Dr. Emmet Fox, 1886-1951, was a minister, author, teacher, healer, a Christian mystic and a leader in the New Thought movement. He is known for "The Sermon on the Mount" and "Power Through Constructive Thinking" and more. His lectures in New York, at the Hippodrome, the Manhattan Opera House and Carnegie Hall were attended by thousands of people. His simple message: We set our own destiny by our thoughts, words and actions; there is only one presence and power in the universe, God, all else is illusion.
A friend recently reminded me of his short booklet "The Golden Key to Prayer." It could be called the golden key to inner peace because it is a very precise tool to stop the inner worry that can ruin a good day. It's about 1,200 words and a very easy read. For those with computers it is available on the Web. Below are some of the pertinent points and quotes are from the Golden Key.
His golden key to prayer is a practical recipe for getting out of trouble. "Study and research are well in their own time and place, but no amount of either will get you out of a concrete difficulty. Nothing but practical work in your own consciousness will do that. The mistake made by many people, when things go wrong, is to skim through book after book, without getting anywhere. Read 'The Golden Key' several times. Do exactly what it says, and if you are persistent enough you will overcome any difficulty."
He continues, "Prayer will enable you, sooner or later, to get yourself, or anyone else, out of any difficulty on the face of the earth." And, "To those who have no acquaintance with the mightiest power in existence, this may appear to be a rash claim but you need take no one's word for it but simply try it for yourself, and see."
He says that the power to access God "Is not the special prerogative of the Mystic or the Saint, as is so often supposed, or even of the highly trained practitioner. Whoever you are, wherever you may be, it is God who works, and not you, and so your particular limitations or weaknesses are of no account in the process." And, you do not have to believe in God but he asks that you have an open mind and a little faith to try the experiment. Other than that, you may hold any view of God, religion, or none at all.
The method of the prayer is simplicity itself. All that you have to do is: "Stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it is, and think about God instead. This is the complete rule." He says if you will do this, the trouble, whatever it is, will disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is, small or large. It can be anything, from health, money, jail, law-suit, an upsetting experience — any problem. No matter what it is just stop thinking about it, and think of God instead. That is all you have to do.
The only rule is, "stop thinking of the trouble and think about God." If you are obsessed on the problem you are not thinking about God. Do not look over your shoulder to see how matters are progressing or think in advance what the solution could be. That's thinking of the trouble and not God. The object is to eliminate the difficulty and substituting it for the thought of God.
He suggests you choose a simple statement of absolute truth to use. such as, "There is no power but God" or "God is Love" and if it doesn't feel perfect, soon you will find that the "Treatment has begun to take and that your mind is clearing. "Each time that you find your attention wandering, just switch it straight back to God."
Now you have the Golden Key — think of God instead of the problem. I find focusing on a problem only makes it bigger besides it takes my power away.
Sally McKirgan facilitates the Inner Peace column firstname.lastname@example.org.