Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The unveiling of the invisible

Note: The following is an edited excerpt from G. Granger Fleming, The Dynamic of All Prayer: An Essay in Analysis (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, 1914), 87-99.

Prayer: The Unveiling of the Invisible

By Prayer, as we have seen, the visible is taken into the region of the invisible, the soul of the material is discovered. By Prayer also the invisible is disclosed, that which seemed not to exist is found to be the great reality.

Faith is an ill-treated thing in some quarters. Even devout souls frequently regard it as being a creature of the emotions. Not “faith,” they say, but “reality,” is what we must have. We must not simply believe a certain thing, we must know it, and it must be capable of demonstration. Faith, however, is not an operation of the mind whereby things are created. True faith is an apprehension of that which really exists, but which cannot be seen except by those who have this inner sense. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” To the eye of faith, the inner things are as evident as are the material to the physical eyesight.

The true status of the Christian is seeing the Lord Jesus, living in the region of the invisible. “We see not all things put under man… We see Jesus."

It is not that the invisible has to be created. It is there already: What has to be created is the power to see. Here the same principle applies to other physical powers and visible entities. Prayer not only transmutes the physical, it also deals with the perceptive power. The physical or psychological sense of perception is also brought into the region of the spiritual.

Formerly we dwelt on the objective action of Prayer on material things. Thus when we pray about some one, or some thing, or some idea, we at once bring that within the influence of the inner and spiritual life, and subject it to God's power working there. But more is done, for in bringing the material there, our own thoughts and minds are brought there also, and thus the influence becomes subjective. The miracle is wrought on all planes.

The mind, being thus brought into this sphere, has the power of beholding, studying, and apprehending the powers of the inner world. In this way the invisible becomes real, because the mind and heart have acquired the faculty of apprehension.

This flows from the new birth, the being born from above, the being born of the Spirit, the receiving of the life of Christ into ourselves: Spiritual vision implies spiritual life. Our spiritual vision is according to our spiritual life.

Many a Christian is unable to see clearly. The things of the Spirit are hazy to him or her. But as the inner person is strengthened, s/he begins to live in the region of the invisible, until it is more real than the passing things of the material world.

The more life, the more vision. To get the greater vision we must get a fuller life. Not by hard study and puzzling of the brain, but by becoming more and more one in Spirit with the Master, does true Knowledge come. Thus it is that God has “hidden the deep things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes."

Life gives the power to see. Life gives the power pray: To see the invisible is to live in the Spirit world, and to learn the Spirit ways, and to wield the Spirit forces. This is where we are to come -- into the invisible, real world. We transcend the visible and are at rest in our true home, the land of the Spirit. True Prayer brings us there. It is the door into Heaven.

And it changes us. It brings us into the region of the heavenly, as a present reality.

Affinity for the spiritual grows in prayer. Prayer creates a new world for us by creating in us correspondence with that new world. What the Christian heart sighs for in its thoughts of heaven, the vision, the joy, the power to see and to serve -- to all these Prayer gives the key. Even now, we can enter heaven in prayer, children of the King.

Prayer: Lord, give us the vision, give us the entrance into Thy presence that we may see Thy face and serve Thee now and evermore. In Your name we pray, and for Your glory, Amen.

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