Allan Kardec

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7. From the maxim: "Whatever you ask for through prayer will be granted," it would be illogical to conclude that one can receive just by asking, and unjust to accuse Providence if a request made is not conceded, because it is known what is best for our own good. This is what happens to a prudent father who refuses to give his son certain things which would be against his own interests. Generally, Man only sees the present moment. Meanwhile if the suffering is useful to our future happiness, then God will let us suffer, just as a surgeon allows the patient to suffer an operation which will cure him.

What God will concede if we direct ourselves to Him with confidence is courage, patience and resignation. What He will also concede are the means of resolving situations with the help of ideas suggested to us by good Spirits at God's instigation, whereby we retain the merit for the decisions taken. God helps all those who help themselves according to the maxim: "Help yourself and the Heavens will come to your aid." But He does not help those who, without using their own faculties, wait for outside assistance. Nevertheless in most cases what Man desires is to be helped by miracles, without using any effort of his own (See chapter 25, No. 1 and following items).

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