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Affirmative Prayer

Frank E. Richelieu
"The Art Of Being Yourself" 


The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for November 12, 2017


           Two of the words that are familiar to almost everyone are "amazing grace."  The words are the title to a song that has been presented by a myriad of singers and musicians.  Yet, for many, the words are sweet but misunderstood.  The lyrics to the song were published in 1779 as a Christian hymn.  Ministers, preachers, priests and others used the word "grace" often in their sermons and writings.  During the past couple of decades it has been replaced by many in the Christian communities by the word "favor."  This word became popularized as the mega-church pastor, Joel Osteen, used it and continues to use it often.  But unlike "grace" the word "favor" implies that G-d favors some over others or that we must be in G-d's "favor" for us to realize the good results of our desires.  Yet, evidence clearly shows us that G-d is "no respecter of persons" and so we know the word can be problematic for those who adapt it into their consciousness.  Once again if we heed the philosophy of the Master Mind Jesus, not the religion that shadows his teachings, but his words, we shall find his instruction to look to Nature to understand our relationship to G-d and the Universe in which we live, we shall find the truth that "favor" is a false idea and "grace" is the truth.

         This is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines grace:  "unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification."  Note the word "unmerited" ... in other words, our actions do not "merit" us the good that we receive from G-d.  We don't receive the answers to our prayers because we are good.  We receive them because we keep faith with the truth that we can have what we affirm is ours as long as it takes nothing away from anyone else nor diminishes anyone in any way, including ourselves.  This has nothing to do with being bad or good in the eyes of those in the world.  Religion has taught us otherwise.  It would be nice if those of religion would "favor" the world by stopping this ridiculous teaching.

          This is what the American Mystic Ernest Holmes wrote about grace: 
"Grace is the giving-ness of Spirit to Its Creation and is not a special law, but a specialized one.   In other words, Grace is, but we need to recognize it.  It is not something God imposed upon us, but is the logical result of the correct acceptance of life and of a correct relationship to Spirit.  We are saved by Grace to the extent that we believe in, accept, and seek to embody, the Law of Good; for the Law of Good is ever a Law of Liberty and never one of limitation.  Limitation is not a thing, not an entity, but a belief.  Freedom is a Divine Reality."  And I would stress that we find freedom as we experience grace; that is the ever-knowing that G-d and the Universe is always for us and for our good.

         I am going to quote the great Ralph Waldo Emerson once again this week; "All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen."  And in these words we find great faith.  Let's not annoy our spirit with thinking that we must "win the favor" of some man-made god in order to live the good life; the prosperous life and the wonderful life.  Our Creator has endowed us with the ability to choose ... and so we can choose freely and accept freely for this is when grace touches our soul.

And so it is!

Rev. Henry Bates

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