This past Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lent. Traditionally observed by Catholics and many Protestant and Evangelical faiths, Lent marks a period of preparation for Easter characterized by prayer, repentance, service, and fasting. In a symbolic reference to Jesus’ time in the wilderness before starting his ministry, Lent lasts forty days (not counting Sundays). Over the next few weeks both my Sunday talks and blogs posts will focus not only on some of Jesus’ most significant teachings, but different aspects of this liturgical observance.
Let’s begin with Prayer. Whether we realize it or not, Prayer is a reflection of our understanding and beliefs about God. We might say that we don’t believe in the old-man-in-the-sky-puppet-master God, yet our prayers tell a different story. We might still find ourselves asking God to help us, or help a loved one, or to change a situation, or to reveal the Divine Plan for our life. If we truly believe God is the indwelling Presence of All That Is, not a being apart from us, to whom are we directing such prayers? Are we thinking we might change God’s mind about something?
In Unity, prayer is not supplication, but rather “an affirmation of Truth that eternally exists which has not yet come into consciousness.” [Charles Fillmore] Such affirmations take us back to our Divine Essence, the Source from which our thoughts, beliefs, and actions should originate. Unity author Eric Butterworth reminds us that we should not pray to God, but from God, or the Truth that the Divine resides in us as The Christ. Any desire to change an external circumstance first begins with a realignment of our thoughts and beliefs to that Truth. To affirm “I Am Abundance” does not mean we blithely ignore our financial situations. It is, however, an invitation to remember that who we are should never be defined by outer circumstances, and by grounding ourselves in the truth of our limitlessness we are more open and receptive to new ideas we could apply. Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind; it changes ours!
Prayer is not only an affirmation, but a state of consciousness. By living in and from The Presence of God, our life becomes a prayer...the visible embodiment of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.