I was at a support group meeting last week in which a woman was sharing about the chaos and confusion she was experiencing in her life. She itemized her challenges and grievances, and her attempts to solve or change things, which only seemed to make matters worse.
Nothing new in that, really—we’ve all been there. There was a general energy of sympathy and self-recognition in the room. But then she said something that made me sit up sharply. “I pray. Of course,” the woman said, “but even then, I have to be careful. I believe that sometimes the devil answers prayer!”
The devil answers prayer?? Surely that can’t be possible from any religious perspective. It certainly makes no sense to my elevated, New Thought, universal principles consciousness.
Or does it? The more I thought about it, the more I began to suspect that I had (once again) stumbled unawares into an important piece of spiritual guidance. Of course I don’t believe in a being named Satan, any more than I believe in a being named God. I understand God to be a name we use for the infinite creative energy that is all there is. I understand myself to be, in my true I AM Beingness, absolutely One with that God, and thus One with its creative energy.
And the devil? Well, it’s the name we give to our tendency to misuse that innate creative energy—not through meanness or evil, but through simple ignorance. When we don’t understand our power, or don’t believe it, we make choices that create fear instead of love. And then we use those fears that we have created to justify the creation of more fears, until our minds are filled with a whole mass of negative energy that believes in itself!
Now, we understand that we create according to the thoughts we choose to believe. We use that truth to expand the expression of God by choosing positive thoughts, loving beliefs. If, instead, we choose to believe the negative, fear-based thoughts instead, we bring more of that fear into tangible expression. So in a very real sense, we could say that Satan is answering our fear-based demands for more negativity.
Today I will develop my awareness of which thoughts in my mind I AM believing to be true, understanding that what I believe is, in essence, a prayer. Belief in fear creates fear. Belief in love creates love. The choice is always mine and, today, I AM choosing love.