Sunday Message by Rev. Pat Bessey
Hello friends! Spring is just 49 days away — how does that sound? This past weekend we saw a January thaw, and for that I was grateful.
The topic for the message on Sunday was prayer. There is no right or wrong way to pray. Here I’ll offer some thoughts that I shared from Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, and Rev. Eric Butterworth, author and Unity minister.
Fillmore defines prayer as “communion between God and man. This communion takes place in the innermost part of man’s being. Prayer is the most highly accelerated mind action known. It steps up mental action until man’s consciousness synchronizes with the Christ Mind. It is the language of spirituality.”
The goal of prayer is to be One with God, to have a transcendental experience, to rise above the five-sense world, to experience the Divine, to be changed at depth. Notice it is to be changed at depth. Prayer is not about changing God, but it is about changing us.
Butterworth writes: “It is turning the focus of your consciousness away from the problem to your center of being in God and giving way to the creative flow which will stream forth . . . from within your innermost self.”
He further describes this as “resting in the divine flow.” Resting in the Presence. Jesus described it like this: “The Father and I are one.” He’s describing our relationship with God. It’s like stepping into a river and becoming one with that river.
The first step in prayer is to begin where you are. You may have a lot of information on prayer, but what is most important is to take action and pray from right where you are. We are a praying people. We are wired for prayer. Butterworth says the human creature is a “praying animal,” that prayer comes naturally to all of us.
The next step is to be absolutely honest with God when you pray. Prayer is not something you do for God, but rather you do it to uncover God in yourself, to discover God’s presence in your life.
There’s no one to pray to, only a universal flow to get into, a spiritual energy to pray from. Butterworth writes, “Prayer is not something we do to God, or a ceremony we perform for God. It is an experience of our own God-potential . . . we do not really pray to God, rather we pray from a consciousness of God. Prayer is not conditioning God with our needs but conditioning our lives with the activity of God.”
And how much time should you spend in the practice of the presence of God? Eric says: “All the time!”
And the final step: Continue the conversation all day long. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Pray without ceasing.” Every moment should be spent in the awareness of the Divine at work in every aspect of our life. If we were aware of God flowing in our life at every moment, we would always know what to do and what to say, where to go and when. There would never be any questioning as to what we were to do next.
May prayer reveal to you a wonderful and awesome God, and may prayer also allow YOU to truly, truly know how magnificently and wonderfully YOU are made!
Step into the Divine Flow. . . TODAY. . . in prayer!
I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Fr. John Dear, who will be with us in March. Fr. John has an extensive biography as an author and nonviolent activist. Here is a little bit about him:
John is an internationally recognized voice for peace. “John Dear is the embodiment of a peacemaker,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a few years ago when he nominated John for the Nobel Peace Prize. “He has led by example through his actions and in his writings and in numerous sermons, speeches and demonstrations. He believes that peace is not something static, but rather to make peace is to be engaged, mind, body and spirit. His teaching is to love yourself, to love your neighbor, your enemy, and to love the world and to understand the profound responsibility in doing all of these. He is a man who has the courage of his convictions and who speaks out and acts against war, the manufacture of weapons and any situation where a human being might be at risk through violence. For evil to prevail requires only that good people sit on the sidelines and do nothing. John Dear is compelling all of us to stand up and take responsibility for the suffering of humanity so often caused through selfishness and greed.”
To attend the March 17th daylong workshop at St. Joseph’s College, register now.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey