How to Pray Without Talking to God – Part 3

Sunday Message from Rev. Pat Bessey

This week the Tuesday morning book group will be having the last gathering of 2019. We will be concluding the book by Mirabai Starr, God of Love. This group of men and women have done a deep dive into their own spiritual journey along with Mirabai. We will be doing another book yet to be decided in January. If your schedule is such that you are free on Tuesday mornings, I invite you to join us.

Speaking of joining us, this Sunday will be our traditional Thanksgiving lunch… come and have lunch with your family. I will guarantee that you will have great food and, more importantly, great conversation with great people.

This series from the book How to Pray Without Talking to God by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett concluded on Sunday. The focus was on the importance of having a daily prayer and meditation practice. What are the obstacles to a daily practice? For most of us, we think we don’t have enough time. Rev. Linda has this to say, “Once our eyes open after a night’s rest, most people begin a cycle of thinking and doing for the next 16 hours or more.” Sound familiar…  is it really true that we don’t have time to pray or meditate?

I tell a great story on Sunday of the young man who didn’t have time to sharpen his ax and almost lost his job. He had been working too hard and couldn’t take time. How about you? Have you been too busy, too hard at work to sharpen your ax? Prayer is the hone that gives you that sharp edge. Without it, the more work you do, the duller you’ll get.

The late Billy Graham said, “We are slaves to our gadgets, puppets of our power, and prisoners of our security. The theme of our generation is: “Get more, know more, and do more,” instead of “Pray more, be more, and serve more.”

Cultivating a consciousness of wholeness is important to understand. ”We pray with wholeness in mind. We do not pray for healing. The need for healing is a thought based on the false possibility of brokenness. Healing is the activity of recovery, repair, and restoration, correcting a consciousness that had veered away from wholeness. In other words, we heal ourselves by cultivating a consciousness of wholeness.” — Rev. Martella-Whitsett.

Here is a prayer prescription to bring you into a consciousness of wholeness…

• Daily meditation
• Daily education
• Daily introspection
• Daily inspiration
• Avoid negative news or shows that are violent
• Spend time in the silence
• Choose people who are positive to be around
• Bring laughter and levity in your day
• Do something out of the ordinary in your day

There is far more that was covered in the talk about prayer… please take the time to listen.

Next Sunday we will be talking about “gratitude” as we prepare for Thanksgiving later in the week.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

How to Pray without Talking to God – Part 2

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

A shout out to Rev Elizabeth Peterson for organizing the Unity talent show after the service on Sunday. It was the BEST! The talent varied from original poetry to great singing and an original guitar selection. We laughed and had moments that were jaw-dropping because the performance was so incredible. The common comment that I heard was I didn’t realize how much talent we had within our community. Thank you to all the performers, we love and appreciate you!

The message on Sunday was Part 2 from the book How to Pray Without Talking to God written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett. The focus was on denials and affirmations.

Rev Sharon Connors, author of Adventures in Prayer: Praying Your Way to a God You Can Trust (Kindle Edition) says: Denial erases, dissolves and releases. Affirmation claims, plants and builds.

Spiritual denial is disidentification with, renunciation of, and elimination of thoughts and beliefs that we realize are contrary to spiritual truth. Spiritual denial is not the same as psychological denial. Psychological denial is when the ego is in denial of facts and avoids any feelings. Psychological denial leads to self-delusion as well as unconscious action and inaction.

An affirmation is a positive statement of Truth. By the use of affirmations we claim and appropriate that which is ours in Truth. An affirmation is the “yes” action of the mind; the act of affirming; the declaring of Truth; the mental movement that asserts confidently and persistently the Truth of Being in the face of all appearances to the contrary.

Denials and affirmations are “handles to power.”

Apply denials and affirmations in any situation where you notice you are having a feeling you do not want. You deny that it has any power over you and you then claim a realized Truth and affirm it both in thought and in feeling.

Here is an example of a denial and affirmation:

The denial is: This anxiety, confusion or fear is powerless to take or keep my good from you.

The affirmation is: Divine love now dissolves and dissipates all anxious, confused, or fearful thoughts, and I am peaceful in Mind and heart.

I use the analogy of a garden to explain denials and affirmations.

Next week will be the final talk, Part 3, which will include the practice of daily prayer and meditation and realize wholeness through prayer.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

How to Pray without Talking to God – Part 1

Sunday Message by Rev. Barbara Kowalska, Guest Speaker

This Sunday, at Rev. Pat’s request, I opened a series on Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett’s book, How to Pray Without Talking to God. This book is the basis of training and practice for our Prayer Partners.

How do you pray without talking to God? Martella-Whitsett begins by reminding us of the images of God we may have held since childhood. There was God, the invisible parent who could be loving and demanding as well; there was God, the bodyguard or protector. As we were introduced to the concept of God within, we could imagine God shrinking to fit inside us. All of these images were based on seeing God as something outside us.

In Unity, we embrace the omnipresence of God. Martella-Whitsett explains it like this: “Divine Omnipresence means God is within us, we are within God, and God is everywhere. Moreover, God is everywhere-ness, not a being who is everywhere but the pervasive essence of all.”

As reading Principle 1 and 2 each week supports, our true identity is divine. Martella-Whitsett reminds us:
“Our words and methods of prayer derive from our sense of identity. When we view ourselves as “only human,” we pray to God from a consciousness of powerlessness. When we realize our Divine Identity, we pray from the Divine Consciousness.”

As Rev. Pat reminds us often, we are not sinners. Often unconsciously, we have internalized negative ideas about ourselves from our childhood. We have allowed the Truth of us to be covered up.

Martella-Whitsett uses the analogy of an eagle’s egg. The protective shell protects the embryo as it matures. Then the eagle pecks away at the shell and emerges. Our shell is our external sense self. And to be the fullness of who we are, we, too, can peck away at the shell of our stories, our baggage, and release them to reveal our true selves. We do this through spiritual practices and meditation. She asserts that we mature spiritually by expressing our divine nature.

When you pray, what are you supposing about divinity or divine nature? About yourself?

As we grow in accepting our divine nature, our old form of praying may not be comfortable. Then we can begin learning affirmative prayer, praying from our God-consciousness instead of to God outside of us. This is a process that can be uncomfortable at first.

It may appear our prayers have not been answered when people die anyway, we continue to feel angry in our relationships or do not get instant relief from financial stress. However, the issue has never been whether prayer is answered — how we live is the issue and the answer. We are the answer to our prayers as we realize prayer is not a plea for a particular outcome but a calling upon ourselves to realize what we are to be in a circumstance.”

Affirmative prayer is not traditional prayer. Traditional prayer approaches the divine as a personality that is hesitant, capricious, withholding and must be persuaded or bargained with. Affirmative prayer cultivates our awareness of Oneness. As we pray affirmatively, identifying with our True Nature, the highest truth we can comprehend in the moment comes forth.

This is a learning, an uncovering, a remembering. When we forget, praying brings us back to Ourselves. Every time we bring ourselves back, we are spiritually stronger. We spiral higher and deeper in our awareness.

\As Thoreau said, “A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

It is a joy to share this journey with our beloved community!

Namaste!
Barbara Kowalska

Prayer Persistence Pays Off

Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey

I want to give a shout-out to our Sunday Sacred Service folks… without them we couldn’t give the quality of service that we do. It starts at 7:30 in the morning with Christine Wolf coming in to do the AV for the 8 a.m. service. She gets everything turned on and ready to go. Don Labbe arrives, as well, to support Deana and the music for the services. And then of course on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays the choir is there as well.

Then about 8:30 Bill Taylor arrives and starts the coffee, followed by the folks in the kitchen, starting the prep for lunch. About that same time 9:30ish the bookstore angel appears, as do our greeters and ushers, ready to welcome you as you come through the door.

Also at 9:30, the angel who is on for the meditation takes his or her place on the platform and leads those who have come early into the silence. Meanwhile, down the hall, the children’s room is buzzing with activity as the teachers prepare for the little folks who will be arriving shortly.

By 10 a.m. the service is ready to go… whew! Can you see the importance of every person and how valuable they are to prepare for your arrival? I often say “many hands make light work,” and this is just an example. We are always encouraging you who are not serving to consider stepping onto a team. If you are thinking about it, but not sure, please talk to me, Steph or someone on the team you are considering. We will be glad to answer any questions you might have.

For those of you who have served over the last year mark, your calendar for June 15. We will be honoring you with a party. More information will be coming out soon.

This past Sunday, the topic of the message was prayer. This is always a timely message because prayer never grows old or is outdated.

prayerI gave a few points that make for a solid prayer life and I will share them with you.

  1. Set aside a few moments every day. Do not say anything. Simply think about God.
  2. Pray using simple, natural words.
  3. Pray as you go about the business of the day.
  4. Do not always ask when you pray, but instead affirm positively that God’s blessings are being given and spend most of the time giving thanks.
  5. Always express being willing to accept God’s will.
    Practice the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands.

I also gave the acronym PEIGH it means “Put everything in God’s Hands.”

A Chinese scholar says: “Prayer is that exercise by which I bring myself into such communion with God that I become possessed of God’s plan, God’s thought, and God’s passion for the world.”

Next week’s message will be “The Hero in Us.” Join us before you begin your Memorial Day festivities.

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey

The Light of Love: The Power of Magnetism, Harmony and Unity

Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey

Unity’s World Day of Prayer is almost here. Tomorrow, September 13, is the date of the 25th annual World Day of Prayer. The theme this year is “Courage to Heal” and the affirmation is “I am a healing presence.” Our Prayer Partners are planning a special service tomorrow evening beginning at 7:00 pm. I know it will be a very meaningful service as they have taken the lead on this service now for a few years and it is always a powerful service. Please join us!

I have continued the talk series from the book Divine Audacity, written by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett, Vice President of Silent Unity. This week, the power I was highlighting is LOVE. Jesus said, people will know you are my disciples by your love. The goal for our lives is to show up embodying divine love, to be love in action.

The three aspects of love that Rev. Linda explores are magnetism, harmony and unity. The magnetizing power of love is our true nature. I call forth the magnetizing power of divine love. My thoughts are magnetic.

The light of love wants to shine, heal, transform, unify and harmonize.

I call forth from within me the harmonizing power of love. The harmonizing power of love within us in our capacity for harmonious thoughts, words, and actions regarding others and ourselves. From Colossians 3:14 “Above all clothe yourself with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

I call forth from within me the unifying power of love. From the Gospel of Thomas, “Blessed are they that are One with themselves. Thy will find the Kingdom.” A Course in Miracles teaches, “Heaven is not a place or a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness.” The unifying power of love is the remedy for separation-consciousness.

An affirmation that I learned many years ago that I love is:

I am a radiating center of divine love
Mighty to attract my good to me (magnetism)
And to radiate good to others. (harmony)

The unifying power of love is our capacity for communion, empathy, and compassionate service. I see myself in other, others in myself, and GOD in us all.

I AM the power of love, loving.
Click here to listen to the message from Sunday…

You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Pat