Thy Will Be Done

Wednesaday, July 20, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #2 of the 7-Week Series, "7 Prayers That Will Change Your Life"

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Click HERE to view Rev. Rogers' guided meditation during the service.

The question that I want to start with tonight is: How were you taught to pray? As a young person; as a child, how you were taught to pray? Because, for many of us, we were taught to pray -- not from that heighth, not from that lift -- but many of us were taught to pray by being as pathetic as we could be. [Congregation laughs] Were any of you taught to pray that way? Like, "God, this is the poor, groveling, little me"? And many of us were taught that, if I can be pathetic enough, that God will take mercy upon my soul and give me the new bike, or whatever it was. Right?

And this whole methodology of prayer wasn't based on your soul coming into the heighth of your oneness with God, and speaking of prayer from the highest and the best that is within you. It was this idea that I had to grovel; I had to be a victim; I had to be pathetic; I had to be small. And then I could speak a prayer, and that God hopefully would take pity on us miserable sinners and grant us whatever it was.

And many of us, in times of need, sometimes go back to our prayers of pity. Right? We go back to saying, "Please, please, please!" And we beg and we beseech. And we make ourselves feel small. 

And last week and this week, and for the next five weeks, I want to talk about seven prayers that will change your life. This is a series that I did back in 2017. I did five prayers. And this time I'm going to pick a few of those prayers from five years ago, but I also want to add some new ones. Because I believe that prayer is transformative. That prayer changes things. Not only does it change us, but it changes our life; it changes our world. I believe that prayer works!

And so last week we began this process with the prayer, "Let there be light." And I sent you all out with imaginary wands, and I said that your job this week was to go around saying, "Let there be light! Let there be light! Let there be light! Let there be light!" And to bring as much light as you can into your life; into your world; into the Universe. To be beacons of that infinite light of God. And I got lots of positive feedback that you were out there. And some of you were getting a little carried away with your magic wand [congregation laughs], but it was a good week! Right? It was a good week! Let there be light!

Because any time we're claiming the light, life is better! You know, that we hear this idea that one candle ... the darkness cannot stand within the light. That once you light the candle, the darkness is gone. And many of us have believed that darkness was a power that could actually have power over us. And so this week we just practice over and over again: Let there be light.

And this week I'm going to invite you into the experience of "Thy will be done." And over and over again, just to claim these simple four words -- together with me: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

Now, this automatically puts into conflict with our ego. Because our ego structure is based on being in control. That the whole reason our ego exists is to save us from being powerless. And so, if you really take on this thought, this prayer, this affirmation -- Thy will be done -- you are in the process of moving from an ego-based reality to really a spiritual-based reality. And for many of us, we are somewhere in that process.

Like, we'd like to believe that we're just all being spiritual all the time. And, you know, everything is groovy and everything is working. And we're just "feeling the vibe," right? But how many of you know that you have control issues? Come on, 'fess it up! [Congregation laughs] Right?

And so what I want you to see is that control issues -- by definition -- are not a spiritual practice. Like, Jesus didn't once say, "Go out into the world and just control the heck out of 'em!" [Congregation laughs] Right? "And if you can't control 'em, then just subdue 'em by force or might or manipulation, or whatever it takes." I mean, I never read that in any of the Gospels!

His path was a path of letting go; of trusting God; of surrendering. And yet, I want you to see how much your ego wants to pretend you're doing it when you're simply not. Like, we kind of kid ourselves into, "Oh, I'm going to surrender, as long as it's going exactly the way I thought it should." Right? 

So will you say it with me one more time? [With congregation]: "Thy will be done." Four words.

One more time: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

So it really is an invitation to let go of control.

Now, the other problem with this affirmation is your mind. If your mind is anything like my mind, my mind can always think of the way that I want it. Like, do you have that ability? Like, when you have a goal or a desire, you think, "Well, this is the way I want it. I want it to come like this, or I want it to go like this." And we get into our thought process, and we think about how it should be. And sometimes, if you notice, life doesn't always go that way!

So the moment we begin to affirm, "Thy will be done," we're actually shifting out of our mindset, and we're actually entertaining a bigger mindset -- a divine mindset, if you will -- that actually is a higher level of good. That "Thy will be done" actually opens us to a higher level of good than our human mind can envision.

Every time you say, "Thy will be done," you're actually inviting a level of good; a level of life; a level of abundance; a level of love; a level of joy that is greater than you normally can conceive of or believe in. And you're actually inviting that higher level of love.

Now, how many of you, when you were a younger person, were really afraid that if God was really in charge of your life that all the fun stuff would just be instantly taken away? Right? When I was in high school, I knew I was called to be a minister, but my plan was to do it when I was 80. [Congregation and Rev. Rogers laugh] Right? I thought, between 20 and 80, I could have enough fun that I could kind of slide into ministry at the point when all the fun was over. Right? [Congregation laughs] That was my plan!

And the more that I kept doing my spiritual work, then I realized, "Oh! Maybe I could have fun and be a minister, too!" Who knew? Right? That, other than missing some football games, you could have a good life, right?

And it's this idea of surrendering and moving from a head-based reality to a heart-based reality. Because Jesus said the most important thing was to love the Lord, your God, with all your mind, your heart and your soul.

What I want you to see is that your head can always come up with a different plan. But when you really feel God's infinite love for you ... When it's real -- when that love is real; when you can feel the love of the Infinite for you -- it becomes much easier to surrender to it. Much easier to allow it into your life.

Like, do you have somebody in your life that you know just loves you? And you know they just love you! And so you know they're not going to give you the bad part of the apple. Right? They're not going to turn it so you get the part where the worm is, right? They're actually going to give you the good side! 

And over and over again, what I want you to see: that God loves you so much, God is never going to give you the bad spot on the apple. God's going to give you the best spot on the apple! Because that's what we do for the people we love! The people we love: we want to bless them with the best that we have.

There are two times when Jesus said, "Thy will be done" -- when he taught, "Thy will be done" -- that I want to talk about tonight.

The first one is in the Lord's prayer from Matthew 6, 9-13. When Jesus said, “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And it's this opportunity for us to say, no matter what your earthly experience is, every time we pray the Lord's Prayer, we're inviting this higher level of good. We're inviting this level of good that is greater than we can imagine. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." That there's this higher level of good. And we actually want to get to that! That this higher level of good really is God's good for us.

Now, have you ever seen one of the space shuttles -- one of the rockets -- take off from Cape Canaveral? Right? One of the things that happens is, when a rocket leaves our gravitational pull, it takes a huge amount of energy. Like, a rocket -- in that 30 seconds, 90 seconds -- going from static stop gravity to full-on out of our orbit. It takes a huge amount of energy to move from a dead stop to outer space.

Now why is that important? I want you to see that, in your life right now, you're living in a gravitational field of your present level of good; your present level of life experience. And that gravitational pull keeps us pretty much in the life that we know. And we can vary from time to time, but it tends to be that we live the life that we're comfortable with.. That we know; that we believe in; that we can see. And we tend to operate out of that gravitational field. And everything in our life is within our gravitational field, until something dramatic happens that actually launches us beyond the level of good that we know; that we've experienced; that our past says is possible.

And that's what, "Thy will be done" does. "Thy will be done" is like a rocket that launches us into another level of good that would not be possible as long as we stay in our mindset. If we stay in our own consciousness; if we stay in our own belief, we continue to function within the gravitational pull that we experience; that we understand; that we're used to; that our family was used to; what generations were used to. We tend to operate out of that realm; out of that consciousness; out of that possibility.

But it's only when a soul tires of their current level of experience that they're willing to risk it all and simply say, "Thy will be done." And the moment a soul honestly says, "Thy will be done," they are then launched out of their experience into an experience that is radically better; different; more rewarding. And so much easier!

Have you noticed how much work it is for you to live within your own ego? How much work it is to try to figure everything out and control everything? You know how you've got to control everything: you've got to control all the people in your life? And you've got to be about it all the time! I mean, you've got to be constantly working! And there's a moment where you just decide, "Man, I am working too hard on my own life! And maybe I'm not getting all the results that I want."

And when you come to those two realizations, it becomes easier and easier to just simply say -- together with me: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

And yet your ego, then, is instantly moved into a level of vulnerability; concern. "Well, what about this? Or what about this? Or what about this?" Or, "How am I going to this?" Or, "Who's gong to be in charge of this?" Or, "Who's going to be in charge of that?"

And as we move into, "Thy will be done," we have time to breathe. We are then launched into a higher level of good, where we don't have to control everything. We actually begin to learn to live by grace. That it really could be that easy! And it really could be that good! That God loves me; loves you; loves us!  And Jesus said it's Father good pleasure to give us the kingdom. But we have to get out of our own gravitational field, and launch us into something radically greater.

"Thy will be done." [Congregation joins in as he says it]

One more time: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

And the second time that Jesus said it was in the Garden. In the Garden of Gethsemane, before the crucifixion. Now, this time he had some skin in the game. Right? I mean, this is the moment where he's in prayer. He's asked his disciples to hold him in prayer, and his disciples quickly go to sleep! And he's left alone in the Garden. And he has a straight-up conversation with his Creator.

And I'm going to share both the verse in Mark and the verse in Luke. And I want you to hear the slight difference. But I also want you to hear the commonality: the central theme.

In Mark 14: "Abba, Father" ...

Now, there's a couple of times when Jesus uses that term: Abba. And it's the personal relationship "father." It is the ... When he says, "Abba," it's like saying, "Papa" or "Daddy." It's a statement of endearment; it's a statement ... It's not a formal "Father." It's not [speaks deeply], "Father." It's, "Daddy," right? It's intimate; it's loving; it's playful; it's what a child says to their dad when they're playing. It's, "Papa." It's, "Abba; Father."

And then he says, "All things are possible for you."

Now, do you think he was reminding God of that? Or do you think he was reminding himself of that? I think he's reminding himself! This is his critical hour; this is right before the crucifixion, right? This is the night before. And he's coming to terms with it. Right? That he can see the writing on the wall; he sees where it's going. He knows he spent his whole life getting to this moment, and that it's probably going to be transformative. But this is his moment.

So he says, "All things are possible for you," to remind himself.

And then he says, from this very intimate place: "Remove this cup from me." 

Like, “Ooooops! I’m not sure I have it to do this. Like maybe this was not a good idea. Maybe we just need to change the plan. If this cup can be removed from me ..." But then he kicks in -- his spirit kicks in -- and says, "Yet not what I will, but thy will be done."

Right? So he has to remind himself, "Oh, with God all things are possible!"

But then his human side speaks, "But I don't want this one! This one's not going to be easy; this is not going to be pretty; this is not going to be fun! This is going to be a mess! And I get that it's going to someplace greater; I believe that I can do this, and I believe that I can demonstrate that life is eternal, but this is going to be a mess! A hot mess! A dumpster fire. And yet ... not my will, by thy will be done."

And then he rolls into it.

In the Gospel of Luke -- Luke 22 -- it says, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done."

How many of you know the 12 Steps of AA or any of the support groups? Tonight I want to talk about Step 2 and Step 3. Step 2 says, "We come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity." Step 3 says, "We've made the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him."

And I want to talk about Step 2 and Step 3. Because for some of us, we have believed that when we came to the belief that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity, that's a one-time decision. Like, we do it once and it should count forever. And I want you to see this second step as a spiritual practice, very much like what Jesus went through, where he had to remind himself that all things are possible. Like, he had to remind himself.

That there's this moment in all of our lives -- in every situation; in every moment -- where we have to remind ourselves. Where we have to come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves over and over and over again. And I want you to think about a time in your life where you're facing a challenge or a problem, and your mind will want to step in and say, "This is the way that we're going to handle it."

And I want you to be able to take a step back in that moment and say, "I now come to believe in a Power greater than my own thoughts; my own beliefs; my own ideas of possibility. I now come to believe that there's this level of God's good that is greater than I can imagine, and I want that more than what I can conceive through my own human mind. That what I can conceive in my own human mind might look okay, and might look good, but it's not at the level of God. It's not infinite good."

And over and over again, when we come to believe in a Power greater in ourselves that can restore us to sanity, it can restore us to the highest level of good. And I want that!

And then the third step: "And we've now made the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him." And I love that idea, "as we understand Him." Right? That it’s a moving, growing, dynamic force.

"Thy will be done." [Congregation joins in as he says it]

Will you say that with me? [With congregation] "Thy will be done."

So I think there's three elements of living a life by "Thy will be done."

The first one is the desire to really know the will of God. You know, the thing that is always very difficult for me is when somebody does some great tragedy on humanity, and then announces to the news or whoever's around them that they were doing the will of God. It's like, that is -- to me -- the greatest ... It is the greatest human ego statement of all: is that God would ever want us to inflict harm upon each other. That there is no part of my experience or my understanding of God that would ever have us harm one another. That God is 100% for us. And the idea that somebody would think that what they were doing was an act of God is, for me, an abomination. And honestly, I don't use that word very often.

So our work, then, is to really know the will of God. And sometimes knowing the will of God is hard! Right? And sometimes the will of God is not what we want. 

This Saturday my Apple watch imploded. [Congregation laughs] And Sunday I go up to Prescott. And my time on Sunday morning is pretty tight. Like, I have to get there and I have to do everything I do. And I came out with a watch on. Do you know what I mean? You know what a Saturday's child is? You know the thing ... I'm a Saturday's child. And Saturday's child: they come into life busy. Right? And I came ... I came out at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, because I had things to do. I wasn't going to spend all day in this whole labor and delivery experience. I was coming out, because I had things to do. And I had a watch on, and I was going to do it on time. Right? [Congregation laughs]

So my whole life, I have worn a watch. I mean, when I was a little kid, I was wearing a watch. And so when my Apple watch imploded, I thought, "No problem; I've got a drawer full of watches." I mean, I literally do! I have, like, every watch I've ever owned. And I went in my drawer, and there were two sport watches. And, of course, because I've been wearing my Apple watch for years, both of the batteries were gone.

So I took them to the little jewelry store around the corner from my house, and they said, "No problem, Mr. Rogers; we'll have them to you back in an hour." And I called three hours later, and they said, "Well, there's a little bit of a problem." Right? And they said, "One of them is dead. And one of them ... we can't get the back open to get the battery in. So we're going to have to wait until Tuesday for you to get a watch." [Feigns look of shock]

So I had one other watch, because now I'm digging. Right? I had one other watch that was solar, right? But it had been in this cupboard for so long, it was ... So I put it outside in the sun, but it was not doing anything. Right? It was not doing anything!

And every time I prayed about wearing a watch, Spirit said, "Trust me." And my whole thing was, "Yeah; yeah." [Congregation laughs] "You know I trust you, God! There's no doubt here! I trust you! But it's part of my brand. It's part of my look. It's part of my thing. I wear a watch." Right? And Spirit says, "No; Sunday you're going to go without a watch."

I don't think so! Right? I just don't think so!

So both the watches they couldn't get fixed. So I put the solar watch, and at about six o'clock, it woke up. Like, it had enough sunlight; it woke up. It's working beautifully. I put it on my wrist; it's beautiful. And then, within 20 minutes, the band just disintegrated. [Congregation laughs] Like, just literally disintegrated. And then I knew that I was either not wearing a watch, or I was going to have to duct-tape it to my wrist. Like, those were the two options, right?

And I said, "Okay, God; before you destroy every watch that I still have, I am not wearing a watch tomorrow." Right? So I made it through an entire 24 hours without a watch. Right? I made it through Monday, Tuesday; I'm on Wednesday. I'm four days without a watch. I have to breathe deeply occasionally, but I'm doing okay. Right?

So I want you to think about the places in your life where you think it has to go a certain way. And what if, from time to time, God is going to upset your apple cart and make you do it a way that you're not comfortable with? So "Thy will be done" really invites us to move into the flow of God.

The second aspect of this is: It's not going to happen the way you think it's going to happen. That's number two: It's not going to happen the way you think it's going to happen. And three: It really is going to happen in a better way.

So not only Saturday did I have my whole watch dilemma, but intermittently last week, my Wi-Fi from Cox was going out at really inappropriate times. It would go out for a while, and they'd get it back. Or I'd reboot and eventually it'd come back.

And so last Thursday, the nice person on the phone said, "Let us just send somebody to your home, and let us find out what's really going on." And have you ever not wanted to fix a problem? [Congregation laughs] Like, have you ever had a washing machine that only worked on one cycle, but you just didn't bother to change it. You just thought, "Well, it's ... all I have is dark clothes anyway, so it'll be fine." Or whatever it is: microwave that can't go more than 15 seconds or whatever it is. Right?

So I was under the mindset of: I'm not sure I really want them to come to my house and mess with it. Because they never come on time, and it's going to be a big deal. And it's Saturday; I just don't want to. But I just knew to say, "Yes." So I said, "Yes."

So they were supposed to be there between 1 and 3. And literally at one o'clock [knock, knock, knock, knock]. This nice young man says, "I'm here to fix your Internet." And I thought, "Well, this is ... thank you, God!" Right? Thank you, God!

And he comes in and he looks at all the things that aren't working. And he said, "How long have you had your Internet?" And I said, "Well, when we bought the house, they did the system." And he said, "How long ago was that?" I said, "It was about nine years ago when we bought the house and they came in." He said, "Well, we've changed things since then!" [Laughs] This guy is looking at me like the biggest dinosaur that's ever been in the world. Right?

And he goes and he looks at all the couplings and he looks at all the things. And he goes, "This isn't good." Right? He said, "I did an Internet check, and you're only getting 42 or something, and I think you should be well over 100." And he said, "I'm going to change everything out."

And then he went to the box out by the street, and he pulled that apart. He said, "This isn't even working at all!" He said, "I'm going to change all this out." And I said, "Well, how long is it going to take?" He said, "I think I can have it done in less than 20 minutes." I said, "You're going to change all of this out in less than 20 minutes?" He said, "Clock me; watch me. Here we go!"

And he went out there and he changed everything. He changed all the couplings and he changed all the connections. He changed everything. He gave me a new Wi-Fi router ... Well, he didn't give it to me. But I have a new Wi-Fi router. Right?

And my Internet speed has doubled! Like, it's doubled! Now, I don't know if I'm ever going to use that much data all at one time, right? But he said, "Mr. Rogers, you're now ready to go completely wireless." And he was so excited about that! [Congregation laughs]

I'm not sure exactly what that means, but he was very excited about that! Right?

He said, "We're going to have a wireless cable box for you, and we'll have wireless this and wireless that. And you now have all the data ... You're ready!" And I was like, "Great!"

And I thought, Richard, how many times have you argued for your limitation? How many times have you settled for things that are just kind of working?

And what happens when we begin to move into a "Thy will be done," is everything where we're settling -- or isn't quite as good, or hasn't really been upgraded -- everything in our life begins to move to this level of God's good that is infinitely greater.

So if you don't want anything to change in your life, your prayer this week should not be, "Thy will be done." If you want to be the king or queen of your universe, and rule everyone and everything, this is not your prayer.

But if you're ready for a higher level of good; if you're ready for everything in your life to be ratcheted up to a level that's better than you can imagine, this is a perfect prayer for you this week.

Together: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

One more time: [with congregation] "Thy will be done."

And I just want you to play with it. Over and over again, with every area of your life -- your finances; your relationship; your home; your finances; your money; your work , every area of your life -- I want you just to invite it up: "Thy will be done."

Are you willing? That's your homework!

Will you pray with me?

I want you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God. And tonight our only job is to give it all to God. To literally give it all to God. To surrender it all; to hold nothing back. God, I give you my hopes, my dreams, my fears and my insecurities. Thy will be done. In the name and in the process and the power of God, thy will be done. And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2022 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers                                    

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Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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