Unity Metaphysics 2 (Blue Book)
Lesson 02: Prayer and Meditation.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER
Prayer is the act of communicating with God. It is the most important spiritual activity in which we can participate. The more we understand about the activity of prayer, the more we come to realize that the time we spend in prayer is an investment in our process of attaining spiritual mastery and enlightenment. In this chapter we will explore Unity’s concept of affirmative prayer as we learn to celebrate the presence of God in ourselves and in our world.
2A MIND: OUR LINK TO GOD:
“Mind is the common meeting ground between God and man, and it is only through the most highly accelerated mind action, as in prayer, that we can consciously make union with God, the one and only Creator. Prayer is the language of spirituality and improves the quality of man’s being. Prayer makes man master in the realm of creative ideas. The inner silence of prayer is a great source of spiritual power” (Keep a True Lent 10).
“God is a great mind reservoir that has to be tapped by man’s mind and poured into visibility through man’s thought or word” (Jesus Christ Heals 68).
In Unity, we place much emphasis on the power of the mind, and understand that true prayer requires much more than the repetition of memorized words.
2B PRAYER DEFINED:
“Prayer is both invocation and affirmation. Meditation, concentration, denial, and affirmation in the silence are all forms of what is loosely termed prayer” (Jesus Christ Heals 70)
“Prayer is not supplication or begging but a simple asking for that which is waiting for us at the hands of our Father and an affirmation of its existence” (Jesus Christ Heals 67)
“Praying to God is actually a ‘practice of the absence of God.’ The need is to return to the principle, ‘the one,’ pray from the consciousness of God ... It is the celebration of the I AMness of you, giving focus creative process within ... that it may flow forth through you” (M/13). [TruthUnity Note: this reference is not defined in the list of references. The quote is found in an early lesson by Eric Butterworth and it sounds like it probably came from him.]
Prayer is the spiritual activity in which we enter into conscious oneness with God. Our prayer method in Unity is called “affirmative prayer” because we celebrate our awareness of God within us. We may wish to approach our time of affirmative prayer by acknowledging the presence and power of God and relaxing ourselves both physically and mentally. We may then allow ourselves to gently release our error beliefs as we begin to affirm the activity of God in our lives. As we continue to focus on Truth ideas we find our former cares and concerns transformed into feelings of peace and well-being. Then, with a sense of joy and gratitude, we give thanks that all is truly well. Continuing to set aside portions of our day for prayer gives us the opportunity to experience the most deeply satisfying and fully healing experiences in our lives.
2C DIVINE IDEAS
“True prayer is not asking for things, not even the best things. Prayer is the lifting of the consciousness to the place where these things are” (Sue Sikking Letter to Adam 13).
“We often hear the remark that God gives us answers to our prayers, but we need to realize that these answers come to us in the form of ideas. These ideas may flash into our minds in answer to prayer, or they may be conveyed to us through the words of other people, or through books, magazines or newspapers” (Vera Dawson Tait Take Command! 55).
It is most important to keep in mind that when we pray we must pray for ideas and not things. Our inheritance as children of God is divine ideas, and it is through our awareness of these ideas that all our needs are met. We, in Unity, believe that prayer is the most effective way in which we can fulfill our creative potential.
“The Mind of Spirit is harmonious and peaceful, and it must have a like manner of expression in man’s consciousness. When a body of water is choppy with fitful currents of air it cannot reflect Neither can man reflect objects clearly. The steady strong glow of Omnipotence when his mind is disturbed by anxious thoughts, fearful thoughts, or angry thoughts” (Jesus Christ Heals 176).
In order for us to physically and mentally prepare for the experience of communing with God, we need to consciously relax ourselves and release all inner tension. The most conducive environment in which to attain relaxation and receptivity is one which is comfortable and peaceful and in which we are free from distractions.
2E DENIAL AND AFFIRMATION:
“denial - the mental process of erasing from consciousness the false beliefs of the sense mind. Denial clears away belief in evil as reality and thus makes room for the establishing of Truth” (RW/Denial).
“affirmation, purpose of - To establish in consciousness a broad understanding of the divine principles on which all life and existence depend. By affirming Truth we are lifted out of false thinking into the consciousness of Spirit” (RW/Affirmation).
“Concentration on one kind of thoughts, error thoughts, has built up a consciousness of error, and these error thoughts have been reproduced in the life as error conditions. Emptying ourself of these and concentrating on higher thoughts will lift our mind into the Christ consciousness, and this in turn will be reproduced as harmony in body and affairs” (Frances Foulks Effectual Prayer 59).
One of the ways in which we establish peace in our minds is by the use of denial and affirmation. We let go of thoughts which clutter our minds with false beliefs, and we affirm that which clarifies and claims the truth we intuitively know.
“To open yourself to the inspiration of your indwelling Lord and then to listen for His inspiration, this is meditation” (May Rowland The Magic of the Word 143).
“Through the practice of meditation we can establish a center of peace and quietness within. We can turn to this center and gain great strength to help us meet all of life’s experiences” (May Rowland The Magic of the Word 149).
Meditation is the aspect of our conscious communion with God in which we are silently inspired with divine ideas. It is most important to take time each day to rest from all activity and focus our complete attention on God.
2G THE SILENCE
“By quieting the mental man, by passing through the discipline of intellectual silence, man arrives at the very threshold of God’s workshop, the threshold of Being. As he passes into the inner chamber he finds he is entering the holy of holies, where noiselessly, silently a mighty work is always going on” (Teach Us To Pray 24)
“The silence is not something mysterious. It is that inner place of stillness where you feel and know your oneness with God” (May Rowland The Magic of the Word 144).
“The purpose of the silence is to still the activity of the individual thought so that the still small voice of God may be heard, For in the silence Spirit speaks Truth to us and just that Truth of which we stand in need” (Teach Us To Pray 17).
“God is mind. ‘We have the mind of Christ,’ and it is for us to make conscious union in the silence with the all-providing Mind, lifting our thoughts to its standard of Truth and holding them in this Truth as we go about our own particular duties of livinq” (Myrtle Fillmore Healing Letters 51).
“The more we practice the silence” the more readily will we receive inspiration” (May Rowland The Magic of the Word 143).
All divine ideas have their origin in the silence. Silence and stillness are the matrix out of which come all of our guidance and inspiration. It becomes clear, then, that we must be persistent in our practice of daily meditation so that we will be able to recognize true guidance and act upon it.
“To a metaphysician realization is the conviction that a person gets when he has persistently concentrated his attention on an ideal until he feels assured of the fulfillment of that ideal” (Jesus Christ Heals 121).
“Somewhere in all effectual prayer, and in every quiet miracle of answered prayer, a point of release can be discovered, a point in time where the one who is praying experiences a sense of assurance” (Ernest Wilson Soul Power 77)
As we dwell in the silence, specific aspects of universal Truth become real to us. Realization makes Truth a permanent possession of our minds.
“As you come out of the silence, count count your blessings and give thanks for them. Realize that only the good exists’ in you and in your world, that the power you contacted in the silence may have opportunity to multiply and increase your blessings. Give thanks that you have already received the good for which you looked to God in the silence, feeling the assurance ‘Before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear’” (Myrtle Fillmore Healing Letters 49).
“Praise and thanksgiving impart the quickening spiritual power that produces growth and increase in all things” (Charles Fillmore Prosperity 105).
In response to the blessings we receive in our prayer experience, we joyously offer our love and our praise to God, the source of our good. Giving thanks before our answer appears in the manifest realm is a powerful expression of our faith. Thanksgiving is a prayerful and joy-filled attitude of mind.
2J PRAYER WITHOUT CEASING:
“We pray without ceasing when we habitually meet whatever comes to us with faith and with love, with a mind to draw from the event all that it has to give, with a willingness to do whatever has to be done to make the most and best of it” (James Dillet Freeman Prayer The Master Key 41).
“To pray without ceasing is to put God in charge of your life. It is to look for direction. It is to expect ration” (James Dillet Freeman Prayer The Master Key 42).
“Prayer is not a duty or a habit, but a pouring forth of the heart in gratitude for every breath, every moment of life, every experience” (Sue Sikking Letter to Adam 13).
If prayer is to be truly effective in our lives, it must be a perpetual activity. As we continue to commit ourselves to a life of prayer we learn to put God first in our every thought, word, and deed. This is what it truly means to pray without ceasing.
PRAYER IS THE SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY IN WHICH WE ENTER INTO CONSCIOUS ONENESSWITH GOD. OUR PRAYER METHOD IN UNITY IS CALLED "AFFIRMATIVE PRAYER."
OUR INHERITANCE FROM GOD IS DIVINE IDEAS: THEREFORE, WE PRAY FOR IDEAS AND NOT THINGS.
AS WE ENGAGE IN THE ACTIVITY OF PRAYER IT IS IMPORTANT TO BECOME RELAXED AND RELEASE ALL INNER TENSION.
DENIALS AND AFFIRMATIONS CLEANSE OUR CONSCIOUSNESS OF ERROR BELIEFS SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO CLAIM THE TRUTH WE KNOW.
DAILY MEDITATION IS THE TIME WHEN WE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REST FROM ALL ACTIVITY AND LISTEN FOR GUIDANCE AND INSPIRATION FROM THE LORD OF OUR BEING.
"THE SILENCE" IS THE NAME FOR THAT INNER PLACE OF STILLNESS WHERE WE FEEL AND KNOW OUR ONENESS WITH GOD.
REALIZATION IS OUR SENSE OF ASSURANCE AND DEEP INNER KNOWING THAT OUR PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED.
TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING IS TO PUT GOD FIRST IN EVERY AREA OF OUR LIVES.
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
- What is our divine inheritance?
- What does "affirmative prayer" mean? How does it differ from beseeching prayers or prayers of supplication?
- Describe your understanding of "the silence.
- Share a time in your prayer activity when you experienced a "realization." Tell how you felt when it happened and what transpired in your life as a result.
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION AND MEDITATION
all our temporal
as well as spiritual needs are supplied .
Cady, H. Emilie, Lessons In Truth, chapter 9 and 10, "The Secret Place of the Most High," "Finding the Secret Place."
Fillmore, Myrtle, Myrtle Fillmore's Healing Letters, chapter 6, "Going into the Silence."
Fillmore, Charles and Cora, Teach Us To Pray, chapters 1, 2, and 3, "The God to Whom We Pray," "True Prayer," "Intellectual Silence and Spiritual Silence."
Transcribed by Bill Toon on April 3, 2019.
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