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How to Develop Peace of Mind
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
March 27, 2022
All Rights Reserved
Dr. George Lamsa, Aramaic Bible scholar, writes in his book Gospel Light: "The Aramaic word for prayer is ‘slotha’ which means adjustment. It’s derived from the word ‘sla’ meaning to ‘set a trap.’ In the Near East hunters set wooden traps and retire from the scene to a secret place until the animal is caught. The whole process requires patience, quietness and watchfulness, just like prayer. For prayer is neither a reminder to God of what you need, as though he’d forgotten you, nor is it a formal act of outward reverence to impress God. Prayer is an active attitude of gratitude that prepares you to continually receive the goodness God has already provided and is.’
Now let us meditate on Lamsa’s interpretation of “The Lord’s Prayer.”
“Our Father, who art in Heaven.” God is in and around you in every condition, situation, person and thing.
“Hallowed be Thy name.” God is wholeness. You are an individualized expression of God. You are healed as you allow God to be made manifest through you.
“Thy Kingdom comes, Thy will is done.” As the perfection of God is manifested in every cell, movement, thought, feeling and moment. Spirit is experienced “In earth as it is in Heaven.”
“Give us this day our daily bread.” God is the great Giver, you the great receiver. Your every need is already met Supply (God) and demand (you) are two sides of the same coin, the two aspects of God invisible and visible.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Release those in debt to you by refusing to hold limited or negative thoughts about them. Release all limiting or negative thoughts you’re holding about yourself. Affirm: “I AM an individualized expression of God. I AM inherently good, whole and prosperous.
“Leave us not in temptation.” You choose to forget God’s presence and experience fear or you choose to remember God is everywhere present, powerful, knowing and your help in every need.
“Deliver us from evil.” With an awareness of God’s nature and presence you have the courage to live up to the Christ standard of love and compassion.
“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory.” “It is not I but the Spirit within that does the work.” Give yourself completely into the Presence of God in prayer and meditation and God will manifest through your consciousness,
“Forever and Ever,” for you are an eternal spiritual being.
Amen. Means “So be it” or “Make it so.”
As Jesus said, “You shall know the Truth and the truth will set you free.”
HOW TO DEVELOP PEACE OF MIND
There is a popular saying that goes, “It isn’t what you know, but who you know that counts.” This refers, of course, to knowing someone influential, someone who has power and authority. In this lesson, let’s consider how we can get to know and win the favor of, the Power that created all that is which is the Source of every good thing you could ever possibly need or want. Let’s think about how to develop an intimate acquaintance with this influential Presence and Power. One name we give this Power is, of course, God.
The first step in getting to know God and establishing a personal relationship with God is to go where God is so that you can meet with God and talk with God.
Now, let’s think about that. Where is God? Where does God live? Is it in a church or cathedral? I think not. Go into any church and look behind the statues and under the alter, search the silent chapel with a fine tooth comb but you won’t find a trace of God. If you want to find God it’s a good idea to ask someone first who knew God better than any other person for directions; someone like Jesus. Jesus had a very deep and personal relationship with God and said that relationship was the source of his life and all the great things he accomplished in his life. Jesus said that God is Spirit—invisible, everywhere present Spirit and that the place where you contact and communicate with this Universal Spirit is within. The “Kingdom of God”, He said, over and over “is at hand.” “It is within you!” So, the first step in finding God and winning God’s favor is to stop running to and fro in this busy world and looking here and there and instead find a time and place to get quiet. As you spend time in quiet prayer you get acquainted with the Power that originated and sustains this vast universe, by affirming statements of Truth. You speak statements that describe the characteristics of God and the nature of your relationship with God, which is relationship of oneness. For example: “There is only one presence and one power in the universe and in my life God the good omnipotent. I am a child of God and therefore I did not inherit disease or lack of any kind. God is my instant constant and abundant source of supply.”
Once you stop spending your vital energy looking for God and worrying and focus it in looking inward and replacing worry thoughts with Truth thoughts, changes begin to occur in you at a very deep level. You find yourself easily shedding the childhood acquired beliefs that God is a man in the sky, a bearded King dispensing rewards and punishments. In quiet moments of prayerful introspection, you begin to realize that God is the very life of your life, that God is the One Life that is living itself through all persons and through all things. You begin to realize (make real in your body, mind and affairs) that because you are one with God and because God is the life of all things, you are, in a strange and wonderful way, connected to and one with, all people and all things. And this is only the beginning of the exciting adventure of getting to know God and establishing a personal relationship with God. From these moments of silent dialogue with that Power that everyone talks about, but so few seek to get close to, comes insight, understanding and wisdom.
You find that Bible words and stories begin to take on a new meaning for you. For instance, you had read or heard that in the Bible it says, “God created man in His image and likeness.” Perhaps you had thought that ideas seemed too impossible. “Me created in God’s image and likeness, that’s ridiculous, if it were literally so it would mean that I am like God!” You would reason. You begin to see that mankind has distorted that teaching and turned it completely around so that God is created in man’s image and likeness. In these quiet moments spent with God within you, you discover the power that is within you and that has been hidden within every man, woman and child since the dawn of creation.
As you begin to understand that “I am made in the image and likeness of God. I am a spiritual being, living in a spiritual universe governed by spiritual law.” You begin to understand God is the one creative Power and that there is nothing more to create. It is all here. But to man, God’s high creation, is given the power to form and re-form that, which has already been created by God! You come to know that this power to form and re-form God as substance lies in your power of thought. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts. Remember these three words because you are living by them, “Thought is formative.” As you really get to know God, you see that the first favor that God has to bestow upon you is spiritual understanding. An imaginary conversation with God might go like this, “My child, I am so pleased that you stopped talking about Me and came to see Me and experience Me and talk with Me. It is true that I created you after My image and likeness. You too have the power to shape substance, which I have already created, into any form you wish. The secret is in the formative power of your thought. I am always with you to guide and strengthen you but you must keep your thoughts positive, faith filled and persistently centered on the good which you desire to achieve.”
Jesus heard God say something like this to Him. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the captives.” He believed and followed the guidence of the still small Voice within. The result was what we call ‘miracles.’ We label things that we don’t understand, can’t explain and don’t think we can do, miracles. Jesus didn’t because he understood ‘miracles’ happened as a result of the power of God working through a mind or consciousness that was positive, faith-filled and unwaveringly centered on the certainty of the fulfillment of the desired good. A mind focused on what is true rather than what is false brings about a seeming miracle. As a result of Jesus’ personal experience of working with God-power, He said, “What things whatsoever you desire when you pray, believe that you have received them and you shall have them.” (Mk 11:24)
This is an extravagant statement, “Whatsoever you desire,” yet they are Jesus’ words exactly as reported in the Gospel of Mark. And Jesus means what he says. “Whatever it is that you want,” whether it is to change an existing situation, or to attain some longed for object, position or environment, “You shall have them.” But between the words “What things whatsoever you desire,” and “You shall have them,” is the key. He says, "When you pray, believe that you have received them.” This statement has to do with the direction and quality of ‘your’ thoughts. Jesus is saying, “Anything is possible, if you keep your thoughts centered on the possibility, the truth of God so strongly that it becomes a belief.” “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” This is true 100% of the time. The quality and strength of your beliefs are revealed through you as your life according to the physical Law of Karma or the Heavenly Law of Grace.
For example: A pipe, which is likened to your mind, plays an intermediate role. Its purpose is to channel the water to the surface where it can be used. If the pipe is rusted, corroded and choked with debris it adulterates the water and as time goes on less and less water can get through. So is it with our minds and the contents of our minds; our beliefs, emotions, attitudes and responses to outer conditions; “As in mind, so in manifestation.” If we are continually getting upset, impatient, afraid of failure, afraid the other guy is going to get the best of us, no water, no Spirit, no God, no good is going to get through to our outer environment. But once you clean the pipe the natural laws of physics function perfectly and sparkling fresh water comes tumbling into your pail automatically. Likewise, once you get your thoughts and emotions right, once you set up the right conditions in your mind, the action of God, or Spirit functions automatically, through Spiritual or Universal Law.
Now, back to the beginning of this lesson. What is the simple secret of clearing the pipe, of establishing the most favorable conditions in your mind? Developing the ability to “get still,” within yourself! The ability to lay hold of that inner sense of peace. As Paul said in his letter to the Romans 8:6, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” You don’t have to understand all the principles of Metaphysics. You don’t have to memorize hundreds of passages in the Bible. All you have to do is get peaceful within yourself and talk with God. Stop responding to externals with impatience, resentment, jealousy, hurt feelings, fear and the rest of the emotional debris that chokes your pipeline of consciousness. Think with God by speaking affirmations of Truth and the activity of God automatically functions through you and for you.
Some people say, “Well, I try to get still and get a sense of God’s presence but it is like praying in an empty room, I can’t feel God. I really don’t KNOW God.” You don’t have to feel God’s presence or know God. That’s another example of trying to “make God into our image and likeness.” You don’t experience God like you experience another person. You don’t have to feel God’s presence or know God because there has never been a moment of separation. It is hard to feel something you’ve never ‘not felt.’ What is important to know is that God feels your presence and knows you all the time. All you need do is to instill a sense of peace in your field of consciousness. God is already there moving toward the expression of your highest good and the fulfillment of your thoughts whether you are aware of God or not. At Unity of Vancouver, we begin each service with the Statement; “There is only one presence and one power in the universe and in my life, God the good, omnipotent.” This is a very simple, yet a tremendously comprehensive statement of the Truth of Being. When challenges come into your life, when frightening conditions threaten to destroy your good or cause you pain, get still and declare and affirm right into the teeth of the alarming outer facts: “There is only one presence and one power in the universe and in my life, God the good, omnipotent.”
Pray in the consciousness of, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is how you unloose the Power that is “In Heaven into earth.” You do it by making your mind an open channel, affirming, “There is only one Presence and one Power, God the good, omnipotent.” To most people God is more of a theological theory to be talked about rather than an eternal and ever present Reality to be personally and profoundly experienced and expressed. It’s difficult to have faith in and depend completely on a ‘God of theory’ when painful and seemingly insurmountable conditions stare you in the face. But that is not the kind of God Jesus knew and that not the God of our Unity teachings.
The best way to know God as a ‘Reality’ instead of a ‘theory’ is to get still and without trying to intellectualize it or rationalize it, declare in 100% belief, “There is only one Presence and one Power in my life, God the Good, Omnipotent.”
God is the inner Reality of life, not just for some, but for all. Establish the right mental and emotional conditions in your consciousness and the stream of Divine Energy flows through you as harmony, wholeness, strength, abundance and all the things you seek and which have been clogged in your pipeline. The great Masters often liken inner stillness and the coming of God through you to the coming of the dawn. First there is the blackness of night. Then gradually, imperceptibly the darkness dissolves and a sense of peace, freshness and hope stirs within all nature. The silence is suddenly punctuated by the tentative chirping of birds and the new day breaks forth and the dawn comes. You carry the Dawn of Truth within you every moment of every day. The task is to carry it consciously as you meet the experiences of the day by refusing to respond by becoming upset, tense, worrying and fearful. No matter what outer circumstances try to tempt to provoke you to react, don’t react just as a mere human being. ACT instead from your center of peace. “Be still and know I am God and Prove me now, thus sayeth the Lord God of Hosts,” and experience the miracle God created as your life.
What do you think?
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