle when it comes? That is your answer.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33. Is what you are asking for really on your path to God? Will it help you to ascend? Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7. Unless you get understanding along with the wisdom, you will remain unable to learn your lessons going forward. Let go of the world and get God.

Next, ask yourself, How have I asked? In full faith, believing? All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – Matthew 21:22. Do you believe in "Father, let Thy will be done," or do you half-demand or insist on imposing a time limit? The law is, Only mine own can come to me. So, if you use force in demands, you will receive force as your answer to prayer. Build the frame for your miracle, like a painting with only a background and no subject yet. This is how to start building a perfect prayer mold. Permit the self to indulge in no fear. Instead, march onward and upward.

Before you even pray, ask yourself, Is this really what I want? Will what you ask for serve to further your life's plan? Can you use it to serve God? Be harmless as a dove above, and wise as a serpent before the world. To draw up your plan, you need a vivid imagination, rigorously clear thinking, and flaming desire. Acting as if you already have your miracle is imperative, for this is the sum total of unconquerable faith.

Hold the plan in mind constantly. Do not forget your plan, or you will never reach your goal. Each hour today is part of that goal, and every minute opens a new hour. "Forward, onward and upward" is the soul's battle cry. The same Power that you release to vitalize your great plan will also quicken your life's daily little tasks, to make them perfect. You can visualize to vitalize your plan until it pursues you. Let it thrill you, while you nurture it until you dream about it.

Work toward your plan's fulfillment, step by step, acting as if it were complete here and now. For example, say you plan to do hand laundry tomorrow morning: Review your laundry practice right now. First, you shop and buy good soap. Next, you sort your clothes, separating whites from colors. Then you put them on to soak, but change the water before you actually wash them. Adding soap, you begin washing them, rubbing to get any stains out. Finally, you rinse them well before hanging or laying them flat to dry.

Now, imagine you were shopping, seeking for your soul's pearl of great price. You want it so much that you are willing to sell everything you have to buy it. Thus, desire is your first step. Next, sort your subconscious hunches from super-conscious intuition to clarify your thinking. Then soak your soul in classes, books and study while you ponder and listen for the voice of soul guidance. Change the water that's soaking your soul. Let pure spiritual waters flow through you constantly.

Finally, you are ready to rub out the stains, and "Aye, there's the rub." Life rubs off your self-made stickers of self-satisfaction and self-exaltation. The more abrasive, the coarser the initial polisher (teacher), the harder and brighter the final polish will be. Your light will shine. Love is the final rinse. Immerse your self in loving God until no room for darkness exists within your heart and soul. Faith, the pure faith of God is the final accomplishment. Now you are ready to hang your soul up in Light. So, suspend yourself in joy and Light.

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And It Came to Pass 3

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated September 10, 1950, Buffalo, New York. Scribes: Edna Bender and Joan Dinse. Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-11, Hebrews 11:29-34.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:1-11.

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. – Hebrews 11:29-34.

This chapter of the Letter to Hebrews is one of the New Testament's mightiest themes, all about the miracles showered on those who had faith, though it may have been unconscious. Read it often to release Power, to spark your interest in God, and to find new ways to exercise your faith, for "He rewards those who diligently seek Him."

These verses, especially the descriptions of tribulations, prove that early Christian groups had their fair share of nitpickers. They are with us today, too, which is good, because we need them to hold us on track. A life without adversity would allow your flame of faith to flicker and die, yet one chooses to look up to God, while another regards evil or looks at the mud. Yes, life sometimes hurts if you let it, but you can make your personal kingdom into pure glorious Light when you see it and declare it so, for joy about even the smallest miracle brings the next.

Others often depend on your faith to bolster theirs, because the weak lean on the strong. Those who lean on others are always with you, yet to "let your Light so shine," you must do something about it.

The Bible, which is the legacy of humanity's evolution, expresses fundamental divine law as psychological, metaphysical, scientific, philosophical and mystical values. The Master is always releasing more Power, and writing new universal laws on your heart. Do you want to live by the vertical law, I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. – John 12:32, or by the horizontal earth-laws of emergence, maturity and decline?

The future is no place to start, so you step up, give up a little more petty self and begin your true soul ascension. You must learn your lessons here, and everyone should be well along the Path of Ascension by age forty-five. Each may choose his approach to ascension, outward or inward. Yet you cannot find the laws of soul ascension in the outward approach, which seeks in the world and leads to decline. So you begin with Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1.

Science seeks the true Way of Ascension in atomic research, and uses the invisible, supernatural atomic substance of faith. Yet, since the impulses of self fill your path with stumbling blocks and losses, you must unbind your body from earth or regress. "Inward, upward, onward" must be your motto as you expand and arise into the real of the miraculous. Ask yourself, Where am I headed, definitely, positively in the world of people and things? Am I still concerned with what "they" do and say?

"Inward," to the world, means within the self, which leads into the Land of Egypt. So you must seek inward, within the soul, upward to meet God, and onward to the Source. To rise into the Light, you must blend all weight, identity, tone and color into the Christ Light.

Three laws apply to the inward approach to God: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. – Matthew 6:33, which means to get wisdom. You let God do His part, and you do yours. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7. Finally, with all your wisdom, you get understanding, which is comprehension of divine law, learn your lessons and move onward. Love possesses you when you go inward, upward and onward to God.

First, you must ask several important questions: What have I asked for? Seeing the goal is essential, because the answer to prayer gradually condenses as you repeatedly visualize it. You can keep your prayer molds on a cloud of Light, untainted by earth, when your little self no longer hides anything. For example, if you want a new house, build a definite, positive picture of a new home on a cloud of Light and let desire furnish it in beauty. Stop fearing that you lack faith. Faith is complete when you use what you have definitely, positively, with no willfulness or forcing, holding everything in delicate balance.

How have you asked? Have you asked in unwavering faith, nothing doubting, unafraid, or lukewarmly, doubtful and suspicious of God's bounty? Doubt cuts your lines of Light to your goal. Every vibration you are building eventually thins and wears out unless you mentally renew the goal constantly. You must keep your faith burning white hot, your imagination constantly vivid, and your desire flaming.

Do you tell God not to give it to you if it will push you off your path? You have freedom to choose. Do you create delay or interference? Can God trust you? When can you trust yourself? You will trust yourself when you really begin giving up self-pity, grief, doubt and fear of having. You have this distrustful feeling only while you are hiding the little self. God will wipe out any negative expression, if and when you give up the little self that is hiding from high soul.

Have you asked for what you really want? If you forget it, you have one answer. If what you ask for stays with you and pursues you until you dream of it, you will finally act as if you have it now. Nothing is impossible to God, who can and will do anything in time, so you must be unwaveringly steadfast while you act as if you already have it. What you ask for is right for you, if you find that you still want it even if it is delayed.

Have you just bombarded God with petitions? You can pray fervently for three hours a day, but if you are lukewarm the other twenty-one, your neglect catches up with you. Pray when praise, glory and joy fills your heart, and part of your consciousness always remains with your Oversoul, which forever kneels before an inner altar. Declare, "Father, You are the Source of my life. Please, fill my body with Thy substance of atomic energy."

So many people have asked selfishly for thousands of years that they have created a vast debt of worldly force, which someone must conquer and pay. Stop adding to the world's debt with idle words of criticism, blame and faultfinding, which create spiritual debts. Offensive words could lose friends, so you should know the exact meaning of the terms you use. God cannot change law to save anyone, and making excuses is useless since law takes care of everyone impersonally. You will know that the time for the healing has come when the Light you release exalts the enemy.

As a member of God's Elect, you are a volunteer for cleanup service, and He is always working with you to lift earth. Release more Power to remove the obstacles that pose a challenge. You can lift and remake darkened soul substance into Light only by declaring and releasing God's Power. Look up, fill your body with Light, and learn to distinguish between the subconscious and super-conscious voice, for you must know the difference. Let Oversoul illumination cleanse your intuition, which is God speaking to you.

How do you know that what you pray for is right for your ascension, for your loved ones, neighbors or the world? Avoid making the wrong request. For example, demanding the money to pay bills is force, which pulls your consciousness down into the heavy world mind, and returns as accidents, delay and disappointment. Gratitude and praise return to you as abundant miracles. Since your Father's "good pleasure" is to give you what you need, praise, glorify and thank God that you already have the funds you require.

Do you want what you prayed for when it comes? So many people fret and fume on a teeter-totter faith in God's answer to their prayer that they exhaust themselves. Put your plan on a cloud of Light and love it into being, without fuss or worry. No matter how much you pray, all you can do is prepare the way for Power to use you and manifest your plan. Success comes when you have loved enough, and your plan's Power and glory haunt you. Those who "know better" than God may try to bypass divine law or take a shortcut to get what they want. You can have your way every time, if it is God's way.

You shop for the right detergent to launder good clothes, and buy the best brand, even if it's not on sale. Shouldn't you be as choosy about your soul cleanser? The Master said to sell everything you have for the pearl of great price, including the dirty soul robes that the little self throws on your mental closet floor.

First, sort your vices, laws and virtues, culling white intuition from colored subconscious hunches and impulses of self. Knock on God's door for illumination if you are unsure. Soak your ideas about classes, books and studies to loosen the stain of false ideas from the truth, while you ponder and listen.

Now comes the "rub." You agitate your clothes to remove the stains, and God must disturb you, too. Life is just one group of people, good, bad and indifferent, honest and cheats combined, agitating another. Life rubs off your self-made stickers of self-satisfaction and self-exaltation. The harsher the scrubbing, the finer and brighter the final polishing for perfection.

Light pours in when you ascend in consciousness. You would not rinse your clothes in the dirty wash water, so imagine intuition as the Word of God pouring clean love-water into your brain cells. Law is already clean, perfect and creative. Let the waters of divine Spirit wash and rinse you. Atomic energy enters to possess and heal you into perfection when you give your body and mind for Light's use. Say, "God created me for His law to use." Hang everything up in the Light, and suspend your self in joy to dry.

No matter where you go, you take your self along. Why take "little me?" You can invite your Oversoul to descend to be you. Wear Light like a beautiful new garment, a magnetic robe of protection. Beauty is the living soul expressing the true glory of God, who is waiting to use you. Be joyous that God must fulfill His promises to His beloved Elect.

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My Soul Has Wings 1

Edna Lister used this sermon outline December 3, 1950, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Acts 12:1-17.

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. – Acts 12:1-17.

This story of how Peter was freed from prison by an angel is all about the Power of faith and prayer without ceasing. When the miracle of deliverance came to Peter in the form of an angel, he thought he was dreaming. His people, his devoted supporters, who had been praying continually, thought he was a "ghost," a "spirit," or an "angel."

You may be tempted to think, "What has such a story to do with me?" Each person is bound by chain to two soldiers, whose names are World Ideas and World Economics. World ideas include such thoughts as "I'm too old. It's too late. What will they/What do they think of me?" So you are bound with chains to prejudices, opinions and your own pride on one side. World economics includes beauty, happiness and devotion in chains, love on crutches, faith crucified and hope buried. If you do not believe this, witness the world today, held in bondage to war, violence and strife.

How do you break free from the chains of bondage? An old story tells of an eastern potentate who had four sons, and a grand vizier, Yusef, who was his chief adviser. When the king died, his will commanded each of his four sons to choose one portion and all the responsibility that went with it. He left everything else to Yusef, his favorite and powerful slave, whom he had raised and who had always carried out his orders, a man trusted and feared.

The oldest son chose the palace, throne and province that included the capital city and its wealth, enough to maintain it. The second son chose the summer palace, second in size only to the capital. It included orchards, farms, servant and enough wealth to maintain it. The third son chose a province to rule, with its own vast wealth. The youngest son was a stripling of sixteen years, untried and innocent, whom his brothers thought would ask for a horse or some silly thing. He chose Yusef, and all else was added. How does this relate to you?

To "fight and struggle" is the hard way of the creature. Seek ye first the kingdom of God; and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33. When you choose God, an angel of the Lord always calls you to follow the Way of the Creator, where everything you need is added. God has enough and to spare for each of His sons and daughters. I choose "I AM THAT I AM," the whole, all. This is the Way of the Creator. It is your choice. Some choose worldly fame, wealth and honors, others prefer martyrdom, invalidism or poverty, but all choose. The question is, do you choose consciously or unconsciously?

Indifference and lukewarmness are choices. Only a few choose God and the pathway of the soul, conquering and becoming. No longer are you in bondage to the world, a handmaid of doubt and fear, a slave in chains of lukewarmness and indifference, shackled by opinion and prejudice. You need no crutches, are no longer a crucified martyr, and hope is resurrected. How do you hold to this choice? Declare, "I am in love with life, strength, glory, Power and Light. Life is my challenge. Love is my answer. I am intimate with God. I am in love with God! He is my upholding faith, my foundation of hope. He is the source of my life, my creative substance. I am a collaborator with God. And because I love Him so, my soul has wings!"

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My Soul Has Wings 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated December 3, 1950, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Acts 12:1-17.

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. – Acts 12:1-17.

Herod had killed James, and imprisoned Peter. His loved ones had heard and gathered at John Mark's home, to pray without ceasing. An angel of the Lord, shining with great Light came, to Peter in prison. He awakened Peter, and the chains fell from his hands. He ordered, "Follow me," and they went forth. The story of Peter is so human. Like him, you may be bound with chains between two soldiers, whose names are World Ideas and World Economics.

Peter knew his group was praying, yet when the miracle happened, he was so shocked he could not believe it till he was out on the street, free. He said, "Now I know of a surety." He came to the house of Mary, mother of John. All tests and parables written are meant to help you in daily life. God is always with you. He never sent anyone to earth with an idea without providing the agents to finance it. Yet to realize the vision, you cannot be weak, doubting or fearful.

Some people make endless statements and prayers, yet say, "I can't afford it." Fears about money, job, health, time, etc., are all chains that hold you in bondage. World ideas all pick at your emotional pin feathers and conflicting desires. World economics deals with your mental life, your will power and intellectual concepts. You must lift desire and will in the first marriage of the Lamb to become I AM consciousness, to travel from the Gates of Light into the city of New Jerusalem for the second marriage of Lamb. It marks the difference between the creature stage and the creator.

If you forget to agree with the adversary or someone hurts you, you feel self pity. Remembering all the laws is still difficult. Just one law takes you up, out of the dry rot of self. You will be pushing up daisies at the end if you just spend your time sitting and talking versus doing.

Legend has it that a great Eastern potentate ruled the known world, from jungles to desert wastes, all lay at his command, endless wealth, jewels, slaves. He had four sons, and a slave named Yusef, whom he had raised and who was his administrator and executed all his orders. When the ruler died, he left a peculiar will. The three oldest sons were strong, but the youngest was an innocent youth. The will allowed each his choice of one thing in kingdom and all that went with it, and everything that remained went to Yusef.

The first son chose the throne because it contained the wealthiest province. The second son chose the summer palace, second only to the winter city. The third son chose the third province in size, but half the gold was there. The fourth son chose Yusef. With Yusef came untold wealth. Then the other three sons, who had laughed at him, wished that they had chosen Yusef. Some people choose wealth, but martyrs choose poverty and to escape from responsibility. What passes as their motivation is nothing more than indifference and lukewarmness.

You could emulate the Yusef idea, saying, "I choose God, all His power, faith, atomic energy, and wealth of ideas." He holds everything else in the hollow of His hands. If you choose God, what will you get out of it? God is a cause. Every cause has an effect, according to kind and degree. Illumination and intuition form the I AM consciousness. At the worst, most difficult point in life, you can declare, "I choose God." The miracles will begin to pile up because you are no longer a slave to fear, no more living with crutches.

I am become rich, I have found me out substance. – Hosea 12:8. Joy and hope are resurrected. With bonds cast off, your soul has wings and you begin to ascend to health, alive and alert with new ideas. You move from the creature class of bondage to self to the creator class, away from the Land of Egypt, which would drag you back to worldly ways. Herod represents despair, self pity, pride, condemnation, resentment, doubt, fear, and being the slave of darkness.

Ascension carries you on light feet into a sphere of Light that mops up world darkness behind it. Thus, you are an ascended soul with a body, ascending. Even the creature who needs only to eat, sleep and mate will eventually develop patience. The creator declares, "I am one with Living God. I arise. I ascend into the heart of the fire. I have chosen God and all His kingdom."

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Aspiration and Prayer

Edna Lister used this sermon outline May 31, 1953, Buffalo, New York, and June 7, 1953, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – 1 Corinthians 13.

Aspiration means "to aspire, to desire earnestly." An aspiration is a goal. You can go no farther than the height of your aspiration, or become any greater than your aspiration. Without aspiration, you have no further need to do anything. Instead, you are "virtuous," filled with smugness, and self-satisfaction.

Prayer comes in several stages or degrees of effectiveness. Mental prayers make one a ceiling bumper, or a cloud climber. You can pray from your hair roots, from the ceiling, on clouds or before thrones. Yet you must move from the mental to the spiritual, from demanding to letting.

True prayer is a yearning toward something or some personality greater than the self. You need someone personal to receive your prayers. Prayer is "worship of" and "devotion to." You can have devotion to principle without yearning, but principle is usually not enough. Who was ever able to yearn over law? Principle can satisfy some souls, but not everyone.

No prayer is successful without aspiration. Aspiration means to be resurrected from old ways of being into new life. Prayer is how you ascend in consciousness. Love is the key to successful prayer. When your prayers are love-filled, you have miracles every hour.

You must love something enough, and may choose between God and the world. Most people love to possess, but you cannot afford selfish love. We all need generously giving Mother love. When a mother shares a pie among five family members, she may choose to take a piece herself or to take none at all.

A mother who takes no piece is short-changing herself and the souls of her entire family. If she takes no piece, her sacrifice is invisible, for no one ever sees what you do not do. A mother who takes only a small piece of pie lets her family see the ensample of a sacrifice, provided she speaks not a word about it, which would defeat the whole purpose.

Love fulfills Wisdom, which is the basis of all law. Love is neither sentimental nor weak. Love is the strongest thing in the universe, yet gossamer light, no burden to carry. Grief and sorrow add weight, and self is the heaviest thing in the world. Nothing can stand in love's way, and nothing can resist its flow.

When you add action to your love, you move it into the "to do" stage, where it becomes universal and all powerful in your life. Joy is the action needed. You can reach your goals by aspiring to joy consciousness. Through joy you become. Joy is love in action. Do you believe this?

Love is a compound of joy, devotion and the Mother Love of God. Love is timeless and measureless. Some speak of selfish or unselfish love, which is a false comparison, for no self may taint love or it is no love at all. When love possesses you, you become timeless, measureless, infinite and limitless in unconquerable faith. Faith is atomic power. Faith is substance, nourishing, sustaining, renewing, and creating energy in the body.

Prayer of faith is desire to reach the golden silence, a state of joyous devotion. Joy is the moving activity of all fulfillment. From aspiration, which is a yearning, you move to fulfillment, resurrecting your aspiration, and ascending to joy in prayer.

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Prayer, the Soul's Aspiration

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated June 7, 1953, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Margaret Pratt Doan and Ruth Johnson. Scripture: Matthew 6:6-13.

But thou, 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:6-13.

Aspiration means "to desire earnestly to do, to pursue something, to attain a goal." The first expression of life and the first movement in civilization must be an aspiration. To attain any goal, you must aspire, and your aspiration inevitably brings you to that goal.

You cannot advance, achieve or express life without aspiration. You cannot become any greater than the goal you aspire to, or go farther than the height of your aspiration. Without aspiration, one feels no need to do, but is filled with self-exaltation, self-satisfaction and "virtuous" smugness. Such a person is a square peg in a round hole, unhappy unless he can force everyone to do things his way.

The soul's aspiration is rooted in desire. Aspiration toward attaining a greater goal than what you have ignites the flame of desire. The body's death begins when the soul's aspiration dies. So, first you must desire and aspire to possess something, then put enough flame in your desire to do what you must do.

Prayer is the soul's aspiration vocalized, in many stages of desire, beginning with the savage who worships a stone or a fetish. People pray in many ways, but valid prayer must be free of self. The psychological and metaphysical grades of prayer are usually demands on God – "I want. Give me" – but "skull bumping" aspiration ascends no farther than your hair roots.

At the intellectual level, you find the "Christ is within me" type who has devoted himself to principle, which is a valid approach to God, but is still demonstrating. He demonstrates the right behavior if God continues to answer his prayers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"Ceiling bumper" prayers are nothing more than mental statements of principle, law or fact that contain no love, aspiration or devotion, yet here you begin to see a goal greater than self. Next come the "cloud climbers," those who do see a goal greater than self. They devote themselves to principle, so they climb the ladder to the clouds, one rung at a time.

You need to know that someone is on the other end to hear your prayers. Belief in God as just principle alone does not open the floodgate of Light. Who can hunger for cold principle? When you add personality to your conception of God, you ascend the ladder of Light and law to seek the throne above.

Aspiration is a resurrection from the old to the new, born of a burning desire to know that God, as a Father, unlocks the Gates of Light. To open the floodgates, seek and listen for the Master's knock at your "door" at the crown of your head. After you accept that the Father yearns over you, your aspiration becomes passion to become and to do, which brings you to the love of God. Now you compose your prayers in joy and devotion to God as personality. You yearn for God, the world, including family, friends and organizations.

The Lord's Prayer is our ensample of prayer for all ages, and covers the great avenues of life. When you yearn for more truth, you step from resurrecting the old to ascending to the new, and ascension becomes a constant act. Yet no ascension is possible without the compound of joy and love, a longing, devotional attitude toward God who is that dependable principle. The all-encompassing feminine principle of love is taking us home to God.

Love is the glory in your soul, as joy is the energy in your body. Love is Light, the strongest element in the universe, yet so gossamer light that you may bear it without feeling a burden. Emotions of grief, sorrow and self-pity taint love with the weight of self, and self-pity is the heaviest burden in the world. And you can misuse love. For instance, possessive mother love squeezes the loved one to death. So you must add the divine principle of action to the full love of God to express love in the outer.

Joy is the great activating factor. Joy, Love and Wisdom are the trinity from which all laws manifest. Joy is energy as love in action that fires your enthusiasm and makes you conquer worldly challenges. Love is joy in action. Your prayers ascend to God's throne when you aspire to reach the Source of Light to supply your answers. Joy in action amalgamates your devotional love of God, your aspiration and goal become one, to be an instrument to release joy.

Resurrect all good, forgetting the old as you balance aspiration with joyous prayer and love. Almighty Power returns over the line of devotional love you have built to God's throne, and you become the servant of all Power and Light, according to your physical capacity. You no longer measure your aspiration in prayer, which now partakes of unconquerable faith's timeless, measureless quality. Faith is atomic substance and energy, the Holy Spirit's transforming Power stepped down to use you because you have become a sun center of Light.

You do not consider your acts as selfish or unselfish, but become that limitless quality of unconquerable faith, "the substance of things hoped for." Faith fills your mental body atoms, nourishing and sustaining physical cells to renew and recreate them. The Light goes before you as the Spirit of the Lord. The same Power that creates also can destroy form. Reach to the Source and stand when a challenger causes you tummy butterflies. Ascend to the Father and declare him perfect, and that God moves through to possess him.

Almighty Power is the Holy Spirit, which answers all prayer, from lowest to highest. Step into the Source of Supreme Light and limitless Power and let it use you according to God's perfect will. Joyous activity will fulfill your success and take you to your goal. Aspire greatly.

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Aspiration and Prayer 1

Edna Lister used this Bible study outline June 19, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14.

To aspire is "to desire, to aspire after, to do something active about it." You aspire toward a goal, a mark, a prize, and can go no farther than the height of your aspiration. You can become no greater than the point where your aspiration ceases, for you create a sonic barrier, a ceiling too thick to penetrate. When you have no further need to seek after, no need to "do," old age sets in, whether you are ten or eighty. Those who have no aspiration have a closed mind. They know enough, are smug in their present knowledge, self-satisfied and self-virtuous.

What has prayer to do with aspiration? Prayer is the jet fuel that powers your spiritual aircraft through the sonic barrier. True prayer consists in a yearning toward something greater than the self, and more, something greater than you can find in the world. Prayer has many stages, from lukewarmness to the white point of heat, and many states of consciousness.

A jet cannot fly without fuel. As in the physical world, your prayers can ascend no higher toward the Source than the yearning, burning degree of desire under them. Wishing, wanting and hoping are not enough. You need burning hot desire, flaming, sparkling imagination and some action of belief that can attain to white heat. You must "believe to see," for seeing to believe will trap you at the lukewarm degree.

You can offer no high prayer without aspiration, or attain fulfillment of your aspirations without prayer to give them their foundation and power. Aspiration is resurrection from a low vibration, and prayer is ascension to a state of joyous ecstasy.

Love is the expression of true prayer, which forges the strongest lines of gossamer Light in the universe. Love God enough to penetrate your personal sonic barrier into a joy that is Power in action, into faith unconquerable, a place of miracle after miracle, miracle upon miracle, an ever-ascending goal.

To apprehend is to fully understand. "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind" love enough, "reaching forth to those things which are ahead," your new goals and aspirations. Press on without lagging or dawdling, with active faith and love, using joy to attain the prize, beauty, health and perfection in all ways.

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Aspiration and Prayer 2

This Edna Lister Bible study transcript is dated June 19, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe: Ruth Bender Collord. Scripture: Philippians 3:12-14.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14.

This declaration, "One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," expresses the comprehension that a vibration does precede you.

No one is a failure if he continues aspiring toward a goal. Your achievement consists in ascending to your aspiration. You must see a greater goal to achieve. First, you must have an aspiration, then you must empower it. When you "know" too much or better than everyone else, you die out at the top.

Prayer is the jet propulsion of your life. Prayer is the Power behind your aspiration. You cannot expect to get results until you go beyond your "sonic barrier" in prayer. This requires ascending to your faith. Look toward something that is greater than self.

Your state of consciousness is your composite of thinking, feelings and the imaginary pictures you build at the time. Your life is all an externalization of that in which you place your faith. You need the right pictures to create a new set of records.

Do not curse what you do not want, but bless it. A psychological law is that you may not be negative about anything, a character trait, person or situation, and have it turn out right. It is not what the position does for you, but what you do for the position.

This is your life, and you can do what you choose. Even God Himself cannot help you or get inside if you shut Him out. To comprehend life is to move up from the old state of consciousness and create a new outline for living. Use your mind and control your thinking, command imagination, and build the right pictures.

This one thing I do now, forgetting those things which are behind. – Philippians 3:13. Can you imagine a cowboy dragging a dead carcass from winter through spring and summer? Create an imaginary cloud, up there, with a bonfire on it. Put all your past trouble, blame, grief and hurt feelings in it. Do not bury them in the subconscious, but burn them in Light. Put your past in this burial ground of Light and free your brain cells for the beauty of the present.

Bring up all your lines of Light, extending to other people, and love enough. Declare, "I reach forth for those things which are new." Ascend to that place in consciousness where Paul was. Set up the good in imagination, for strength, to do more than you ever did before. The "high mark of the calling of God" is to make of your body into what He created in the beginning, more beauty and strength. Aspiration can move out to do this on your prayer.

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Prayer and Healing

Edna Lister used this Bible study outline September 21, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: Matthew 6:33, Matthew 12:36.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33.

I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. – Matthew 12:36.

In all prayer and in every need for healing treatment, begin with Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33. When you seek the Father, you will inevitably reach Him when your desire and love burn hot enough to bridge the abyss.

Thy will be done. – Matthew 26:42. In praying for yourself and for others, you must get self out of the way. You can do so easily by declaring, "Father, let thy will is done in me and in all my affairs." Use rhythmic declarations, such as "I rejoice and am glad," in three groups of three, in other words, repeated nine times.

Raise your hands high above your head when declaring the first set. Hold your hands palms up, cupped to repeat the second set. This fills you with Light. Finally, hold your hands, palms turned inward, level with your ears. This consecrates you, body and soul, to healing prayer.

To declare, "I AM THAT I AM," without sufficient preparation, would release more Power than you could direct and control. The resultant force would knock you down on its return. Other I AM declarations will help to build up your rate of vibration to undertake healing work. You may wish to recite the following declaration three times each:

"I AM that Wisdom, I AM. I AM that Love, I AM. I AM that Word, I AM. I AM that Harmony, I AM. I AM that Joy, I AM. I AM that Strength, I AM. I AM that Health, I AM. I AM that Good, I AM."

I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. – Matthew 12:36. Watch your words. To say, "Don't forget," is idle, but to say, "Please remember," is acceptable. Wait until the right time to tell anyone anything. Speak gently. Walk softly. Use wise silence and golden speech.

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Agreeing with God 2

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated October 14, 1955, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Matthew 5:25.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. – Matthew 5:25.

The "enemy" idea presupposes that some adversary exists outside of you, not within your own consciousness. This, in fact, is untrue. The first place to look for the enemy is within the self.

The first law in ascension of consciousness is to accept everything that comes as something that the Father is depending on you to lift into the Light, or to fill with Light, if the thing is evil. You agree with God that all things are good, even the evil and the stinkers. Their substance is God's and is perfect.

When you have agreed with God that this is good, you will find it a simple matter to adjust to the peculiarities, inanities and downright nastiness of your fellow man. Even the evil ones you may meet are nothing more than fuel for the fires of your ascension.

People ask, "How do I lift?" The simplest approach is to think of lifting as a game of "Pretend." Imagine that you see the person on a cloud of Light, kneeling before an altar. Or imagine yourself sitting in a beautiful garden, filled with Light and the most gorgeous flowers, whatever you think makes a perfect garden. First, fill your prayers with praise. Then declare,

"I AM now enfolded in the heart of a sphere of Light. I AM now touching this innermost Power. This Power goes forth to accomplish, to fulfill my decrees. This Light is divine, complete, all-seeing, all-knowing. Let me be fully surrendered for this Power to use. I am now open to receive full illumination."

Now decree perfection of healing for all those whom you have lifted. Preface each decree with "Let."

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The Point of No Return 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated December 15, 1957, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Luke 3:1-6.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. – Luke 3:1-6.

The world waits to have a "way to heaven" made plain and practical. Research along the lines of telepathy, reincarnation, and extra-sensory perception points to the need of a balanced knowledge that will relate the visible material to the invisible abstract. Some, of course, declare their pride in what they term their "realistic" attitude toward life. The fact that they are proud of their intellectual view of life shows their interest in it. Every man must become his own High Priest. He must know what he believes and be able to prove it.

We are moving up in consciousness. As atomic radiation is burning out disease in the physical body so the mental power is burning out our old life. It is a cleansing time for old ideas. We are moving up, out of tune with the world of self, and into tune with the Power of God, with God as a personal Father. The old idea of a remote God sitting on a throne with a club in one hand and an oil can in the other is gone. We now know that we are responsible for oiling our own squeaky points. We worship God as both personality and principle. We have devotion for God and love of God as a Father.

All your life, you've been enthralled with body, things, and your affairs. You take them to bed with you. You may become so enthralled with your own voice that you become a hollow loud-speaker, with self always on parade before friends and world. It is time to stop prowling in the outer and become a searcher, interested in the ascension of your soul. To fall in love with God is to be enthralled with divine ideas, radiance, beauty and joy. This is all true, but what can you do about it? Ask yourself three questions: First, What is your present desire? Second, What is your prayer pattern? Third, What is your ultimate goal?

What is your present desire? What have you asked for? Where is your attention fixed? On survival in a mad world, just getting by? Or is your attention on your relationship with God? Do you compare yourself with your past and pat your own back on what you've done as an excuse for not hitting the high mark? A self-congratulatory "I'm doing so much better" is no goal to set your heart on fire. Or do you compare yourself to your Begotten Father and "Be ye as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect"? Does God come first in your life? Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. – Luke 3:4.

What is your prayer pattern? As an Adept, you may make statements, pleas and chant mantras. Under the Master, Priest, Priest, and Christos Degrees, you lift, praise, and let, in three steps. If you are interested in your relationship to God and comparing yourself to Him for ascension, then declare, "I am preparing the way for the Lord, making His paths straight." God can walk with you on a straight path. You walk alone when you path gets crooked.

You must believe that you have it, believe to see "it," whatever it is, without half demanding, or half doubting. First, put everything in your life on a cloud of Light. Keep your love ones, affairs and the world lifted up, in the Light. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low. – Luke 3:5. Second, praise God, saying, I love You, Father. Constantly review how much you do love Him, and the measure of your devotion to Him. The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth. – Luke 3:5. Third, let Power, love, joy, and faith express to melt, dissolve darkness and fill your prayer molds with life and Light.

What is your ultimate goal? What do you really want? Under delay, are you finally bored with the whole thing? The ultimate goal deals with the ascension of the soul. The nearer you come to the Light, the lighter, brighter and more powerful it becomes. The nearer you draw to Power, the more powerful it becomes. It cannot be less, unless you huddle under old doubt and fear.

Defend your position and creed of love. God told the children of Israel that they owned every foot of ground they stepped on in the Promised Land. Yet they had to defend it to hold it. How do you defend your point? Not with passive faith and love, but with active, dynamic faith and love. Your plan of life must thrill you. Let life pursue you. When you love life lavishly, it will run after you. Love enough fulfills the law. Stingy love does not fill your prayer mold with a heaped up, pressed down, and running-over measure. When your love is great enough, The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. – Luke 3:5-6.

The keynote word is now. Your present desire deals with unconquerable faith. Your prayer pattern deals with lavish love. Your ultimate goal deals with soul ascension now. Do not be a "put-off, waiting until another day. Make your resolutions of responsibility now, and start testing them. Make your own personal Plan of Salvation right now. Do not be a voice crying in the wilderness of unpaid debts that the self charged to God's Credit Department. You may not put off payment of your debts of love, of joy, and of faith into the future. People say, "I've tried to love her. I've done all these things." How fervently did you try? One degree above freezing?

Prepare now for your miracle year. Ascend in consciousness and stand in the heart of the fire. Light will set the nerve ends in your head afire from above, and you will see and hear spiritually. All it takes is a burning desire, flaming imagination and unconquerable faith now. Imagination turned upward becomes soul vision. Remember, every day you discover some lost paradise. An angel with a flaming sword always stands at the gate, so you cannot turn back.

Each day you reach a new point of no return, so stop sagging at your soul seams about it. It's good to be kicked up and out of a worn out consciousness. The undergrowth, even in a paradise, contracts until it pinches everywhere. You outgrow last year's loves and clothes. It was good and beautiful last year. Every new decision closes a paradise behind you. You are permitted no looking back, but must go on. Yes, let whoever will stay behind do so, but you must go on. A new paradise always lies ahead.

If you stand still, looking backward, the future rushes by so fast that it knocks you down without ever becoming the present. You cannot afford any riotous spending while bewailing some lost paradise. Too much of life still lies in the future. Look ahead and lo! A vision of a new paradise is calling, the wafting fragrance of rare flowers, birds singing in ecstasies of joy. You enter, and find all the best of your lost paradise, plus all you can vision for your new paradise. The angel with the flaming sword is your guardian protector, and you are safe in your own Garden of Eden paradise of God. You are in love with God and clearly see your path of salvation.

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The Point of No Return 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated December 15, 1957, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson and Ross Whitehead. Scripture: Luke 3:1-6.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. – Luke 3:1-6.

The kingdom of heaven is open to all believers. Heaven is a place, a destination. Whether you get there in consciousness, depends on how much you want it, and how much ballast of self you are willing to sacrifice to reach your goal. The world is starving for an understandable, plain and practical, yet highly mystical way to reach heaven. Practicality alone does not satisfy the soul, which yearns to envision the mystery of God.

The minds of the masses are set in a new vibrational groove, and people want a more personal contact with God. Today's trend is toward experiments in telepathy and extrasensory perception. Most of earth's population believes in God, an afterlife, miracles, angels and healing. Their silence about these subjects means that they believe. Most people do not object to God as personality, but to the contemporary religious picture of Him. God does not need an oil can to fix the squeak, but people do. We have no common world theology because religion must satisfy so many grades of earthly intelligence.

You all stand equal in that you each have the right to breathe twenty-four hours a day, and to ascend in consciousness. However, each must prove truth for himself, since each sees and comprehends the facts differently. No two people are alike: Each must witness the glories and prove it himself. You are the result of millions of years of development. God gave you brain cells according to a divine pattern, but you can assimilate only what you accept on earth. You are all free to choose, but each occupies a different degree.

Those who say, "I learn through illumination, not study," are using their trust fund from past incarnations. Do not be lazy, but work to open and develop new brain cells. You must have a great desire to receive much. Yet you must conform to principle and obey law, for God cannot set them aside for anyone. You may worship God as personality in a vast setting, the whole of the kingdom of heaven. One who works on principle only says, "God understands me." Yes, He knows what you need, but that may not be what you think you need.

Earth's vibration is constantly ascending, and people need to ascend their bodies, too, to meet today's challenge of atomic radiation, to assimilate the food that radiation has raised in vibration. The atomic bomb is an expression of God's good. We might not have needed to develop atomic weapons if our prayers had been fervent enough to overcome the world's fears. Fears kill more people than atomic radiation does. We are using radiation to burn out illness, and when we desire to reach that goal enough, we will wipe out disease.

Prayer has three facets that are vital to your daily needs, as desire, pattern and goal. Your present desire, have you asked for it? Your prayer pattern, how have you asked for it? Your goal, what is it? You must ascend your desires. Question yourself: What kind of desires do you have? For survival only? Are you interested in God first? Do you want to know more and go higher? Should you compare yourself with neighbors, family, friends? "I'm doing better than they are" is cold comfort. The average person talks about nothing, but you must consider how desire applies in your life. Do you desire illumination and comprehension, to know the law of growth?

Isaiah describes the true way of fervent prayer: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. – Isaiah 40:3-5.

Everything depends on the fervency of your prayers. How zealous is "Well, I tried"? How hot are your prayers? Below zero? Ten degrees above? How high do your prayer go? To the ceiling, or the stars? How do you straighten your path? God cannot find you on a winding path up a mountain of negative emotions, or walk a crooked path with you. Every path straightens when you turn desire upward.

How have you prayed? Half demands, half doubts? Most metaphysical truth statements are demands. Yet when you demand in prayer, you use inner credits on the outer. You then have nothing left to lift you if you stub your toe, and you fall into the ditch. Decide what you want. Once you believe to see divine Power in action, it pulls you back on the path. Every valley is an emotional low that you must fill with Light, so take your share. Why be a martyr or give up the portion of Light meant for you? Darkness uses the energy you waste.

Anyone who is conscious of giving is living under self-imposed martyrdom, which depletes vitality. A noble martyr makes a great show of suffering to arouse sympathy, yet earns no soul credits. Any virtue used to exalt the self becomes a form of viciousness. You must bring every mountain-lump and hill-growth low, and straighten the path to the goal. People who claim, "This is my last incarnation," have many more ahead. You could do it in a year, a day, or in a single prayer, if you loved God enough. Worry quickly dissipates energy, so quit imagining your spiritual debts.

Today is cleanup time under prayer. Do it now and make the rough ways smooth. How long do you put off making vows or decisions? Why wait? Eat what's on your plate, like it, finish paying your debts and ascend. The perfect process of prayer is lifting, praising and letting. Tune out the world vibration and tune in the Power of Almighty God. Surround your loved ones with Light in prayer, and nothing but love can enter.

Cold principle does not warm you. You need warm personality to draw forth the flowering of love. Melchizedek, the King of Peace, still walks earth, and in your Garden of Eden at eventide. Praise God in an ecstasy born of soul rapture that replenishes you. Know that Light moves forth and that you can ascend with no self, as a perfect servant of all Power. Let God use you and do the work, and let Power fill the world through you. Declare, "I am all that health and abundance, Father. Let Your health manifest as me." After praising God enough, no self remains to limit how far you can extend your consciousness.

God has designed your threefold extension of divine Mind to operate from the golden silence, where your super-conscious mind of Oversoul forever kneels in prayer before high thrones. Subconscious mind handles all automatic needs in the physical world when you, who are the creator, remain on the mount of illumination. Seek first the kingdom of heaven, your goal: God and His Power. Walk with God and awaken your brain cells. Walk in the Light only and it will shine on you.

Why refuse complete ascension? Take your body with you, and dedicate it as a servant of Power for God to use until He adds all else to you. You may experience delay, sometimes years of it, but a thousand years are only a day in God's sight. Your hopes, and the high visions God gives, do come to pass. What is your goal? Never confine it to years, months, weeks, days or minutes. Make your goal limitless. Many decide to follow Jesus, then refuse to ascend. You are gods and it does not appear what you shall be. You could lift and declare that everyone you contact is God's perfect agent, if you have an Ascension goal in mind.

Mr. Anyone was happy until he saw the doctor, whose diagnosis was negative. He fearfully believed this, followed the doctor's advice, but became worse. If you roll in mud, you get dirty. Mr. Anyone could have bathed in his tower room of Light if he had even once declared that he walked the Path of Ascension. He could have said to the doctor, "God works through you. I declare this is a miracle of God," and walked out whole and perfect. A doctor has every reason to believe the worst if the patient is negative. Declare that divine illumination fills your doctor's brain cells and o'ershadowing Light drips from his hands. Any doctor can heal if he accepts that Light will use him.

Ascend to the life of God, who can recreate whatever He created, which is the basis for believing in miracles. An angel with a flaming sword bars the gate to every past paradise. Today is your point of no return, and you will not be happy with the results when you act or think or speak negatively again. You cannot relive the past, but you can start living right today. You must grow, face the Light and make the future the present.

Even today's paradise will eventually squeeze like tight shoes, because you are always ascending to a higher octave. You can ascend while facing old negativity, or a new Paradise. The Voice still cries in the wilderness. Enter your Garden of Eden and dwell in the House of the Lord forever. Let God's beauty walk the earth as you.

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Come Ye Apart 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 20, 1958, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Mark 6:31, Matthew 6:6.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. – Mark 6:31.

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. – Matthew 6:6.

"Come ye apart" are mysterious words, as if a secret were about to be shared. That is exactly what Jesus did when he took them apart, he shared the mysteries of the kingdom. This tells us, "Come ye apart" to pray, but where, how, when? We can pray anywhere, anytime or now, but the "how" is the difficulty.

Today, Will Oursler declares that more than "one million unchurched agnostics" and "tired, busy businessmen" go to some weekend retreat for vacations. They go because it builds up their bodies and rests their minds just to "come apart" and "be still," even without prayer, just with service. Every denomination has opened some type of prayer group. A few people, six or more, meet and pray. Since the days of Phineas Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy, and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, metaphysicians and truth centers have had silent groups treating in prayer. All have had almost unbelievable results.

This brings us to "how" to pray. 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. – Matthew 6:6. Obey Jesus: "Go into your room and close the door." It seems a random success, and effort that does not always work because of outside interference, selfish emotions, resentment, and irritation from the sound of the world's noises.

Take four steps to enter our room of Light and pray: Zip-up in a suit of Light, love God, stay up there in consciousness, and praise. You can use two distinct kinds of prayer, in three distinct ways. First is the broadcasting "outgoing" kind, telling God about it, and done more in words. The other kind of prayer is tuning in and looking up, "waiting upon the Lord in the high place." You listen for the Voice, and take in the message.

Each of these methods has a phase that brings no results. You can be too busy telling God about it to hear, or become too "peaceful" to hear. Under inactive "peace," your vibration sinks too low to register any high illumination. As you become peaceful, your vibration falls. You can slip too easily and too often unless You are wary. Now, why are there only two types of prayer, but three ways to use them? Why isn't prayer like a two-way radio affair?

Prayer is not so simple as, "Come ye apart" and "Go into your room and shut the door" to the world, to noise, to self. First, you must have a "faith-base of operations." A simplified definition of faith is loving God enough to trust Him completely, with abandon. Faith is a principle, but also a "name" of God to call on. Stand still a moment, and picture a room of Light. Consciously enter this Light, mentally reach down and zipper yourself into a pink cloud that comes up to cover your mouth. This closes and seals your door.

A golden silence, a Source of Light awaits each soul, and God has endowed all with the ability to enter it. It is an action within – in, in, in, and up, up, up. You cannot be self-conscious and God-conscious simultaneously. You cannot listen the world while you listen for God. You cannot hear the noise of self-centered emotions and be God conscious. In short, you cannot be dual-minded.

You hear the world with your ears, but must listen to God with your brain cells. Prayer requires your full attention on God. Tests of college students proved that the best of students just half-listen. What kind of listener are you? If your prayer is too much talk, you leave no time for God's Voice to register. What are the three ways to use prayer? First, after moving up in consciousness, praise God, and tell Him how much you love Him. Move ever higher into Light. Only words of praise will take you into the golden silence. When you arrive at the silence, open the way to the outer world through your mind, not your body, and give, give, give. Treat all needs in prayer that come to mind. "Let" the Power use you.

Tell everyone you see in your mind's eye, "I love you. You are free. You are up in consciousness now." When you have exhausted the names and places, become still and let the Power move through you. Know the Power is moving forth, into every person and place you have treated. Are you finished? No, because you are a twenty-four-hour-a-day channel for giving. The third and most important step is to give, once to the world, and twice to God. Tell God how much you love Him, all over again. Thank Him for the miracles. Dig into the silence with your love-anchor.

"Come ye apart" again before you contact your world. Do not come down. Do not come out. Stay up in consciousness. Slowly, open your eyes, and move into action. Do not unzip your protective suit of Light. Feel the Power still, and know the Power is using you. Act as if Power is using you. In this state of consciousness, you are undisturbed, undismayed and victorious.

"Come ye apart" and live now, for you are now as immortal as you will ever be. Right here and now, you are immortal in Christed atomic substance. This is your first hour of being, because Jesus has called, "Come ye apart." You are immortal. Declare, "Because I love God, I am now immortal." Hear the Master say, "Come ye apart, and rest awhile."

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Come Ye Apart 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated April 20, 1958, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Mark 6:31, Matthew 6:6.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. – Mark 6:31.

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. – Matthew 6:6.

Jesus' invitation, "Come ye apart," sounds mystical, as though secrets were in the air. He often took his disciples apart to share mystical secrets with them. He told them to "rest a while" and through him they drew Power for rejuvenation. A religious renaissance is sweeping the world today. "God" is no longer a taboo word, and from the high office of the President to the largest business firms, many begin their days with prayer.

Will Oursler wrote that more than a million formerly unchurched agnostics and professionals who have never prayed now attend nondenominational retreat centers to do housework, cook and spend a weekend in complete silence. They return to the world renewed physically, mentally and emotionally because under silence, the Oversoul enters the body. Dozens of truth centers for silent prayer and retreat, based on Jesus' teachings, operate everywhere in quiet confidence, to lift earth and consume evil and darkness. They are different from the hoopla that attracts the masses.

One way to pray is giving, broadcasting prayer with many words. The other is a silent, wordless, upward-looking, in-drawing prayer of soul. Neither will work alone, so using them simultaneously is the trick. You can apply prayer three ways. You must have a method, a formula and seek three things: Where to pray can be anywhere. When to pray can be anytime. How to pray may trip you. Jesus said to enter a room, shut the door and pray. Where is this room? What door do you close?

Often you may feel like a factory boiler room as you begin to pray, for subconscious conflicts blare when you become silent. You cannot enter the golden silence filled with resentments and irritations. Yet the average person just suppresses subconscious distractions, pushing them back into the boiler room where they continue to howl and clank. Your prayers ascend as high as your consciousness, but no higher. Self thinks of its own negativity, but love enough erases all self, unwise actions, hasty words, monetary worries and guilt complexes. Yet you pay a great price to love, for you must conquer self. Balance the day's book of self with love each night.

How can you commune with God in the golden silence while worldly noises, problems and the subconscious all clamor? The secret of successful prayer is to be single-minded and oblivious to the world's noise and distractions, which is why Jesus said, "Come ye apart." A Source of Light lies at your highest point of extended vision. Know this. Space is endless. We need not all go to the same place. Our Father has arranged it so that we each have our own individual Source, a "secret place" in which to expand and commune with Him.

Turn imagination up to a vision of Light as you ascend to the Source. Look up, envision a room of Light made just for you, and you are there. It is that simple. God must have your full attention. Your ears may hear noises, but you listen to God with your brain cells, and each is an inner ear. Reach down from your room of Light and encircle your physical mouth and ears with a rose-pink cloud of devotion. Oversoul touches you, everything in the subconscious boiler room is drawn up to ascend into that Light, and distractions disappear. This is how to enter your room and close the door to pray.

What kind of listener are you? Are you aware? Some listen with only 10 percent of their attention. Ascend in consciousness to your Source of Light, become a full listener to obliterate world noises, and hear God in this beautiful sphere of silence. Two things can disturb you here. You can be so busy telling God what He should do that you cannot hear the vibration of His Voice, like being oblivious to the television while you are doing something else. You can also become so peaceful that you loll in the Light, go to sleep and hear nothing.

You need time to prepare for prayer, to enter your room of Light and close the door on the world. Give God your full attention. Scattered prayer effort counts and helps save the world, but true prayer power comes in supreme golden silence.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life. – Proverbs 22:4. Humility is the ability to accept and surrender, and loving God enough is the only qualification needed. Your obedience and acceptance of divine law give you riches, honors and life.

Now you are ready to pray. First, prepare yourself to give to the world. You do not want an "empty" body. Praise pushes the button and opens every door to intake Power until you find your body full to overflowing with Light and love. Tell God you love Him. Heaven is full of so many courts and thrones to see, so extend your vision to eternity, then tighten your focus. Remain in the golden Light, praise God and tell Him how wonderful He is.

Broadcast love to the world, to everyone on your lines of Light. Call them all by name and say, "I love you. You are free." Your body becomes a powerhouse, a conduit of Light for the world when you just give and give and give. How many hours have you spent on other people's business? If you meant to spend ten minutes with God but gave Him thirty, you may be tempted to rush to make up the time. Yet this shocks the body and you lose the glory you could have held all day. When you turn back to God, tell Him again how much you love Him. Thank God you have had such a glorious time with Him.

Keep your consciousness zipped up and in a room of Light. Breathe deeply, slowly open your eyes to the world, and you will stay up, on your Mount of Transfiguration. Stand in the Light, filled with life and God's pure love. You can easily handle worldly matters when you stay up in consciousness and praise God after prayer. Nothing of earth can hurt you if you are zipped-up in Light. "Come ye apart" and "rest a while" in the love of God, which is immortal, deathless, ageless and abiding.

Light is the source of indestructible atomic power, and standing in the pure Light of God, you are immortal, invulnerable, invincible, immovable. Remain in the Light where Power still possesses you. As you lean back to rest a while, praise God that Power moves through hour by hour as you remain with Him. Prayer becomes the ultimate creative vibration, as a love song of ecstasy from the heart.

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Brainwashing, Inc. 1

Edna Lister used this sermon outline October 19, 1958, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 6:19-23.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:19-23.

To wash means "to cleanse by dipping, rubbing or scrubbing in water." To prepare a wash means that you group items together for cleansing them. The one great vibration to use for cleansing peoples' ideas and preparing them to work together is love.

Since the Cold War, everyone knows what brainwashing is. People have used it from the beginning of civilization, every time they try to change another's mind. Freud opened one cycle of brainwashing; Hitler opened another. Public relations firms and advertising opened a commercial cycle. They persuaded us to change from using Grandma's soap, homemade from grease and ashes, to the scented bars, flakes and liquid soaps today.

Yet love is the only vibration that can change substance from one form to another. Death is possible only on love's highest vibration. It takes full love to draw the soul from the body. Prayer is one of the highest expressions of love, when selfless and pure. Its lowest is mesmerism and hypnotism for evil control of another. No healing is possible without using this phase of love, of which hypnotism is the low point.

Prayer is the spiritual form or phase of brainwashing. Hypnotism and suggestions are part of the mental phase. Use both, work on both vibrations to brainwash the emotional and physical life and change it to the good. All brainwashing as broadcasting prayer comes under a phase of love. All healing comes under this phase.

Like every other vibration in the universe, you can misuse brainwashing as darkness. To gain control over the will of another, for example, or to make someone over to suit some evil need is a terrible misuse of the power of love. Yet, to become law, you must use the love vibration as powerful suggestions in broadcast prayer. All statements of truth are also suggestions to the subconscious mind to change, designed to recondition it into its original Godlike qualities. Do you need brainwashing? Can it help you to conquer? Yes.

The whole life of Jesus is one long illustration of conquering the self. When you follow him, you recondition your life to meet his standard of rigid discipline of self. Under brainwashing, you teach yourself how to give up the self's ways, consciously. Since love is the only power that can change anything, you must learn to love more. Let love brainwash you.

If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30.

Right is "up," symbolically. The eye represents high vision, and the right hand execution. You do not literally pluck out or cast off the offending member, but let love change and lift your vision. Live the right way, hour by hour. If another offends you, name him every good thing you wish him to be. This is how to brainwash children.

Waste no time trying to love what hurts or offends you. Let God adopt the evil and use His earth name, Good, on the one who offends. Love's power to brainwash an offender is a glory to watch. Let love move in and possess you. Let it wash the darkness from the subconscious mind.

Lay up your treasures in heaven, where no moth can eat holes in your love. No rust can mar love. Moths are offenses, but rust is laziness, indifference, lukewarmness and self-pity. Thieves are an entire family of selfish traits that steal energy, love, mind, time and imagination. When you let your spoken Word of love make powerful suggestions of glory, of conquering, you are brainwashing the subconscious, the emotions, the thinking, the imagination. You are allowing the joy vibration to launch you into a heavenly orbit.

The love-Light moving through you is as much a prodding challenge to your loved ones as are the words, "I dare you to do it." To prevent retaliation for the rebuke your Light has become, quickly use brainwashing suggestions. Declare, "Darling, I love you. Love possesses you." You then become untouchable, not because you are too good, but because love is creating perfection by cleansing and changing everything into itself. Thus, no darkness of speech can touch you or come near you because you occupy your own orbit of conquering love.

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Brainwashing, Inc. 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated October 19, 1958, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson and Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 6:19-23.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:19-23.

To wash something cleanses it. Brainwashing is a process of persuasion, propaganda or indoctrination that changes some factor of thinking or emotional quality. Learning good manners was probably your first exposure to brainwashing. Everyone uses it as persuasion to bring people together and to get them to work in harmony. Tyrants and dictators have used brainwashing as propaganda on the negative side.

The practice of brainwashing began with the discovery that subconscious mind is a reservoir of frightening hidden memories. We incorporate brainwashing in Ascension work to cleanse the brain cells of darkness. Because we have witnessed that brainwashing works, we know that some great underlying power operates to this end. Since love is the only power in the universe that can recondition or change mind or substance from one form to another, brainwashing must operate under the principle of love.

You apply love to change your mind. In fact, love applied as truth is the only thing that can change anyone's mind. The expression of love is all-powerful, but can be evil if inverted and applied as hate. Unfortunately, people believe more firmly in the power of hate than in love. Brainwashing is evil only when it makes another do something evil, or when it degrades good into evil.

Prayer is the highest outer expression of your love of God. Prayer is the invisible bridge between you and your Creator. Brainwashing in its supreme degree represents the prayer power of the Elect. Mesmerism, hypnotism and persuasive lies are at the low end of the pole, but are still facets of love. The petition prayer of the masses, asking for something personal, lies between.

Healers use hypnotism for good, at its highest level, to heal so-called incurable ailments. Publicity and advertising are hypnotic on the low pole, a lesser vibration of the great principle of love. Suggestion is a high point of hypnotism. Television and radio commercials use the power of suggestion to entice you to buy products.

A good treatment for a child who watches television is to declare that he is wearing rose-colored glasses. Use the clockwise rotary motion over his head to brainwash his brain cells, eyes and ears with the Light of the River of Life.

How do you apply brainwashing to your life of ascension? Change your thinking from orthodoxy, prejudice and opinions. As you follow the Christ in ascension, let your Oversoul brainwash your subconscious mind and convince the self to leave behind the doubt and fear.

If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5:29-30.

The "right" in ascension work means up. The right eye symbolizes the physical eyes becoming the single mystic eye of God. The left eye represents imagination and vision. Pluck it out and brainwash self if it causes you to sin. The right hand is the hand of execution. The Light in your body becomes offensive if you cater to darkness or misuse your soul's executive power. Cast out the prejudice and emotional negativity influencing your life, the opinionated thinking that drags down and interferes with soul vision. Then brainwash your little self into casting out the darkness in your left eye.

To say, "I'll try" to cast it off means that you do not intend to do it. You are the sum of your words: The heart speaks through your words, which are you. Cast out idle words, such as, "I feel awful. That's terrible. I'm depressed." They circle the world, accumulate seven times their weight in similar force and return with a good, hard blow. The "world mind" operates on a hypnotic influence of suggestion. You will use idle words if you allow the world to influence your thinking.

Light brainwashes you when you no longer subconsciously submit to the world mind, newspapers, gossip, or television. As you read headlines of disaster, lift them into the Light. Ascend in consciousness and do the greater works. If you look down, you become dual-minded, admitting two powers, good and evil. When you declare someone else is wrong, you admit that you are wrong.

God credits you according to your words, not others' words about you. He takes a chunk of your credit and gives it in compensation to those you resent and criticize. If you have ever complained, "I prayed so long, but God never answered me," your soul substance went to those whom you criticized and blamed between your prayers. Never complain about your family or the world – it's like saying that if they would be good, you could be happy.

Prayer is spiritual brainwashing, and only through prayer does anyone's mental life change. Quickly brainwash your self whenever you begin to feel pure, noble, proud, or self-pitying. As your mental life ascends under high soul-directed hypnosis, it signals the physical life to change. Brainwashing reconditions your whole life, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Lift your emotions to love. What will you do with the people who offend you? What is that to thee? Follow thou me. – John 21:22. If you stick your nose in people's lives, you'll eventually put it in their garbage. Part of you ends up in your friend's trash can if you criticize and blame, and it comes home to roost like a buzzard on a carcass.

Admitting a problem admits you have lost contact with the Source of enough Power to solve any problem. You never have problems to admit if you have enough real desire to lift your share of world problems. You tell God to get lost if you protest, but you instantly put yourself in orbit around the Source when you accept. Say, "Here I am, Father. You can trust me with anything."

You have the right to brainwash offenders, but only through prayer, by saying, "I love you. You're wonderful." This routine works. God's Power uses you to wipe ugliness from the minds and hearts of others. Use the power of suggestion on an offender, and declare the Power of the living God fills his heart as Light, cleansing him of negativity.

From a mental viewpoint, heaven is in your thinking and imagination. Soul virtues are your "treasures in heaven." Brainwash the self of the ability to use idle words, and automatically your words will be, "This is good." Let God adopt the evil lines you lift for cleansing. He gives it His earth name, Good, and so should you.

"Moths" eat good things. Everybody has moths of doubt, regret, boredom and resentment that nibble at their highest ideals. Moths represent people who eat at your ego. You exalt self whenever you allow a moth to chew on you. Put your worst favorite where he belongs under the laws of the Almighty. You may not push him down, so declare him good. His Guardian Angels, who want to see him healed, will release Power on your declaration.

"Rust" is the dry rot of laziness, indifference, lukewarmness and self-pity, which rust your little ego. Your joints creak when your self-pity is groaning at the world. Grief and tears rust you and cause the squeak. Oil yourself with plenty of love, prayer and praise.

The greatest of the big family of "thieves" are pride, prejudice, opinions, irritation and criticism, which steal your energy. Your subconscious is like a junk room, filled with thieves. Why waste time looking for results? Go about your business and love God. Having done all, stand and wait for God to work a miracle. "All" is how much you love God. Stand with Him when you have finished praying for your needs and lights will flash to surround those who need your prayer.

The "single eye" is keeping your eye on the mark, seeking first the kingdom of heaven, oneness in heart, mind and purpose, a single I. Simplicity, which is protection, Light and glory, is the gift of the single "I." The higher you ascend, the more Light uses you as a prodding challenge to your family, bosses and friends, as though to say, "I dare you to speak negatively to me." To avoid offending our family, keep declaring, "I love you. You're wonderful." This works to avert their anger and your self-pity and grief, which cause resentment. You must love God enough to free the world of you.

See problems only to lift. Do not analyze when another wants you to be the "dumping ground" for his troubles. It doubles your responsibility to know too much about another's problems. Ask what he thinks and neutralize his thought processes with Light. One sentence spoken in love, backed by absolute law, seems as if you had talked all evening. Yet the more Light you carry, the more devastating your idle words will be.

Never let another cause you to rust, but oil you both with love, the lubricant, if you rebuke another. Brainwash your enemies with the love of God. It works. Declare that God contains war until Light brainwashes the aggressors. Do you comprehend the love of God as well as you do the world's evil? As you grow in comprehension, you become untouchable and immoveable by the world's hypnotic influence, untouched by moths, rust, or thieves.

Brainwashing is self-discipline and prayer, God's love as Power in action. To use brainwashing and the power of suggestion as the pure, undiluted love of God creates Light so bright that you can accept and meet more challenges than you dreamed possible.

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Increase Through High Prayer 1

Edna Lister used this sermon outline July 3, 1960. Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Acts 16:25-35.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. – Acts 16:25-35.

Paul and Silas had traveled to Philippi at the request of Lydia, a wealthy seller of purple dye or cloth, whom Paul had converted. In that city, a young woman, possessed by a spirit of divination, followed them everywhere, crying, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." Paul, likely irritated by her constant attendance, commanded the spirit to come out of her.

Exorcized, she was unable to channel the possessing demon, so was then worthless to her owners. Her masters, losing their profit from her prognostications, brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates, and accused them of being Jews who were corrupting Romans. The court had them stripped and beaten with rods, an extremely painful punishment.

Paul and Silas wasted no time weeping or blaming, the first outstanding factor in this story. They agreed as one, and together prayed, praised and sang until they opened an irresistible vibration, an earthquake. As a violinist can play to create a crystal-shattering note, they triggered an earthquake. All healers who use music in their work take advantage of this law. The jail's walls fell down, the doors opened and the stocks sprang open. The vibration shook the jailer and his whole family into the kingdom of heaven.

An earthquake happens with your first illumination. It jars the walls self built, the barriers of self fall, and the doors to self-imprisonment open. Remember, not one prisoner escaped. All were saved in the kingdom of God. The earthquake of illumination lifts all the old subconscious content in the soul substance. Until then, self is always arguing in opposition to soul. When illumination strikes, soul takes charge and ascends self into agreement with God. When soul is weak, self's opposition grows fat and strong, and wins. When soul is strong, self's opposition weakens, shrivels and dies.

All increase comes under the great principle of faith. Soul faith in the good is strong and aggressive, a powerful challenge to all self's weaknesses and world ideas. Self, using faith inverted as negative and passive, causes good to shrink until it disappears. You have no increase of the good under self. When soul love takes over, the barriers fall. Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me? – Jeremiah 32:27.

What, then, is high prayer? The question presupposes a low point in prayer, which does exist. You can be a half-and-halfer, someone who had an "almost perfect" day, who says, "Well, I feel pretty good." High prayer is a combination of prayer, praise and singing. High prayer is loving God with all your heart's desire, mind's thinking and soul's vision.

When you use ordinary metaphysical statements, you bind yourself north, south, east and west under an intellectual dome. What do you desire? Do you think that prayer is just a bunch of statements for self and others? A cool statement is a low prayer. Self is a very low point of intuition and illumination where one believes a God, a Power may exist. From such a point of self, even prayers for others are low.

"I am so good. I do pray." They sit in a chair, thinking of statements by the mile while their subconscious mind wanders all over the world and never leaves the basement of consciousness. No one can ever reach a state of soul ecstasy in such self-centered worship. Intellect worries, "Will this work? Will the money come? If it doesn't, what will I do?" All statements are weak in conviction when compared to the way Jesus prayed to raise Lazarus from the dead:

They took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And he that was dead came forth. – John 11:41-44.

"Father, You always hear me." Remember Jesus' fervent prayers in Gethsemane. As Montgomery said, "Prayer is the soul's strong desire uttered or unexpressed." Only praise can give you a strong enough conviction that faith works now. The quality of your praise determines the height to which your prayer ascends. When praise takes charge to lift, you are not thinking about it, but communing with God.

Praise sends the principle of faith into action, and increases the flow of love's power. Light's action through praise shrinks evil and darkness. Good expands and increases, and opens every creative power. Praise endows principles, laws, your faith and words with authority and conviction. Your praise may not be lukewarm or indifferent, never, "I'm trying," or, "I'm thinking about it."

When soul vision drops below eye level, you start slowly dying. When you get up in the morning, full of aches and pains, your vision has dropped. High vision is high prayer without words. It transforms you, body, heart, mind and affairs, and renews your strength, hour by hour.

But oh! Singing! There is the glory. Singing opens the greatest of all Power builders, soul vision, which starts a glory of healing love flowing from the original life sparks to the outer cells. Singing transforms and renews your vision, pushing it up and out front. Singing opens the way for perfect use of all you are and all you have in talents, love, time and effort. When you praise and sing fervently, God moves in with lavish increase.

Look around for darkness, anything to lift to a cloud continent of Light, not to name it, but to lift. Sing your prayer treatments. Make prayer pay you dividends. Sing everything into a high point of Power. With prayer, praise and singing, build an earthquake to shake down the barriers between you and your own good. Sing your self to a high point, then hold fast to your high point of glory.

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Increase Through High Prayer 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated July 3, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribe: Ruth Johnson and Irene White. Scripture: Acts 16:25-35.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. – Acts 16:25-35.

This chapter of Acts is among the greatest in the New Testament. Paul's letters to the churches are the records of his growth and ascension from his years of hate. He had asked to enter jails and lash Christians in the past, and here the Romans lashed him with rods, a most painful punishment.

Paul did not have the privilege of being with Jesus, as the disciples had. He fumbled at times, but always came through on a point of glory. Paul had chosen Silas to accompany him. At Philippi in Macedonia, where they were staying with Lydia, a convert, they had attracted the attention of a young slave girl "possessed with a spirit of divination." She was not completely possessed, but just enough of a medium to make a profit for the syndicate who had reared her and took the money she earned.

She followed Paul and Silas for days, begging them to release her from the possessing spirit and declaring that they were men of God. And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. – Acts 16:16-18.

They angered her owners, who could make no more money through her. They dragged Paul and Silas to the marketplace before the magistrates and accused them of preaching impiety and sedition. The authorities had them stripped, lashed and threw them into prison in stocks. They charged the jailer on pain of death to keep them from escaping.

Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God. What happened was the outcome of the truth that If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. – Matthew 18:19-20.

The angel, who appeared to Abraham, wanted only twenty men who were good enough to save Gomorrah. We could lift evil from earth if every church in this city prayed together for twenty-four hours. The vibration of praise and singing can shatter any evil earth can produce, but it works only if you have no doubt. A great earthquake shattered the prison walls, opened the doors and loosed the prisoner's stocks, but it injured no one.

Though the jail door was opened, no one tried to leave. The Light was so great, they had no desire to run. The earthquake shook the jailer ad his family into the kingdom of heaven and frightened the magistrates into releasing them. A spiritual earthquake is illumination that loosens the bonds of self when you stand and worship God. The prisoners symbolize the bits of the little self that fuel the subconscious conflicts boiling below the surface. If soul consciousness is strong, these conflicts subside, but little self must surrender all its negativity. Soul retreats to the background until self surrenders.

You must have unconquerable faith, invincible joy and show soul conviction in the outer world. Paul said, "They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out." – Acts 16:37. And the magistrates released them. Paul and Silas stood on their dignity as bishops in the Master's new kingdom. You must know and stand on the declaration, "Behold, I am here, O God of all Israel, waiting to serve Thee."

Too many are half-and-halfers, half believing and half doubt-ridden. Do you look around the corner after you pray to see if it happened? Do you say, "Well, today I'm pretty good"? You must wholly convince your self, or you get nowhere. You reach out for miracles, establish long lines, then cut them with the scissors of little self.

High prayer consists of praise, prayer and singing. A statement is good, but puts nothing into action because it does not have the Light and glory of high prayer. Sitting in a chair and just speaking is good, but is not enough. Statements are good, they show you believe in God, they can bring peace, but will not bring you to the exaltation of high prayer. Low prayer to the self is just above the creature stage. Thousands of miles of statements through weeks or months can eventually bring a miracle, but you can have an instant miracle through high prayer, when you love God with all your heart, mind and soul.

The heart's desire must flame and burn. Jesus cried, "Lazarus, come forth!" in a loud voice. "With all your soul" means your vision is focused on heaven, not earth. So, your mind and thinking cannot be on outside trivia, but on God. Every strong, vitalized, quickened thought, every burning desire is a prayer. Love moves in through prayer, praise and gratitude, and quickens your faith.

Praise opens the vibration of activity for a miracle. All the substance required is in your Oversoul Star, which the Father fills from your first moment of yearning. A firm statement such as, "Father, You always hear me. Glorify me with that glory that was in the beginning. Let these words come to life," vitalizes and quickens the prayer.

Praise starts the life sparks in the fire body whirling to affect the physical body until you stand on the Mount of Transfiguration and your face shines like the sun. To gain this conviction, you must use praise and song as Paul and Silas did. A vibration to shatter glass or walls must be continuous. A cool statement or even a fervent one will not do it. It takes fervent praise.

Do you praise and thank God daily for each body member? "Thank You, Father. You are building new eyes." One day your glasses will throw you away. It works the same with cigarettes or any habit. Praise absorbs subconscious opposition. Praise starts pouring the substance from your Oversoul Star into your molds.

Praise pulls the starter cord on the motor of your life and affairs. You may sputter along for a while, but enough praise automatically bursts into singing as the glory of God made manifest. You can praise and sing in your soul to bring forth high vision. Evil shrinks, for nothing on earth can resist the power of a singing soul, which is God Himself in action. The walls collapse, and the bonds of self fall apart as you become untouchable and immovable under the Light of God.

The prisoners symbolize the small aspects of the little self. Yet nothing bothers God, who is deathless, ageless and abiding, nor bothers you when your soul is singing. All negativity dissolves. You are as deathless, ageless and abiding as God is when your soul is singing. When you awaken aching, your high vision has descended overnight. When a patient does not respond to prayer, sing your prayer and praise.

Finally your wordless song rises to the Source. The Father's o'ershadowing, everlasting arms uphold you, a wondrous feeling. Fervency, love of God, praise, singing, and music opens the door to heaven. Praise is the glory and singing takes you to the Source. Nothing bothers a singing heart and soul. Expect the Father's o'ershadowing. Expect His everlasting arms to uphold you.

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The Ladder of Faith 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline was used December 18, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Matthew 6:5-13, Revelation 8:1-5.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. – Revelation 8:1-5.

Incense represents darkness that ascends from earth with your prayers to the angel with a censer, who receives it. Its substance is then added again to God's Mind, Substance and Power, as one. Mind, Substance and Power are like triplets joined with a shared umbilical cord. If Power and Substance are torn loose from Mind by the wrench of force, you must redeem them the same way, through force. You can add the substance involved by offering it upon the altar. However, you must redeem Power by absorbing the force through an object, represented by the thunder, lightning and earthquake in this text.

You can do this through prayer. Thus, your ultimate reason for prayer is to reintegrate all separated Mind, Power, and Substance, which must be added to the whole again. What is prayer? What does it do for you? Prayer is the only key to unlock the master switch to turn on the full Power of the Source of All Power. Without it, nothing happens.

In Jesus' day, the proud Pharisees stood on street corners holding their gifts to the temple for everyone to see. He pointed out that by doing this, they had their reward. Your reward is exact. You receive just as much as you put into your prayer. Skull bumper prayers are lukewarm. Ceiling bumper prayers are getting warmer. Some who pray get bored and go to sleep in the golden silence. People often complain that group prayers are boring. Why listen to the words of others? Ride out on silent praise and devotion instead, to see and hear spiritually.

Prayer is really the only way to contact the Source. Never try to take self into the silence with you. Lift the day's episodes onto a cloud of fire. One statement is enough. You need only a glance at the negatives without pondering them. Many use the silence to contemplate, analyze, and rationalize, which is the self. Yet the only way into the heart of prayer is through praise. Prayer opens on praise and ends on praise, never, ever on self or on needs. Praise forms a shaft of Light, direct from the Source, over your head, the same Light that protected Daniel in the lions' den.

If your mind is full of needs of self, sit down and write God a letter, telling Him all about it. Seal it, then mail it with a match. Burn it and say, "Thank You, Father." Then go sit in the golden silence, offering praise. Perfect prayer covers eight needs of life: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13.

Our Father which art in heaven. – Matthew 6:9. Our Father is the world sponsor of all humanity. He is all-inclusive, a shared Father, the One God, over all.

Hallowed be Thy name. – Matthew 6:9. To hallow is to honor as holy. Approach God with awe, devotion, and honor, to stand on holy ground.

Thy kingdom come. – Matthew 6:10. What kind of kingdom is this? Jesus spoke of the kingdom in the parable of the pearl of great price. He also said it was like a mustard seed, aggressive, like leaven, able to expand, and pervasive. To make bread, you must knead and mold it. Your results, light or dark, depend on the kind of leaven you use, of the soul or the self.

Thy will be done. – Matthew 6:10. Wisdom operates as will in man. You have free choice as to how you use will. A hair's breadth separates determination and personal force. There is danger unless you use "let" when you speak the Word. Then lay it on the altar and forget about it. Yet, you must continue to thank the Father that you already have your desire. Proverbs 22:4 says that the rewards of humility and fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life.

Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11. You must be thankful, and use what you have this day.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. – Matthew 6:12. Give love for whatever comes your way. Then you will have no past because you have forgiven.

Lead us not into temptation. – Matthew 6:13. You lead yourself into every temptation you choose to pursue. God uses every tempter to fulfill His purposes.

Deliver us from evil. – Matthew 6:13. Your task is always to ask God to send Light. Light is the "ladder of faith." Prayer is an emotional outlet and your only way of adding Mind, Substance and Power together again. Prayer becomes your ladder of faith. When you pray without ceasing, your prayers build that ladder rung by rung.

Love is principle. Faith is the application of principle in the outer world. Faith is your expression of an inner love of God. Prayer will carry you any distance, up in consciousness and ascension, or to outer success. Move up in consciousness first, and consider the outer last, but your prayer must be continuous. Prayer is your jet engine. Faith is the Power to run it.

Faith is also the great finale to prayer. Some folks never listen to God. They never hear, never have time, but are just too busy to wait for the answer. Once you use praise to make your contact and God is on the line, you must remember to turn your switch to God and say, "Over." Then you will hear God's Voice.

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The Ladder of Faith 2

This Edna Lister Bible study transcript is dated December 18, 1960, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Ruth Johnson and Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Matthew 6:5-13, Revelation 8:1-5.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13.

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. – Revelation 8:1-5.

We have never given this portion of Revelation as part of our prayer formula, but it is. It gives us a universal reason to pray. You must include yourself in prayer, because you are part of the whole. You get exactly what you fish for in the River of Life. Your fishing rod of divine Mind must be well baited with love of God or you catch nothing, your prayer brings no results. Unfortunately, some people feel self-important when they pray. Prayer must be well nigh boiling with the love of God, or no answer comes.

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. – Revelation 8:2. The angel trumpeters are agents of God, who sound the trumpets on January 12 and August 10, and life quickens. This passage mentions thunder and lightning. When you hear thunder, God is announcing a new, increased vibration in the universe.

Lightning symbolizes seven Light rays, which means God is revving up universal activity, rewinding the celestial clock to accelerate time or release new Power. Time ticks faster when God releases Power. Time now seems accelerated, and it is. We are moving faster than ten years ago, and put more into a day, so we know the trumpets have sounded again.

Another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. – Revelation 8:3-4.

These verses assure us that a divine personality hears our prayers. We are those saints, the ascending Elect, whose prayers rise as incense before the throne. When you pray for someone who has misused law, lift his negativity as a dark cloud of "incense" that rises to an inner altar. God neglects no one. Your prayers of love for others ascend to the proper altar, which absorbs the smoke.

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth. – Revelation 8:5. The love of God within that fire cast to earth draws all similar force left on earth to itself. When you misuse law, you separate Mind, Power and Substance. For instance, resentment, revenge motives, criticism, and so forth, can emotionally tinge Substance. A mother who says, "Just wait, my dear, some day someone will do to you what you are doing now," is expressing a revenge motive. Power and Substance fill your molds and churn Substance into visible manifestation. You can separate them only through misuses of Mind. Yet the result then is lifeless.

And there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. – Revelation 8:5. When you separate Mind, Power and Substance, the wrenching causes "earthquakes" of illness or accidents. Lift the "thunder and lightning" force, which describes spiritual debts contracted by personalities. Personality must lift force. You sent out the force, so it returns to you to endure and lift, to show you where you are remiss before God.

The meaning of the Golden Age of Christ is to live both sides of life, inner and outer at once, as Jesus did. You must live in the world while you maintain consciousness of the golden silence, which you can enter only on praise. Praise God and lift all others to their own secret place.

When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. – Matthew 6:5. The Pharisees stood and prayed publicly on the street corners. Their reward was having others see them. If you take self into prayer, you get your reward, more self. Self is an illness. Get rid of it.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. – Matthew 6:7-8. You need not mention anyone's ills or needs, for God knows all needs. Say, "Father, please let my voice lift this force." Ascend into the golden Light where the angels stand, and lift that force in love and praise. Most people tell God how they ache because others misunderstand them. You need not pray for self. If you must pray for self, write God a letter and burn it. Set a match to the kindling of self and let the incense of your prayers arise.

Prayer is the flowing water of the River of Life. Prayer is knowing that God is, an assurance and confidence, the glory of soul expressing. High prayer is a glory. Your room of Light is right here, right now. Enter your temple of soul, close the door to the world and say, "Here they are, Father." Put the troublemakers on a cloud continent of Light, surrounded by fiery lights, saying, "Let the Power go forth, Father, to fill them and blanket earth."

The eighth angel in the text from Revelation symbolizes the eight phases of the Lord's Prayer: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. – Matthew 6:9. Every world religion has an equivalent of the Our Father. You invoke Him when you say, "Our Father which art in heaven." If the whole world talked about the Father, we could have no false gods. We are all one. With this phrase, you knock on the door to heaven.

Thy kingdom come. – Matthew 6:10. What is your idea of being in heaven with the Father? Is it to be happy and make the other fellow good? Your job is to be good and make the other fellow happy. You can ask for a raise today but it may be a bad day for the boss. Fill the boss's office with a sun center of Light before entering. Ascend above the sidereal vibration, to the Source of God.

How big is your heaven? How big is your reward? Like a mustard seed that will grow into a mighty tree? Like leaven that causes a loaf to rise? Love fills a room like leaven. Love fills a family when you love enough. Leaven thoroughly permeates bread, as your Father permeates you. You get leaven to work by kneading it, then deflating it so it can inflate again. You pummel it to mix it thoroughly and cause it to rise. When life pummels you, God is preparing you to expand. Life needs to deflate you before you are any good. This hurts, but it works to your glory.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10. The will of God is Wisdom expressing as absolute perfection, a principle flowing through the River of Life, and all the Power released by exercising free will. Choice is free, but your results will depend on what you choose. You can let your will express as the love of God, or love of self. When you use will as your great faculties of determination and steadfastness, it stiffens your spine to bear the difficulties of earth, not like a rod of brittle iron, but like a strong yet pliable willow. The spine is your rod of Power. When someone injures his stiff and brittle back, he has used will for the self.

Give us this day our daily bread. – Matthew 6:11. If you ask for something next June and not for this day, what will you have today? Nothing, for you will spread today's good thinly on next June's slice. Put your plans on clouds of Light, and arrange different prayer molds on different clouds. Keep your molds for future months separate from today's. Pray for today's good first. Do not let anything fog your molds as you pray for today's good. Keep your future molds polished and fill them at other times. Pray in steps, in the right order, or scattered prayer will delay your miracles.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. – Matthew 6:12. This phrase mentions debts and debtors. If you forgive the debts others owe you, your Father will forgive your debts. Pouring love on everyone is crucial. Live as the Christ would live and imagine that you are Christed.

God cannot forgive you if you still charge a debt of blame or guilt to yourself or others. If you cannot declare that Light absorbs the past, you have not forgiven your debtors. What you bind or loose on earth is bound or loosed in heaven. "Father, forgive my debts" is self-thinking that blocks your good. "Father, forgive me" is the prescription. Debts blossom when you want someone else to pay them.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. – Matthew 6:13. God never leads you into temptation, but you lead yourself with self-thinking and devotion to self. Do not blame yourself for the past, just ascend high enough to lift the force you have created to the altar. Grab negative thoughts, ascend them, and change them into Light.

Every day you cry, "Father, deliver me." Every day God delivers you from something, from your one small inanity to your million stupidities. He delivers you from your self-created evils all the time. For everything you lift, He lifts you miles and delivers you. He makes you remember to return and finish what you have left undone. God speaks to you as your conscience.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. – Matthew 6:13. Prayer builds your ladder of faith, and you build another rung when you stand firm. Love is the principle. However, faith builds your love into visibility, and keeps it operating and working. Faith is the expression of love that makes things visible.

Prayer is too often a one-sided affair. Many reach the golden silence, and may stay there all day, but complain that they do not hear God's Voice. To see and hear spiritually, you must listen. High prayer tunes you to God's broadcasting station. You can train your ears until you rev your spiritual hearing up to a higher band. Say, "Here I am, God. Over," as aviators do, then listen.

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When Prayer Is Working 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline was used June 4, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scriptures: Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:17-23.

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. – Ephesians 1:10.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. – Ephesians 1:17-23.

When is prayer working? All the time. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. – John 5:17. These may be just words unless you put a deep, inner conviction behind them. Your results depend on the depth of your convictions.

How do you know that your prayers are working? Are there any guidelines? How do you know what is good to pray for? Is there any way to be sure? In the past, people tried to ensure that their prayers would get to God by self-flagellation, starvation, wearing hair shirts, and punishing the body to save the soul. Even today, some sects ban movies, dancing, card games or wearing jewelry. Doing these things as self torture is just one step from forcing others to become "good" according to some particular doctrine. Today we call it brainwashing, but it is still the use of force.

The Western world produced a wave of revulsion against self-inflicted cruelty and torture after the Medieval Era. Yet again, various meditation practices have swept the United States from the Orient. Fakirs walk on hot coals, and sleep on beds of nails, and swords. Yet the first thing they teach is to relax, to get comfortable and let go of all conscious thought. Complete inactivity, to become peaceful and quiet, is a preparation for sleep and death. Forcing your focus on nothing results in instantly lowering the vibration of body cells, and a dying down of all active vibration. The result of which, of course, is to go to sleep.

You can let go either down or up in consciousness. A lower vibration is a colder vibration, which tightens the nerves until you huddle to remain warm. You settle inside the body, and close the mental body lotus petals. You must ascend in consciousness to warm the nerves and reach not a sunken slackening, but an ascending relaxation. The nerves expand as you think up to God, let go of all tension, and lift it into Light.

Meditation teachers instruct their followers to take a mantra, a formula of words with them into the silence, to meditate on them. Such mental action starts an inner conflict of association and comparison. The mantra is still for the "little me" because the self is still interested in thinking of its relationship to God. Self is still dwelling on self.

Prayers work at the vibration level of the prayer. Each prayer is working on a set level, a level set by self or by soul. If you ask for peace, it provides no energy, no activity, because peace operates as quiet, sleep or death. Even if you ask for strength, saying, "Father, please fill me with strength," the prayer goes forth according to the fervor behind the words. Such prayer is still on the level of my relationship to God, and lowers my vibration. Prayer based on the level of pondering God's relationship to you, raises your vibration, which is the meaning of My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. – John 5:17.

The right way to pray must be something else. How do you know what is good? Are your prayers spiritually legal? First, you must ask yourself, Do I really want what I have asked for, or is it something I think I want? A legendary story illustrates this.

As a youth, St. Augustine caused his mother great anxiety. He was a wayward son, rebellious, disobedient, with no interest in the Church. He wanted to leave home for the big city, Rome. His mother prayed novenas, lit candles to all the saints to keep him at home. God did not answer her prayers. She wanted her son saved, yet worded her prayers to the self. Her son went to Rome, and somehow met St. Ambrose, who trained him. Eventually, he became St. Augustine, a wonderful man, who saved many souls. Yet, God had ignored his mother's spoken prayers. God instead answered her heart's deep desire to save her son.

Prayer, to be right, must be purged of self. To be legal, prayer must be selfless, and for the world. God looks into the hearts of those who pray. What is not answered, is not good for soul growth. Say instead, "God, please take my weak, ineffectual prayers, and throw them into the scrap basket. Please give me Your prayers for me."

Second, ask yourself, "Are my prayers selfish, or are they for everyone?" God is only interested in the best for everyone. He has an inexhaustible supply of legal blessings, so move upward on the ladder of prayer.

Third, ask yourself, "Will I declare everything good? Am I willing to become what God wants me to become? Do I want to be the kind of person for whom God answers prayer?" Do you still want your way without giving up self, just paying lip service? When you surrender self to be used by the Power, nothing of self or darkness can withhold God's Light, life or abundance from you.

God cannot restrain Himself from giving you all good things. God is always ready and available. Stand in your own shaft of Light now. No one is too insignificant to be answered. No one is greater than another. When you follow law, you experience no delay. You must know that your answer is always there, waiting for you. Declare, "I do know that my own good is there all the time, waiting for me." Remain mentally and emotionally still until you can feel the Light. This is how to "wait upon the Lord."

Will you hear a Voice? Perhaps, but no matter, wait until the abundance of Light convinces your sense of knowing. After you ask, you should experience a feeling of warmth, a glow while waiting in the Light. This is the right way, the "up" way. If you doubt, you will feel no warmth, for it is a "no." Then, change your form of asking. It does not mean that your desire is illegal, but that your form of asking is illegal.

After asking once, stop asking and substitute praise for your desire. Stand, praise, and wait in the Light. One moment of fervent praise is worth an hour of lukewarm armchair meditation. Use contemplation in the Light instead of meditation on self-centered words. "Be ye raised up from the dead" of your overstuffed chair. The "first death" is a lowered vibration. The "second death" is sinking lower in vibration to loss of identity with your Source.

Whatever you declare good is named and numbered "good" above. A miracle is a desire that you have given enough life to act on earth. Jesus said, "Some here shall never see death," meaning that they would never have a lowered vibration. Ordinary meditation lowers the vibration to descend in consciousness. If the crown lotus petals close, it drives the Oversoul from the body. It shuts out life, and you cannot contact God. Create a quiet time in which to contemplate life and Light, and to ascend. You will know that your prayers are working.

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When Prayer Is Working 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated June 4, 1961, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Margaret Pratt Doan, Ruth Johnson, Ross and Virginia Whitehead. Scriptures: Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:17-23.

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. – Ephesians 1:10.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. – Ephesians 1:17-23.

Prayer is working all the time. Our Father neither slumbers nor sleeps. Use these verses as your prayer mottoes: The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. – John 14:10. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. – John 5:17. This is all you need, yet these declarations may be just words without a deep conviction backing them. The power of your words, your results depend on the height and depth and breadth of your convictions.

Most people ask several questions regarding prayer: How do I know if my method of prayer is working? What guidelines should I use? How do I know what is good to pray for? Is there any way to be sure?

Prayers work at the vibration level of the prayer. Each prayer is working on a set level. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28. So, continue praising no matter whether your prayer seems to be working. To be successful, you must offer your prayer on a love vibration, because Power works on the level of your consciousness.

In former times, people practiced flagellation and starvation. They lay on nails, swords, and walked on hot coals. Such practices began in India where certain fakirs mutilated and immolated themselves. Later the early Christian world held the idea that anything enjoyable or pleasing was the work of the devil. They wore hair shirts, meted out punishments for pleasure and practiced self-mortification to kill self and save the soul. Self torture historically has degenerated into torturing others to convert them or make them more religious. Even today, some sects refuse to dance, play cards, see movies or watch television. All modern brainwashing and cruelty spring from such practices and the use of force.

Self torture is a repulsive idea, so the pendulum then swung to Oriental forms of "meditation." Meditation has two phases, high and low. On the low pole, meditation is just concentration, which tightens the nerves and takes you nowhere fast. That's why we call it "ceiling bumping." Some methods tell you to be comfortable, in the right position, to relax and let go of all conscious thought. They recommend complete inactivity, peacefulness and quiet, which are the preparations for sleep or death. This instantly lowers the body cells' vibration, and causes all active vibrations to die down to nothing. People, of course, go to sleep.

Others tell you to take a personal mantra, a formula of words into the silence to meditate on them. Mental action creates an inner conflict, because the word-formula is still for "me." Self is interested in and thinks about its relationship to God, which is still self-centered. Some schools of meditation tell you to ask for peace, a vibration that lacks energy or activity besides the quiet of sleep or death. You can enter the silence seeking peace and you may get it, but when you seek peace for the self, it is inactive.

Your vibration dies as you meditate on words such as peace, because you have now named peace as your goal. Thus, and you shut out the mainstream of the River of Life. To seek peace is selfish. Other schools tell their followers to ask for strength, so they ask, "Fill me with strength." Yet strength is a powerful quality and you cannot get it from meditation.

Prayer is different from meditation. Prayer goes forth according to the fervor behind the words. Prayer on the level of your relationship with God lowers your vibration. Prayer based on God's relationship to you raises the vibration, since it expresses the law of "My Father works hitherto, and I work." A lower vibration is a colder vibration that tightens nerves. You huddle to get warm and your mental body lotus petals close.

Einstein taught that when mass accelerates in energy, it becomes light. Nerves can relax only under love's warmth, but become numb while you concentrate on cold "peace." When you move up in energy, you call it Ascension, which results in warmer nerves, not a sunken but an ascending relaxation. Think up in consciousness, let go of all tension, and lift self and self's problems to a cloud continent of Light. You either can let down or go up in consciousness.

Enter the golden silence to relax your nerves. Add love, and the vibration increases. When you try to escape life, you lower your vibration. You must add more life to meditation, and leave out self to ascend. When you move up on a high vibration to meditate, you establish God's relationship to you, not yours to God.

How do I know what is good? Are my prayers spiritually legal? Do I really want what I ask for, or is it what I think I want? The story of St. Augustine illustrates all these questions. He was a wayward son, rebellious, disobedient and would have nothing to do with the Church when he was in his early teens. Instead, he wanted to leave home for the big city, Rome. His mother prayed novenas and lit candles to all the saints to keep him at home.

God did not answer her prayer. God does not answer any prayer to make you feel good. Augustine went to Rome, somehow met St. Ambrose, who made a man of the callow youth and trained him. Augustine became one of the greatest of saints, a saver of souls. His mother's prayer went unanswered, because she worded it for the self, dictating to God, playing God, though she wanted her son to be saved. Instead, God answered this mother's deep desire.

God always answers the sincere prayer of the soul, when purged of self. Prayer, to be right and legal, must be selfless and for the world. God looks into the hearts of all who pray and answers only the good. The world needs activity. Prayer always works according to the state of your consciousness. Power must have something to work with, and it works on the vibration you establish.

Do you really want what you are praying for? Are you wording your prayer as a thank-you? Say to God, "Father, please pray for me and through me so that Your Power expresses as me." Declare that the Power of God is filling you. Are you praying for what you think someone else should have? Put each person on a cloud continent of Light, declare perfection and all that God wants for him. Declare, "Let illumination move through him to awaken his mind and heart." If you look around to see if God is answering your prayer, you tear it to pieces. Leave it to God.

Do you know when your prayers are spiritually legal? They are when you pray for God to do the work and preface your requests and declarations with "let." Are you a person whom God can trust with answered prayers? No matter how God answers your prayer, despite the form it takes, if you can stand and say, "Thank You, Father, this is good," you are a person for whom God can answer prayer.

Are you willing to give up man-made ideas of good and bad to say, "This is good," to each blow? All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28. God gives you time to pick up your cross-vibrations. When you have had an answer to prayer, God has gathered all things up as one in Christ.

How can you have perfection in your life? The Psalmist said, "I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever." – Psalm 23:6. The Master said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." – John 14:2. You each have a room there – the mansion of soul, the golden bowl, the crown lotus, your head. When you live in the higher creative center, it frees you of earth's bedevilment.

Some people say, "Don't bother God with little things." Yet, this attitude is abortive. Nothing is small. How can you bother God? Do you bother the water company when you ask them to turn on the water? Turning on light does not bother the power company, so how can you bother God? God pours forth His Love.

Ascend in consciousness to your upper room and stand under the Light in the House of the Lord. Your nerves expand in the warmth of the love of God. Declare, "This is my way of life. I know prayer works." Stretch out your arms, saying, "Father, please touch everyone on my list." You have the power of choice in meditation, so declare, "I stand in the Light, not to meditate but to contemplate God's goodness and greatness while Power does the work."

Sitting in a chair, relaxing while praying is good, but you must remain spiritually active, positive, loving and selfless in God. Do not force your will. Name the person you would treat, not from meditative peace, but from on high, covered in Light as you speak the Word. Light from the Source then moves through you to stretch your nerves and to heal you and those for whom you pray.

Always pray from "up there." You can speak the Word from anywhere on earth, or pray while you work. When you come to a rest period, pray and rest up as God holds you in the Heart of the Almighty. Leave it all to the Father in your prayers. Pray from a vital point of Light, until you feel warm, and know the work is done because Power goes forth to heal. Live in a state of poise, a high contemplative point of serene poise, not a cushioned armchair peace.

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The Soul's Exaltation

This Edna Lister Prayer Circle speech outline is dated November 13, 1961, Washington, D.C. Scriptures: Psalm 86:4 and John 12:32.

Rejoice the soul of thy servant, for unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. – Psalm 86:4.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. – John 12:32.

To be exalted is to be "lifted up." The Psalm tells us to lift up our souls in praise. You can experience no exaltation without aspiration. You must aspire toward something beyond the self, for life is as dull as ditch water without some greater goal.

You constantly center your attention on something, from birth to transition. Wherever you center your attention, you have miracles. So you must choose, Light or dark, up or down, self or soul. Your soul's lifeline moves along your attention-line. When you pay attention to self, you notice aches, pains, lacks and needs. So you have a miracle of needs. Your whole life flows into needs-molds, which are full of holes, such as self-pity, and thus are always empty. You are using God's life, Mind, Substance and Power, but everything leaks out.

When you pay attention to soul, the fullness of supply makes your molds self-sealing, and the substance does not leak. Soul-attention creates joy. Self-attention creates grimness in appearance, which finally creates a grim attitude. The "nobody loves me" look drives people away, including opportunities and money.

You must have a high goal, a goal toward which to aspire. Through inspiration, you automatically move into prayer. Prayer comes in several kinds and degrees. "Duty prayer" gets up at 6:00 a.m. every day, because "I must have my time of silence." This attitude creates "ceiling bumpers," who get no farther than the room. Joyous prayer always praises God. "I thank Thee, Father, for what I want. I know I have it. Let it be visible."

Prayer can be conscious or unconscious. Some have no trouble praying rejoicing prayers. Others would be tongue-tied if they were asked to pray. Some never pray, and never enjoy the silence. Yet every breath is a prayer. Unconsciously, some live this way, because they are joyous, vital with life, and have a good word for everyone they meet. These people pray with their whole soul.

From your prayer room at the crown of your head, you are always in contact with God. You must do three things to enter this room and close the door on the world. First, you must tune out all earth noises. Then you tune out all earth sound waves. Finally you must tune out all earth thought waves. This process is not mental concentration. You came to earth equipped with a master switch that you can use to tune in on the high frequencies, deep in the golden silence. You use a lower instrument panel for low-level flights of imagination, and a high instrument panel for soul flights of pure joyous exaltation.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. – Psalm 91:1-2. The golden silence is the "secret place of the Most High," the source of the soul's life. Do not clutter it by trying to find feeble words. Time fits itself into space here, and results in harmony. You find all your missing parts in the silence. You have been running on half parts, some you have thrown away, used up, some rusted out, others are still in their original packaging.

God is all potential Power, life attributes and qualities of Mind. When you use these, the result is Transfiguration and Ascension, the final steps in joyous exaltation of soul. You have moved up in consciousness. Center your attention on the Light, the Power, the universal substance of God. Right here, take stock. Are you clinging to anything of the past? Are you seeking more love or appreciation from someone who has already given you your quota?

A higher moment of ecstasy, of glory is always possible. You must surrender the last tiny bit of self, as the Master did on the cross. Then you can say, "I commend my spirit to God's care." This includes your body, feelings, thinking and imagination. The Master commanded us, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." You can be. For this one moment, I am perfect because God's life in me is perfect when unobstructed by self. This is your Mount of Transfiguration and Ascension of the soul in its joyous exaltation.

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Let Your Light So Shine

This Edna Lister speech outline is dated August 7, 1963, 48th Congress of the International New Thought Alliance, Seattle, Washington. Scriptures: Matthew 5:16, James 1:17 and Matthew 6:22.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. – James 1:17.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. – Matthew 6:22.

Our Father of lights is always available, always ready to give. We are ready now for our good and perfect gifts. The Light from above now fills us.

The Light from above now absorbs every darkness in my/our life. The Light now moves through you and all your loved ones. The Light from above now fills me. The Light from above now fills all my loved ones. The Light from above now rules my life. I give all my loved ones into the Father's keeping. I place all my affairs above me on a cloud in the Light. Light has melted, dissolved and absorbed anything imperfect. Light is my one perfect gift from the Father above.

The Light is. It cannot turn away. My Light so shines. My Light is always bright. My shining Light is forever moving before me to make clear and easy my way.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. – Matthew 6:22. In prayer, begin with a glorious, magnificent expression of acknowledgment of God as your Source, such as, "O Thou, the Source, the Light and the glory."

Think of the names and picture the faces of those you know and love. Declare that Light now makes a sheath, a cushion around their physical bodies. See every artery and vein encased in a sheath of this Light. See the Light coating every vein and artery inside with this Light. This Light absorbs everything imperfect.

To treat, declare, "I now place all my loved ones on clouds of Light above the earth. I give each of my loved ones his or her own cloud of Light. I place all my affairs on a cloud above me. I now call down Light from above upon my loved ones, upon my affairs and the problems."

"God's Light now fills everyone and everything I have lifted with itself, absorbing darkness. All disease, all discomfort is now melted, dissolved and absorbed. Their bodies are now filled with Light."

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Life, the Laboratory of Soul 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline December 5, 1965, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: 1 Kings 3:1-15.

And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.– 1 Kings 3:1-15.

A laboratory is a place for research, for the mixing of different combinations, watching what will happen, and experimenting. Life is a laboratory where you spend one-third of your time experimenting, inspired by either curiosity or boredom.

Life is a great school of preparation, but for what? Unless you hold a definite belief in a Supreme Being, God, then nothing is greater than the self. You find little or no reason to prepare if you think you have nothing to prepare for, since you are good enough as you are.

When a person or a culture denies God or Jesus the Christ, it universally and generally repudiates all responsibility. With no check upon your morals, deterioration sets in. The body must have contact with something greater than the self, or you merely exist as an animal, a zombie, in rock-like static state. With only a physical focus for life, the body drives the existence through the appetitive creature urges of eating, mating and sleeping.

Prayer must be the basic ingredient in your life's laboratory, and its product is greater faith. Once you bring your prayer to simmer, as you would a culture in a laboratory, it goes on working for you, day and night. To cover all life's needs, you must mix every other ingredient with your basic prayer. To know what to mix, you must analyze your prayer and think high thoughts. Yet this is not all you must do. A prayer, high or low, is still a prayer, something you are asking God to do or to give you.

Prayer of any kind works at every level. You set the vibration to the cold, cool, lukewarm or piping hot. Thus, prayer can be powerful or powerless. The questions you ask cannot find the answer as to why some prayers seem to work, but others produce no results. You must change your prayer's vibration to change your results.

For example, St. Augustine's mother [Saint Monica] had a hard time raising him because he was constantly in trouble as a youth. He wanted to go to Rome, but she prayed that God would keep him at home. Finally, he went to Rome where he met St. Ambrose, who aroused his faith. The Father did not answer his mother's prayers. She had tried dictating to God, thinking she knew best. She wept, wailed and all but hated God for not intervening. Yet, her prayer did work in another way. She only wanted protection for her son and that he be good. Yet, St. Augustine later became one of earth's greatest "way-showers."

This story shows that you must do something to make prayer work for you in the right way. The story of Solomon's thousand burnt offerings also illustrates this. Mount Gibeon was a high place, where the devout had made burnt offerings long before Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem. The high place represents the higher creative center in the head, the closet of the soul where you pray to make a thousand burnt offerings of self, which are figuratively one thousand days of burning the dross of self from the soul. This is how you shift your path from mere self-control to soul-conquering.

You ask, How long does this take? Do I receive any results for trying? The strength of your prayers is working day and night. If you ignore the flops, and keep on keeping on, one day you will be victorious. Do I receive a reward? Yes! If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. – John 15:7.

You cannot pray amiss if you have made a thousand burnt offerings to open the petals of the crown center to illumination and intuition. Solomon needed to know how to rule Israel, so he kept making burnt offerings until they numbered a thousand. To do this, you must hold fast to God consciousness, with no questions or internal conflicts, to complete your burnt offerings and earn length of days.

Symbolically, the Tree of Life is the spine, through which the creative fire rises to the crown center in the head, to open your door to the Master. As you make that full contact, you earn the rewards of humility and fear of the Lord, riches, honor and long life. Now ask yourself, Am I the kind of person who is willing to be transformed? Am I someone whose prayers God can answer?

One moment of fervent, rapturous praise is better than two hours of armchair meditation. Like Solomon, we can open our eyes of wisdom to the riches of His glory, to comprehend the vastness and greatness of His Power. Let prayer work for you – set your vibration on high.

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Life, the Laboratory of Soul 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated December 5, 1965, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Elizabeth Barnes, Margaret Pratt Doan and Irene White. Scripture: 1 Kings 3:1-13.

And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.– 1 Kings 3:1-15.

Today is so great and I have so much to give you that I am nearly bursting with the glory of it. I would like to tell you of the vastness of the Computer Mind of God, of what goes on behind the scenes for even the smallest of miracles. People ask, "Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?" They feel suspended, open to all suggestions because they have no answers to these questions.

Laboratories are places of experimentation where you try things out. You must accept earth as a great experimental school of preparation, which implies that something lies ahead of you to prepare for, but what? You cannot answer these questions without some belief in God as a Father, and Jesus as the Only Begotten Son. Without a belief anchored in God above, people repudiate responsibility.

Assuming responsibility is growth, according to a "more and more" plan for living and growing. Escape from responsibility leads to senility, dementia, catatonia, all illnesses that we will wipe out when psychiatry makes the Bible its foundation.

You must stock your laboratory of life with the basic ingredients of principle. You fill your beaker of consciousness three quarters full of faith, add other ingredients, and make a product called character. Faith releases God's Power with nothing left out. What are you going to produce in your laboratory of life? Your product is prayer. You get nothing without prayer that produces, yet prayer is no good without action.

The Master gave us the key, joy. Add a pinch of joy, and something stirs inside you. Add another pinch of joy, your prayer mixture begins to bubble, so put in more joy. Keep adding joy until it bubbles actively. If it lacks sparkle, it isn't going to sell. Most people add just enough joy to suggest a miracle. Praise gives prayer that sparkle, and opens the great Source of faith. You can produce a divine fragrance from this laboratory called life, but you need to be a super sales agent to put your product over as a success.

As James Montgomery wrote, "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed." Increase your soul expression in your uttered words, for they are what your thoughts are. A producer says, "I know God can do anything," and speaks words selling the kingdom of heaven, and the glory of God. Keep adding words of praise, joy and faith to your life. You can put the fire out with just a few idle words. Prayer cannot be to the self, but you can and must use it as a basis for lifting the world, with no demands for yourself.

Prayer can change the words on others' lips into Light. Pray for the other person that the Light will go forth, that they will have compassion, express all good, all Love. A bad curse is a prayer on that degree. Declare that curse is changed to a higher degree. How could you gain your crown if you had nobody out there for whom to pray? Prayer is thought, of whatever degree your words are. If your words are negative, you will get what you send out because your results must conform to your words. Keep your retort filled with love and praise.

Solomon went to the high place at Gibeon and offered 1,000 days of burnt offerings, which means 1,000 days of offering up self. Mystically, it symbolizes the nerve endings in the 1,000-petal lotus of the crown bursting into flame when you pray. You can be what you visualize. Sacrifice the little self and give your soul a chance.

Nobody can infect you, touch you, interfere with you. No outside power can get inside your aura to hurt you unless you say, He hurt me," or "This is one of those awful days." Who is in charge of your day? Declare Light and Light refills your aura.

If you must deal with a disagreeable person, don't say, Here it comes again," or This will be one of those days." A demanding boss is a polisher, as family is a polisher. Submit to the polishing to become gloriously free. You may feel rubbed raw, but lift to gain your rewards for living after the divine pattern. The more you lift, the more the Father gives you to lift.

Put your burnt offerings on the altar every day, accompanied with your joy and praise. Make the sacrifice of self, blame, hate, and repudiation into peace offerings. This is the glory, the Divine Pattern when you desire to make your thousand days of burnt offerings.

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The Prayers of the Elect

This Edna Lister speech outline is dated July 6, 1966, International New Thought Alliance 51st Congress Healing Meeting, Los Angeles, California. Scripture: Matthew 24:22.

Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. – Matthew 24:22.

The prayers of the Elect are doing God’s perfect work. Light is now denuding evil of all power. Do you believe this?

The same Power that created the world is now recreating it. This is the one Power. Declare, "I now surrender to be used by this Power." God did not create us to use this Power, but to be used by it. "Not I, but the Father works hitherto."

Every time you forgive, the Light you release lifts evil into Light, which withers it, for evil must have darkness in which to work. When you cover evil with Light, it has no power. Refuse to have enemies. Ignore darkness, saying, "Let there be Light."

No one can touch your creative prayer molds. When God says "yes," man’s "no" is worthless. Remember these immortal words, "Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of my loved ones." You have no enemies. Give Light for everything that comes to you, which is forgiveness. Then you will say, "I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever."

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And cry: "Behold, he prays!"

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,
Our watchword at the gate of death;
We enter heaven with prayer.

O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray!
– James Montgomery


References

Lowell, James Russell. The Works of James Russell Lowell, Vol. 11. Houghton, Mifflin, p. 181, 1892.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, "Consecration." Weiner, E.S.C., ed,2 Volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, "Aspiration." 5th ed. G. & C. Merriam Co., Springfield, Massachusetts, 1938.

Will Oursler (1913-1985) was an author, lecturer and radio commentator who wrote frequently on religious and inspirational subjects.


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