Staying Connected in Prayer

                                                                                                        Staying Connected in Prayer
                                                                                                               February 23, 2020
                                                                                                           Su Podraza-Nagle LUT

We have been taking a journey through the Five Basic Unity Principles these past weeks and as a gentle reminder, here is what we have come to understand thus far:  
As an easy acronym, consider this phrase which I learned when going through my studies:
I – I AM: God is all there is
C- Christ: We have the Christ spirit within us
L-Law of mind Action: We create our experiences
A-Affirm: Affirmative prayer
P- Practice: Next week, we will learn how “Practice Makes Progress” with Rev. Deb.
 Let’s do this together! I-Clap! Now, sprinkle that loving energy everywhere!
Today we will reflect upon the 4th Principle.
•    Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God‐Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity, and everything good.
•    Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart‐mind with God.  Denials and affirmations are the tools we use.
•    The Practice of the Presence through Prayer and Meditation. (affirmations, prayer and the silence).
•    Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
What is prayer? How do we pray? How do we stay connected in prayer?
Number 1: Prayer is the most highly accelerated mind action known.  It is an affirmation of Truth that eternally exists, but which has not come into consciousness. (Revealing Word) An Affirmation of Truth. As simple as saying, I am a part of the Omnipotent through which I live and have my being.
Number 2: The how. In Matthew 6:6-8, Jesus, our Master Teacher, instructed a group around him on how to pray, he said this:
Matthew 6:6-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
It’s an inside job. Praying is how we start our centering within and raise our consciousness.
Let’s review these verses:
Verse 6:
Go to your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret:
Center yourself, go within, turning away from outside influences. Acknowledge, connect, to the One Presence and One Power, the Principle action in all things, in and through you, as you.
Verse 7:
 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.  
Metaphysically, the word “Gentiles” are out worldly thoughts, pertaining to the external.
Release those worldly thoughts, empty words or even words we memorized to pray when we were young. Concentrate on the still small voice within. Take a moment to rest in the sanctuary of your Christ consciousness.
As Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett suggests; “Affirm Divine Life, Divine Love, and Divine Wisdom flowing within.” This is your connection. This is who you are.  
  Verse 8:
 “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
If God knows what I need, if Principle is always conspiring in my favor, why pray?
To refocus. To have a clearer understanding of our thoughts and intention. We are co-creators of what shows up in our lives. We get distracted by the perception of outside influences, “the babel” Charles Fillmore referenced when he made his inward journey, going to “headquarters”.
Ellen Debenport lovingly states in The 5 Principles, “Prayer is the time we take to focus, to align ourselves in oneness with the divine and affirm that whatever we need is already ours.”
Here’s an example:
Imagine you’re out dining with friends and everyone is sitting around the table talking, laughing, catching up with the latest doings.  Everyone is looking at the menu and asking about food choices. It’s loud, everyone is excited, questions are asked about family, current jobs, latest movies that have been seen.  You are trying to do decide what you would like to choose from the menu. Laughter permeates the conversation.
You ruminate over the external. You answer questions. Laugh with our friends over a joke perhaps. Still trying to decide if the chicken or fish is more appealing.
 Your “Gentile” thoughts attempt to preoccupy our thinking.
You finally settle in and become still, refocus, consider your choices and voila! A creative choice has been made! You’ll have the hungry mama platter because you realize you haven’t eaten all day!
The energy behind all life, God, Principle, knows nourishment is needed. Co-creating is the simple act of prayer thought, behind your choice from the menu.
We do this on some level of our consciousness in everything we do.
How do we respond?
Let’s go back the question of dinner. We sometimes outwardly have a conversation, the oh…. I don’t know, what do you want?” ……..
Or, we stop for a moment, reconnect, collect our thoughts and make a choice. We say “yes”
This is a very basic example of our thoughts being prayers.
Number 3: Understand this; You are never disconnected from prayer. Our thoughts ARE prayers. It’s also the third Principle- The law of mind action. The difference is being conscious or unconscious about your thoughts. And knowing who the “Gentiles” are.
In Unity we practice the 5- step affirmative prayer process.
1.    We relax- releasing physical and mental tension
2.    We Concentrate-with a gentle focusing of the mind
3.    We take a moment to meditate- which puts us in contact with the Silence
4.     We come to realization-deep inner knowing of the Truth and that our prayers are answered
5.    We give thanks, we say yes- To being grateful before or as the answer appears in the manifest realm.
This can all happen in a nano-second just as it did in the example above, in ordering our food, or we can take a moment for ourselves and shut the door on outside influences and consciously connect.
Charles Fillmore explained, “Prayer is not supplication or begging but a simple asking for that which we know is waiting for us at the hands of our Father and an affirmation of its existence.”
What is weighing on your mind today? A question you may want answered, a situation in your life needing clarity…..
Become still, enter your sacred space inside your being, shut the door on those Gentile thoughts and become still. Know that the co-creating process is in action all the time. Divine Wisdom, Love and Life is there. Within you.