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Growing Our Concept of Prayer
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
September 12, 2021
All Rights Reserved
Prepare for meditation by sensing the quiet around you. Speak to your mind. “I feel quiet and relaxed. I am not my body, my thoughts, my desires, or my emotions. I AM Spirit. I AM ONE with God, the Universal Creative First Cause of all that is, and God comes to me through my unchanging, non-aging, irremovable, irrepressible sense of “I”!
Eph. 5:8 says, “Walk as children of light.” There’s a Light that is a vibration from the inner kingdom of God channeled through my sense of intuition to my mind. My sense of “I” is now sensitive to the Light of the Kingdom. My soul cries out in wonder, in gratitude and relief: “God’s radiant light floods my path. I know what to do and I do it.”
Light floods my path. “Floods!” What a wonderful visual, descriptive word! Light floods my path. I feel vitalizing energy overflowing from the great ocean of God washing through me, over me, cleansing me through and through. Nothing; no illness, no crooked or limited belief, no pocket of guilt, no barnacles of fear can withstand the gushing waters of vitalizing light energy surging through my being making me whole in mind and body. “He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal.” (Rev. 22:1)
(Be still and know God in the silence of prayer.)
I feel my oneness with the universal I AM. I am one with supply. God’s never failing supply floods my affairs. God’s reassuring love floods my life. All is well with me and my world.” Love is now and now is filled to overflowing with harmony, beauty, peace, and joy. “I have faith in God in me, and I have faith in God in all people everywhere.”
“I ask for nothing, for I have everything, now! As I unfold, each need is abundantly met in that now moment. Thank You, Father, for the wealth of good that is mine now. Even though, in my spiritually childish way, I don’t always recognize it. Amen.’
GROWING OUR CONCEPT OF GOD
Even in New Thought, there’s old thought about prayer. To grow our concept of prayer, we must first break through our false concepts of what prayer is on the mental level. Prayer is an experience of oneness. It is not an effect, a thing, a formula, or words. One of the paradoxes of life is that the very act of praying is an admission that we are imagining ourselves separate and apart from God while we’re wishing to image ourselves as one with God. Prayer takes place beyond the mental level of mind; beyond imagining.
When people say things like: “Use different affirmations for different situations.” or “Lay a prayer treatment on the problem.” This is just a reversal of the primitive thought that there were different Gods for everything, now we think there are different prayers; one for right employment, one for right relationship. We think, “I must write the ‘right affirmation’ to ‘get’ what I want.” This is just another form of idolatry. In Unity, we use denials and affirmations to train the mind to become ‘still’ and maintain the balance between our spirit and physical self.
To use them repeatedly to influence God is ‘vain repetition’. Using prayer as ‘a secret formula’ for ‘getting’ is not prayer. Prayer is not a thing or a doing. It is an experience of being; not being a vegetable, but being bonded or at one with wholeness, allness, life, supply, and love. The aim of prayer isn’t to change God but to experience the Spirit level of ourselves. No one is praying unless he or she is experiencing immersion with the Source – which is experiential but indescribable.
Western Religion often leaves out the experience of God or the “What” and Eastern Religion often leaves out the “How”. Unity is called Practical Christianity because it combines both. The techniques of contemplation and meditation to turn within and experience God and then giving our prayers feet to “be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” We are the Prodigal Son making the journey to the East (which metaphysically represents the within) and then to the West (which metaphysically represents the without); back and forth, we go. Like a rocking chair, like water flowing, the mind swinging back and forth rhythmically, balancing Spirit to Body, Body to Spirit. In the world not of it, continually releasing from the Spirit level of being, our actions have true ‘authority’ or ‘power’ in them. We’re not just acting from the mental level of our being and using mind control and personal will to try and force our way.
If you see or mentally image God as a benevolent boss in heaven, then prayer is a form of two-way conversation where you talk, and God listens if you can find the right words or thoughts to please God. Prayers of petition or asking result in an experience of separation because you are perceiving yourself separate from God. If you are thinking about prayer, you aren’t praying. It takes two to think. It takes separation and linear time to think about something. One is one. It can’t think about itself. If you see God as all-knowing, what’s the point of trying to inform God of anything? God knows. The process (Divine Order) knows what is needed next. God is a universal principle like mathematics, or the sun and God is available to saint and sinner alike, there’s no value in asking for anything, because God isn’t withholding anything. In the Old Testament we find these words spoken to Moses: “The place on which you stand is holy ground.” Holy not as in sacred, but as in WHOLE. The whole ground of being is in you as you – right now.
Prayer is not something that takes place on the outside of a person. It is not necessary to go off to a mountain or to a particular church. Jesus warned us against trying to find prayer in a place saying, “The time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem” and the time approaches, indeed it’s already here, when those who are real worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. God is Spirit. Jesus said, ‘Go into your closet, within yourself and there make contact.’ “Know the truth and the truth will make you free.’ Like ice, water, and steam, are three aspects of the same substance, you are Spirit in Mind and Body; God is Spirit and form, as are you. When Jesus said, “Ask in my name and it will be done,’ he wasn’t talking about his personal name or form level of being, but the consciousness or level of Spirit.
The closest word to use for the correct meaning of Jesus’ Aramaic word for prayer would be the word listening. When we listen, we withdraw our attention from the visible, turn within, with expectancy and receptivity. Listening is active yet it doesn’t require the use of the mind to interpret, analyze, criticize, compare, respond, or tell God anything and the truth is most people don’t know how to Listen.
Whenever a problem presents itself, or a need for a sudden decision, whenever something starts to bother you, pray. Go to a quiet place, get still (Use your faculty of divine strength.), get rid of limited concepts (Use your faculty of elimination.) and open yourself to hear, sense, or feel through love of God which is bonding with the solution as the whole process rather than the problem which is simply the inability to get enough distance to see the whole.
You are Spirit in mind and body – the whole process is already within you. Like the peach is already in the seed. Know the result of the process is becoming manifest. Prayer means shining through the window of the mind. Many people think meditation is a deadening of the mind, rather than a clearing away of false broadcasts of the mind so that it can be used properly for sensing light energy and seeing. There are many techniques of meditation, and they are just that, techniques; techniques for putting yourself into a listening or receiving attitude. Contemplation and reading the mystics are mental activities that help lead our minds toward the listening attitude of meditation. Since we’re functioning simultaneously in the world of form and the world of Spirit, we must transition or swing the mind back and forth. So, when faced with a difficult problem, it’s sometimes necessary to fast. Fasting as Jesus taught it wasn’t abstaining from food, but the shedding of old patterns. A retreat is a method of fasting. A meditation program is a method of fasting.
All matter is made up of atoms. It’s energy vibrating at different frequencies. The differences we see are differences of composition, density, and assembly of the atoms. The density or relationship of the atoms is their vibration. Einstein proved that when matter is increased to the vibration or speed of light, it becomes light itself. When Jesus said, “I am the light.” He was saying the same thing. When we raise ourselves in consciousness to the level of Spirit, we ‘are light.’ We become one with all being, with all cause. The degree to which one descends into the world of matter is the degree of density down to the most solid of rocks and metals. The degree of density you experience is the degree to which you identify yourself with body and are under the law of gravity or anchored to the things of matter rather than Grace. For example: There are days you feel light as air and like you are walking on a cloud. Being in love also gives us this transcendent feeling. There are other days when like Atlas we feel weighed down by the pressures of the world. So, you can see that it’s possible to do this and feel this lightness of being and then to stop doing this and feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Prayer lifts the density of our vibration from matter to light. You are consciousness or embodied spirit that has manifested a body, to change the body, we must change the vibration. The more we bond with Spirit, the lighter we will feel, the higher our vibration, the less lack or ‘dis-ease’ we experience. A flash of light through the window of the mind will release what appears on the body level as instantaneous healing or a miracle. The light you see and call the aura, is the light body, the earth’s shadow is in front of it, and as you learn to pray aright all the things of earth shall pass away.
Questions For Discussion:
1. Prayer is not a state of doing; it is a state of being. Explain.
2. How does your image of God, Jesus & prayer affect the outcome of your prayers?
3. What is the first thing you usually do when confronted with a problem? Is this what you want to continue doing?
4. Have your ever experienced a miracle?
What do you think?
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