Working with the Law: Powerful Principles for Abundant Living
By Raymond Holliwell
Chapter 5: The Law of Increase
“Let everything that hath breath praise the (LAW) Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm I50
WITHOUT exception I believe everyone has read or heard the delightful story of Aladdin and his magic lamp; how a poor boy had stumbled upon the little genie who led him to find a dusty old lamp. It was a magic lamp, and when he rubbed it briskly, a little man appeared out of a cloud before him and asked to fill his wishes. We, as children, have always dreamed of fairies and of the beautiful things in life that we wished we might have, yet many of our dreams remained as such because we could do nothing about them.
In truth we may not believe in fairies but we know there is a principle equivalent to the magic lamp. No, it is not something material that we can carry about and rub at will to find a little genie to do our bidding; it is an understanding which enables us to use the Law more clearly, and in using it we stimulate our good and bring about much for our pleasure and happiness that seems like magic or miracles. This understanding is the act of praising God, the Law, for that which we desire, and invariably the fulfillment of that desire is speeded up to almost magic proportion.
This method is, of course, not new.
It has been used throughout the Bible from beginning to end. Praise has ever been a common method used to employ the attention, favor, and blessing of God, however one believed in it. In early history we learn that the people would bring their sacrifices and place them on the altar to gain the favor of Jehovah. Following this act they would render their praise in song and ceremony, believing that by so doing they would be favored, their prayers would be granted. Read the song of Moses and note its structure.
Read of the fall of Jericho and note the process used by the people, who marched about the city walls until they crumbled and fell, and who became conquerors. Read the last Psalm of David, and in doing so remember that it has been used by the Hebrews for ages and has proven most effective throughout the centuries. The singing of songs or the blowing of trumpets does not bring the results you pray for; nor do you suddenly gain favor with God because of it. The effect of your efforts does not influence God in any sense, but it does influence you. It enables you to be lifted up and unconsciously touch the Law and gain its blessing.
What has been an unconscious act or an accidental method can become a known fact and a regular means of stimulating your good. If one learns the simple method of praise, that alone will stimulate and increase his good. Jesus once said, “If one has faith as a grain of mustard seed, he can move mountains.” If one can realize the power of praise he can do the same. Praise is complementary to faith. Whereas faith is wisdom and understanding, praise is the application of that understanding. Faith is the boiler that holds a substance of power, whereas praise is the fuel that generates that power into an active force.
If you must constantly watch your boiler and care especially for the fuel that charges it, in order to get the most out of it, then the fuel is a very important part of the machinery. In like manner, faith without praise is but a cold boiler, an inert mass of machinery. It may be nice to look at or to talk about, but of no value more than that until it is put in motion and produces. Praise is a stimulant of the mind. It quickens prayer. It magnetizes all the good around you. It transforms that good into usable, visible substance.
A woman was crying bitterly and praying tearfully to God for her release. The Master hearing her, silenced her and asked, “Is your God a God of tears, of grief and anguish and pain?” Ah, no; God is a giver of joy and peace and happiness and love. You want peace and joy, yet you pray to your Father with tears. If you want black, do you ask for white? If you ask for a fish do you expect a serpent? If you ask for bread, do you expect a stone? You can only get what you expect, for the unchanging Law is ever working to supply you. Prayer should not be one of supplication, pleading, begging, entreating, a sad state. It should be one of claiming, declaring, decreeing, praising and a joyful thanksgiving.
Praise is an avenue of prayer through which the Spirit Law expresses itself. Praise is a broad highway, while all other forms are only feeding arteries. Through this inherent Law, when man praises, he opens himself upward to God. He lifts his consciousness to a higher realm and becomes ~ greater channel to receive the good that is ever waiting to come to him. Praise opens a little door in his mind that enables him to draw closer to God and to be attuned to the Divine forces within and about him. Praise is the shortest route to complete any demonstration and the quickest way to enjoy effectual prayer. Praise expands and opens the mind upward, while its opposite, condemnation, contracts and restricts.
The whole creation responds to praise and is glad. You may have noted how a trainer, after each performance of his charges, would give them a satisfied pat or some morsel of food they especially liked. That man was wise in using the Law in bringing out the best work from his charges and thereby giving the best performance. You have noticed perhaps how children will glow with gladness and joy when they receive commendation and praise. Those who have trouble with their servants or helpers can learn much by using this method and will find a great difference in the quality and quantity of work produced.
You have experienced at some time, I am sure, this Law in your affairs. Have you ever had someone to condemn or criticize your efforts when you were trying to please? Did you not feel like folding up within yourself? Perhaps you even felt like quitting the job and letting someone else worry about it. Least of all, such an experience suppressed your interest and zeal, and you did not desire to do better. That is how one reacts when the Law is reversed. Whereas when someone praises you for your efforts, you feel like expanding and doing better, trying harder to be more perfect. Your interest becomes greater because of that pleasure, and with your happiness you bring happiness into your work and all around you. It is a well known fact that even plant life is responsive to praise, for I have seen flowers praised to longer life and beauty.
When we are praised or praise ourselves there is a physical response within our bodies. Doctors tell us that the cells of our body respond to the Law. They seem to know and to expand in strength, in capacity, and even in intelligence. Of course, we know that it is the mind working through every cell that causes the expansion.
All thoughts act through an invisible ether. As water expands into power when it is heated and retards into a solid mass of ice when it is chilled, the Law of Spirit is reflected in the law of physics. Though we may not sense it or fully understand it, our thoughts are moving continually in this invisible ether, and they are either increasing or diminishing in power and intelligence. When we praise the richness and opulence of God, the Law, our thoughts are greatly increased in the mental atmosphere. This increase affects our being in that it reflects in everything our mind and hands may touch. If we are contracting our thoughts through fear, criticism, and complaint, we reflect that contraction and our results are delayed or frozen.
It has been proven that a failing business can be praised into success. Supposed lost friends have returned their affections when the Law of Praise was used. One man told me that while out driving he heard a clicking noise develop in the rear of his car. He talked to his machine and praised it to get him home safely and without delay. He drove some thirty miles and rolled into the driveway safely. When he tried to move the car further he discovered a broken axle. A woman wrote me stating that she was weary looking at an old carpet that had seen better days and had given good service. She tried the praise method and began to speak kindly to the old rug. Within a few days she had word that a brand new carpet was on its way from Colorado, and that same week she received three smaller rugs equally as new.
Her husband, upon seeing the contrast with the new floor covering, decided hurriedly that they must have a new suite of furniture. So, all in all, the Law worked, and by praising the old rug she has a newly furnished living room. Whether the changes are in inanimate things or in individuals, it matters not so long as the desired results are obtained. The Law works without discrimination.
But better still, though praise is good for other persons and things, it is our salvation too. Praise changes our observation, our whole outlook of life. In the past we were in the habit of seeking our weaknesses and failings, as well as the shortcomings of others, but now we see differently. We look for the accomplishments, the good, and the beauty that is worthy of our praise. This, in turn, has a dual effect. It enriches our human self and we are able to radiate praise, joy, courage, and happiness to all who are affected by our influence. It affects our inner self in such a way that our memory begins to retain all praiseworthy thoughts sent to it.
This sets up a new system of thinking and gradually the old thoughts that were destroying become absorbed in the new ones. Thus it becomes habitual to think praises, and our life takes on the likeness of all good that is worth praising.
Praise with the heart is far more vital and effectual than praise with the head or praise from the lips. Praise does not flatter nor influence God as it does some humans who are turned by superficial praise and applause. Praise is not intended for God. It is intended only for man and is an aid to enable man to lift himself upwards to become attuned with the Law or God. It raises his state of consciousness that he may become more receptive to the good about him and lifts him above the lack of it. Praise raises man’s vibration, speeds up his activity, stimulates his faith and contacts a higher realm of thought.
We copy from the Israelites a practice that falls annually. Each year we have a Thanksgiving service, and many think it is for us to express our gratitude for the year past. If you think a moment you can readily see that this is a reversal of the Law of Praise. Such a service should not be a REVIEW, it should be a PREVIEW. That is, a true Thanksgiving service should be an expression of our faith, not in the past, but in the present and in the future to come.
Many of us have gotten into a rut. We want our pay in advance. We offer praise after our barns are well filled. If all is going well we are willing to pause to give thanks for our good fortune. Anyone can be grateful with the gift already in hand. If conditions are bad, our harvest lean, or trouble besets us, we are apt to forget to praise, and we storm at our failures and often blame God for His neglect.
When one can sing praises in the face of adversity, the adversity will soon disappear. That is not a promise; that is a Law. Learn to render praise, to be thankful for the good at hand, and you will have found the magic lamp of Spirit. This attitude of mind not only brings forth our desires but it also generates our confidence, strengthens our faith, builds up an assurance for the things to come. Thus to be able to praise when things appear the darkest will invariably force the sunshine through. Our degree of faith in the Law and God is measured before we receive, not afterwards. It is that degree of faith that determines what we shall be capable of receiving.
This is what Jesus knew when He said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, BELIEVE that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” Praise is this belief in action, and that action is in the present tense. It is in the Now. Samples of His work show us how He approached His problems. In one case He turned to the patient and asked, “Do you believe?” To another He questioned, “Do you perceive?” In one of His most trying tests, that of going to the tomb where His beloved friend Lazarus lay dead, we see His approach no different.
He stood apart from the mourners and His first words of prayer were, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.” What could one be thankful for at a time like that? But the Master knew He was grateful for the answer to His prayer that Lazarus would be restored to life again. Directly He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth,” and the Book reads that Lazarus stirred in his grave clothes and returned to his body again.
At another time ten lepers called to the Master asking to be healed. He directed them to go show themselves to the priests. Later one of the men came back and expressed his gratitude to Jesus for having been cleansed. Jesus turned to him and asked, “Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?” To the one who touched the Law, he said, “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
One out of ten showed his willingness to return with a grateful heart. He received a permanent healing. Many students fail to repeat their demonstrations because they take too much for granted or they become careless with the Law after they have enjoyed some blessing. One of the first requisites of the Law is that we keep ever an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. If we hope to receive of God’s outpouring good we must keep ourselves receptive, and praise is one of the simplest means known to accomplish this.
Be ever grateful for the very least of things and the very most will come to you. We must keep our thoughts uplifted always, and praise is the means that will do this. If there is any ingratitude lurking in your mind and heart, begin at once to learn the Psalm of David, Praise ye the (Law) Lord.
As we attune our thoughts to the Law of God, that Law serves us in proportion. This the late Russell Conwell, of the Philadelphia Baptist Temple, must have clearly understood when he called his people to attend a special service of Praise in song and prayer. Anyone in his church who wished prayers for his problems was urged to come, and bring his offerings, leave his name, and state his need. One man of meager means came and asked that his daughter’s name be given out. She was a patient in a mental hospital and had to be put away for this reason. The week following the Praise service he called to see his daughter in the hospital and was amazed to have her brought down to him and pronounced healed.
A woman brought her jewels and placed them on the altar as her offering. She was afflicted with a physical condition and suffered painfully. She was unable to walk without the aid of her crutches. When leaving the church after the service, she tripped and fell on the steps. As she was lifted to her feet she realized she had been healed.
Another woman, a widow, came with her mite and asked that she might keep her home, as it was mortgaged and the payments long past due. She went home, but shortly after that it seemed that things were surely going against her. A leak broke out in a water pipe and she was forced to call in a plumber to repair it. How she was ever going to pay him only the Lord would know. When the plumber tore up some floor boards to repair the leak, he uncovered a can of money that her husband had hidden away, and the amount was more than enough to pay the mortgage and the plumber.
These happenings are all true and can be repeated by anyone who will fulfill the Law as this believing minister has done. The Law cannot fail us when we do not fail it. Learn to turn the Law of Praise upon anything you are praying for and you will see action. Praise is faith in action. A faithful law faithfully observed will ever reward generously the observer. The Law of Praise will lift you from sickness to health; it will raise you from ignorance to intelligence, from poverty to affluence, from weakness to strength, from fear to courage. In fact the Law of Praise will promote you in all things and in all ways. Begin using the Law now.
You haven’t much to begin with, you say? Well, neither did Jesus when he had some five thousand hungry souls to feed. He had only five loaves and a few fish, yet he did something with them. He started action by praising the little at hand and then passed it about. You know the story, and the Master said that what he did we could do, there are no exceptions with the Law. How can it be done? When you learn to take what you have and build upon it, NOT with scorn and condemnation, but with praise and gratitude, you are working the Law and the Law will give the Increase.
Praise LIFE that good is everywhere.