Florence Scovel Shinn-When ye pray ACT as if you have already received.
“AND FIVE OF THEM WERE WISE”
“And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them”—Math. 25:2:3.
My subject is the parable of the Wise and the Foolish Virgins. “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The parable teaches that true prayer means preparation.
Jesus Christ said, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Math. 21:22). “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). In this parable he shows that only those who have prepared for their good (thereby showing active faith) will bring the manifestation to pass.
We might paraphrase the scriptures and say: When ye pray believe ye have it. When ye pray ACT as if you have already received.
Armchair faith or rocking chair faith, will never move mountains. In the armchair, in the silence, or meditation, you are filled with the wonder of this Truth, and feel that your faith will never waver. You know that The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall never want.
You feel that your God of Plenty will wipe out all burdens of debt or limitations. Then you leave your armchair and step out into the arena of Life. It is only what you do in the arena that counts.
I will give you an illustration showing how the law works; for faith without action is dead.
A man, one of my students, had a great desire to go abroad. He took the statement: I give thanks for my divinely designed trip, divinely financed, under grace, in a perfect way. He had very little money, but knowing the law of preparation, he bought a trunk. It was a very gay and happy trunk with a big red band around its waist. Whenever he looked at it it gave him a realization of a trip. One day he seemed to feel his room moving. He felt the motion of a ship. He went to the window to breathe the fresh air, and it smelt like the aroma of the docks. With his inner ear he heard the shriek of a sea-gull and the creaking of the gangplank. The trunk had commenced to work. It had put him in the vibration of his trip. Soon after that, a large sum of money came to him and he took the trip. He said afterwards that it was perfect in every detail.
In the arena of Life we must keep ourselves tuned-up to concert pitch.
Are we acting from motives of fear or faith? Watch your motives with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life.