The Minister's Weekly Message

Rev. Mary Wood is in the office on
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Rev. Mary Wood's Weekly Messages

Please note that Rev. Mary generally updates her message on Wednesday afternoons.  You can use the arrows to move back to previous months to explore more of her blog.

JUNE 2017

Date Posted Post
2017-06-19
12:00 am

THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING

Welcome to our first lesson taken from Eric Butterworth’s book The Universe is Calling – Opening to the Divine Through Prayer.  Our fourth basic principle is:  There is power in affirmative prayer which, we believe, increases our communication to God. 

 

 

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First, let’s look for a moment at the history of prayer.  Jesus made it clear to his troubled disciples that though they were praying, they were praying “amiss.”  Advice we hear today that’s so common it’s almost a cliché is “Pray about it!”  Then there are slogans such as “Prayer changes things” and “The family that prays together, stays together” that are built on the assumption that we know what prayer is.  We need to ask “What do we mean by prayer?  How should we pray? When there are many religions, each with its own techniques and beliefs – what is the right approach?

Then Butterworth asks the question - Are there not underlying principles by which prayer operates?  “Is it conceivable that prayer could be a science?  And if we study the science and come to understand the principles involved, then would we be able to pray consistently and effectively?  It is our theory that there is such a science, and this is what this book is all about.”  The Universe Is Calling is a new perception of Truth, and a new look at metaphysics. 

A word that crops up in all metaphysical studies is consciousness – that simply means awareness.  And your awareness and mine has everything to do with what we are experiencing physically, financially, socially.  By the thought we hold, the words we speak, the stories we tell, we draw to ourselves what manifests in our lives.  Nothing that happens to us or in us is totally unrelated to our consciousness.  This is for awareness – not shame, or blame or guilt where some of us have come for a long time.

God is not someone that you pray to, but that you pray from. We begin with a consciousness of God and then project it by powerful spoken words.   When we pray, we do not cause God to spring into action.  Rather, in praying, we are hearing the call of the universe and responding to it.  The universe is calling….  Are you listening?

Butterworth invites us to look at what prayer is not.  It is not going to a spiritual counselor for prayer help, outlining the problem, and then saying “Take care of it for me, will you?”  Someone else cannot breathe for us, nor do the praying for us.  Prayer is an individual experience, a matter of understanding our whole self, discovering ourselves as individual expressions of the Universe.  We do not discover God when we come to worship in the church.  We uncover God in ourselves, taking God with us whether we’re in our home, in our work, in every activity. 

There is no one to pray to…  only a universal flow to get into, a spiritual energy to pray from.  Prayer is the awareness of our true self in its largest possible context, and the key to changing things by altering our self-limiting attitudes.  There is a secret place at the heart of us where “the Father and I are one.” 

Butterworth stresses over and over again – We do not really pray to God, rather we pray from a consciousness of God.  Prayer is self-realization, self-expansion, getting recentered within, and re-establishing ourselves in the flow of the infinite creative process.  And this is what happens when we call Silent Unity – we are led within.

Butterworth teaches that prayer is a science, and says that as there are no miracles in science, there are no miracles in God.  God doesn’t deal in miracles.  God is the wholeness of life, substance and intelligence that is always present.  God can do no more for you and I than he can do through you and I.  In some way, we have participated in the problem that may be manifesting in our life.  This is what consciousness is all about.  Romans 12:2 – be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.

We have tremendous power to heal or prosper or adjust, and when we work with divine law, then what we think is the unusual will become commonplace.  Take charge with a willingness to be part of the solution. Prayer is turning the focus of our consciousness away from the problem and focusing on our center of being in God, focusing on God’s amazing grace.  So, what does this word “grace” mean?  It means favour, and we are favoured simply because you and I are the activity of God in expression.   Grace is not a special activity or gift of God.  It’s an explanation of the way the mind works.  We are dynamic expressions of God on the quest to know and release the flow of good that is in each and every one of us.  When we desire spiritual growth, it is Spirit who has first desired it in you.

Myrtle Fillmore had tuberculosis, complicated by malaria, and grew weary of taking medications that seemed to do no good in improving her health.   They said if she remained in the inhospitable climate of Kansas City, she would soon be dead.  Charles and Myrtle considered leaving for a better climate but stayed because of a dream Charles had years before in which he was shown Kansas City and told he had work to do there. 

Then one night in 1886 they attended a lecture that produced a breakthrough for Myrtle and opened the way for the birth of Unity.  This related back to Charles’ dream to stay in Kansas City.  Dr. E. B. Weeks made that one sentence that changed Myrtle’s consciousness forever:  “I am a child of God and there I do not inherit sickness.”   Myrtle understood for the first time she was a co-creator with God and that she could tap into God’s great power to make changes.  She began praying to bring God consciousness into every cell of her being.  She sat in a closed room with an empty chair for the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  Two years later she was healed and remained vigorous for the rest of her long life.

Living in a state of grace is living in an awareness of the divine flow that is constant.  Our experience of it changes with our consciousness.  Grace as the activity of God’s love works for us constantly.  It is not dependent on any special faith or prayer on our part.  Butterworth writes, “It is an assurance, an explanation of why things are never quite hopeless, and why we never receive the full harvest of the error we sow, and why we always receive a little more good than we earn.”  And with those words, I invite you to join me next week as we once again focus on the words that Butterworth ends each chapter with:  The Universe is calling…..  are you listening?