The Prayer That Prospers

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One of Unity’s fundamental teachings is that God is the source of our supply. We may think of God as owning a great warehouse full of goods and when orders are put in, they’re fulfilled and sent out. There are times, of course, when the order is slow and we think our request is on back order or that our credit has been compromised.

Jesus said that God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. God does not actually give us things. God gives us ideas and inspiration. We have the wonderful ability to open our minds to the very essence of God, to be filled with the life, love, power and intelligence that bring about all we see and all we do not see. We have a beautiful faculty of imagination that enables us to envision specific things and conditions that are appealing to us. We can tap into the energy of zeal that enables us to do the things necessary to bring about the life we envision. We have the ability to love what we do and create blessings that touch the lives of others.

The prayer that prospers is the one that sees clearly a desired objective, that releases the negative doubts and fears that stand in our way, that stimulates the faith to hold fast and to move forward when we are called to act in ways that further our heart-felt aspirations.

George Eliot made the great observation that God “could not make Antonio Stradivarius’s violins without Antonio.” God cannot make the world you know is possible without you to bring it forth. Think of yourself as the translator of the unseen to the visible. The life you desire is not a thing that is either given or withheld but a thing you agree to help produce.

The prayer that prospers is one that affirms that which you desire is yours now and your acceptance of this truth opens the mental and emotional doors through which your good may come. Do not be discouraged if the manifestation seems slow. Hold fast to your desire, be willing to work and live with the peace of knowing your good is coming forth now!

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The Prayer of Guidance

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Spiritual guidance is obviously a very important aspect of meditation and prayer. It is also a very misunderstood subject that requires some rethinking in our approach to the subject.

We often think of spiritual guidance as a means of navigating from where we are to a place we want to be. Quite often that “place” involves the acquisition of a material object, a position, a relationship or a new lifestyle. What is often missed in this process is the state of being we hope to achieve with our acquisition. Our thinking is that the attainment of a thing will make us feel better about ourselves.

What is keeping you from feeling better about yourself now? What is keeping you from feeling complete in this very place you stand in your life today? The answer is simple. Only your belief that you are incomplete, that you need something added to become happy or that you need to be in some other place keeps you at a distance from the very thing you seek.

The prayer for guidance involves the release of all groping for answers outside yourself, a letting go of all sense of inadequacy that can only be addressed by adding something new to yourself or your life. Spiritual guidance leads you first to your point of strength, that inner center of light and peace that pines away for nothing more than a deeper revelation of this divine connection.

What are the dreams and goals of a spiritually fulfilled being? To be sure, they are different from the dreams and goals of a spiritually unfulfilled being. When you find yourself in need of guidance, start with the idea that your first need is to open yourself to your own wholeness. Let go of the self that fears or feels inadequate. Find your inner point of strength and know that you are being guided now to act, not out of fear and weakness, but out of the power, love and intelligence of Spirit.

All spiritual guidance leads to the holy ground of the place you now stand. The fulfillment you seek is present. Seek this first and you will know what to do next.

 

The Prayer of Healing

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As we’ve seen so far in this series, effective prayer involves three basic actions. The first is the infilling we receive in our quiet times of meditation. The second is the releasing of mental states that do not conform to the truth we discover in our quiet time. The third is the affirmation of what is true of Spirit in specific areas of our life.

One specific area that touches all of us, though in varying degrees, is the area of healing. I want to turn to near-death studies for a moment because this research reveals a very profound piece of information. Let’s say a person is hospitalized and undergoes surgery for a serious heart condition. During the surgery the patient flat-lines and is pronounced dead. To all appearances the life of the patient, including all perceptual functions of the brain, has ceased. Yet the patient “regains” consciousness, either of their own volition or through resuscitation, and reports experiences they could not possibly have had according to the current scientific, brain-based model of consciousness.

Included in the experiences the patient reports is a condition of perfect health, so perfect, in fact, that they felt more alive than ever. What is true of this patient is true of you. In meditation you open your mind, not to a state of health and well being that you do not yet have, but to the condition of health and wholeness that you possess right now. The aches and pains of our body bring our attention away from the truth of our perpetual wholeness that is so strong death of the body does not overcome it.

Open your mind to your spiritual body. Release all doubt that it exists in its fullness right now. Affirm that this spiritual body is you and you are giving yourself permission to come forth and fully occupy the physical body you now inhabit. Do not try to force a healing, beg for it or make any bargains with God. You are this wholeness, this perfect spiritual body and you need only acknowledge it and invite it to come forth into your consciousness.

The prayer of healing is the simple acceptance of what you are.

The Power Behind Prayer

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While meditation is an infilling, the deeper realization that you are grounded in the life, love, power and intelligence that God is, prayer is your means of expressing these qualities through all the specific areas of your life. You do this through the exercise of your faculties of elimination (the power to release), faith (the power to open yourself to the new), judgment, will, and understanding.

Once you grasp the relationship between meditation and prayer you no longer see prayer as a means of getting something from God. Rather you see it as a process of releasing those mental and emotional states that are blocking your good and affirming the truth that unfolds through your quiet times.

If you have a challenge in your life that you want to address spiritually, you begin by taking your thoughts off the challenge and turning to God in meditation. When you close your eyes you’ll be tempted to think only about your challenge. With practice you will release your attachment to the negative appearance and experience an infilling of new inspiration. As you go about your day and the challenge presents itself to you, you release the negative energy you have invested in the challenge and allow yourself to experience it in a new and different way. You can speak words such as, “I now release the energy of this negative appearance. There is nothing to fear.” This is the denial or releasing side of prayer. You then follow up with statements that are true of your spiritual nature. “That which is in me is greater than that which is of the world. I am fearless. I am filled with the understanding of what I am to do and how I am to do it.”

Effective prayer asks nothing of God. You pray with the assumption that God has already given you all you need to meet the challenge at hand. Sometimes you are called to act and other times you are called to be still and know the Creative Life Force that is God is working through you in ways that allow your light to shine in beautiful ways. The power behind prayer is your understanding of your inseparable oneness with God, your unfailing source.

Meditation and Prayer

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On the path to spiritual understanding no practice is more important in terms of spiritual transformation than the practices of meditation and prayer.”

Because the terms meditation and prayer tend to evoke different meanings, we treat them as two completely separate practices. Meditation is often thought of as the art of listening to God while prayer is thought of as the act of talking to God, usually in the form of a request. In my book I treat these practices as two halves of a single process. Meditation provides an infilling of inspiration from our inner resource and prayer is the act of directing this inspiration into specific areas of our experience.

Let’s say you have a healing challenge. In meditation you still your mind, releasing all images of yourself as incomplete. You pull your thoughts from the appearance of illness and open your mind and heart to your spiritual wholeness. This opening process is not a blind groping for something you do not have but a receptivity to your spiritual reality. Regardless of the condition of your body you are whole and complete right now. You invite this wholeness to come forth, to become part of your conscious reality.

Thus inspired, you engage in prayer by releasing all negative energy around this appearance and then directing affirmative statements to your body, particularly to the affected area. Think of meditation as an inhaling and prayer as the exhaling of divine energy, two parts to the single activity we call breathing.

The basis of this approach is the understanding that as a spiritual being you are already whole and that you are right now fully immersed in the presence of God. You don’t ask God to make you whole, you acknowledge your wholeness. You don’t ask God to act as your healer, you acknowledge that God as your source is your wholeness. You are aligning yourself with the presence and action of God in and as you.

In the following weeks we will further explore both aspects of this spiritually aligning process.

Rising From the Rut

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The feeling of being stuck in life is probably one of the most common expressions of frustration, and the likely reason Henry David Thoreau wrote this famous line: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We like action. We like to initiate changes, see results, and go on to the next thing with the feeling that our life is progressing. Sometimes we initiate changes and nothing happens, or everything seems to go wrong. Nothing seems to work and we feel we have lost our way.

Jesus spoke some words that can serve as a very important reminder when we feel we are floundering in life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If you think of these words arising from your own I AM, that spiritual core of your being, you will get an idea of why they can help you at this time of uncertainty.

Think of your own I AM as the axle that holds the spinning wheel of your external life. At your center you are always at rest regardless of how fast or how slow your life seems to be moving. It is important to reconnect with this unmoving part of yourself, to withdraw for a time from all your efforts to spin the wheel and surrender to the healing love of your guiding Source.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ways and means to a desired end, forgetting that you desire the greater good because you are responding to that still small voice emanating from your central I AM. God as your source has urged you this far. Will God not also guide you through each step of the way? Perhaps it is time to rekindle your faith in your indwelling guidance, to experience the assurance that “I AM with you always.”

Surrender in trust to that all-knowing, all-loving presence of God within you. Right where you are, open yourself to knowing that every step you take is the right step, that you are now being guided and protected in ways that will soon be perfectly clear.

The Rule of Order

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Part 5 of Five Steps of The Manifestation Process

“Do calmly, without excitement, whatever the circumstance seems to require. This will lead to the further unfolding of other circumstances in the same direction. By addressing each one as it appears, you are moving step by step toward the accomplishment of your desire.”

Life is all about transformation. A seed is dropped in the ground in one form and it emerges as another. And, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

And so it is with the manifestation process. In a very real sense, this process is about dying to one state of being so that another may come forth. As you move from where you are to where you want to be, you must release the old and take on the new.

Watching the new emerge is an exciting process. When you see evidence of your desire beginning to manifest it is easy to become overzealous in your attempt to hurry things along. External action can be addictive. Things begin to happen and you want them to continue and so you may start trying to “push the river” as someone put it. The writer of Psalms also warned against over-zealousness when he wrote, “zeal for thy house has consumed me” (Psalms 69:9).

Every step toward your desired good offers something of value, even in those times when nothing seems to be happening. Hold your vision in an attitude of expectation, enthusiasm and in the knowledge that everything is working together for you good in right and perfect order.