08.24.2022

God, God, God

Wednesday, April 24, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Final Week 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

Alright; so here we go!

So we're on Week #7 of "7 Prayers That Will Change Your Life." Now, how many of you -- and at least one of you will raise your hand, so you can decide who's going to volunteer for this one. But over the last seven weeks, as we've done one prayer after the other, tell me that -- for at least one of you -- this has expanded your prayer life. Right? At least one of you? Great! Okay; good.

And I stand by that statement. I know it's a big statement. But I believe that every one of those seven prayers has the potential of radically, wonderfully changing your life. But the key is -- the kicker always is -- that prayer only works if you work it. Right? Prayer is one of those things that's like a buffet: you've got to get yourself to the table. Right? Nobody hands you a prayer life. You have to decide you want a prayer life.

Now, how do you know when you're getting a little prayer needy? Right? Because some of us are prayer needy, and we don't even know we're prayer needy! So how do you know when you're prayer needy? What's one of your signs? It's like the indicator light on the dashboard of your car. When it starts flashing, you know it's time to pull over. Right?

So how do you know when you're prayer needy? How many of you, when you know you haven't spent enough time in prayer, get a little cranky? Right? How many of you get a little fearful? Anybody get fearful when they haven't spent enough time? How about moving into self-doubt? Right? Or maybe a little insecure?

Because I want you to see that the reason that we spend time in prayer is that you're better when you're full. Like, you have a God-given right to go as empty as you want, right? You can put two bucks in the tank and see how far you'll get. Or you can actually develop a prayer life so that you're living full day in and day out. And watch the difference from when you're living from a place of emptiness as you're living from a place of fullness.

So we started with this whole idea. "Let there be light" was the first week. Second week was "Thy will be done." Third week was "Peace; be still." Fourth week was "Be ye transformed." Fifth week was "All that the Father has is mine." Last week we talked about "Expand my territory." And this week it is "God, God, God!"

Now, I've got one more question, and then I'm going to get after tonight. Is prayer a mental activity or a spiritual activity? How many want to vote for it's a mental activity? Bob and I. Alright. How many want to vote it's a spiritual activity? How many want to vote it's both? I'm going to stand clearly that it's a mental activity. Prayer is a mental activity that leads to a spiritual experience. Through the activity of prayer, we learn to quiet our mind so that we experience more and more God. Right?

And as we practice prayer, our mind becomes more and more still. We become more and more centered. We become more and more focused. But it's a mental activity that leads to profound spiritual experiences. But prayer, in and of itself, is a mental activity. That when we're in prayer, we're quieting our mind to opening the door to the infinite.

Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, said it this way: "Prayer is communion between God and man. This communion takes place in the innermost part of man's being. And it's the only way to cleanse and perfect our consciousness. Prayer is the highest activity of mind-action known. It steps up the mental action until man's consciousness synchronizes with Christ mind. It is the language of spirituality. When developed, it makes man master of the realm of all creative thought."

And then Fillmore goes on and says that there are seven fundamental conditions -- or qualities -- for prayer. And I want to share those.

The first one is that God needs to be recognized as the power in your life. And this is kind of a tricky one, right? Because our ego doesn't always just get excited about that. Right? Our ego really likes to believe that we can do it. And so, over and over, through the activity of prayer we actually shift out of an ego-driven reality into a spiritual activity.

The second one is that we need to acknowledge our oneness with God. And that, for us to have true communion, it can't "me and God"; it is experiencing yourself in the oneness with God.

The prayer must be made -- Psalm 91 says -- in "the secret place of the most high." So that prayer really is -- true prayer -- is acknowledging that God is within me. And for many of us, that jump from God being "out there" -- wherever that is -- to believing that God is within me is a critical jump in a prayer life. When we believe that God is within me.

He said was the fourth condition was that the door must be closed to all thought and interests of the outer world. We have to let go of our attachment to the outer world, and come back into the oneness with God.

The fifth one is: The one who prays must believe that he has already received that which he is requesting. That is the activity of faith.

And the sixth is: The kingdom of God must be desired above all things.

And the seventh: The mind must let go of every unforgiving thought.

I love that he saved that one for last! Right? Because the reality is that, as long as we're holding a sense of resentments or upset, or we're keeping score, we're not accessing all that God is. And sometimes we have favorite resentments. Do you have any favorite resentments? People you just love to not forgive? Like, "That dirty dog; I'm never going to forgive them. What they did to me was unspeakable; it was awful. I'm never going to forgive them, because I never want to really let them go off the hook."

And the reality is that, in true prayer, as we forgive everyone for everything -- including ourselves -- we actually open the door to the infinite reservoir of God's good. And you have a God-given right to be as miserable as you want to be for as long as you want to be miserable. But in that moment where we let go of all resentments, we actually unleash the fullness of God.

And then Fillmore goes on and says that there are seven fundamental conditions -- or qualities -- for prayer. And I want to share those.

The first one is that God needs to be recognized as the power in your life. And this is kind of a tricky one, right? Because our ego doesn't always just get excited about that. Right? Our ego really likes to believe that we can do it. And so, over and over, through the activity of prayer we actually shift out of an ego-driven reality into a spiritual activity.

The second one is that we need to acknowledge our oneness with God. And that, for us to have true communion, it can't "me and God"; it is experiencing yourself in the oneness with God.

The prayer must be made -- Psalm 91 says -- in "the secret place of the most high." So that prayer really is -- true prayer -- is acknowledging that God is within me. And for many of us, that jump from God being "out there" -- wherever that is -- to believing that God is within me is a critical jump in a prayer life. When we believe that God is within me.

He said was the fourth condition was that the door must be closed to all thought and interests of the outer world. We have to let go of our attachment to the outer world, and come back into the oneness with God.

The fifth one is: The one who prays must believe that he has already received that which he is requesting. That is the activity of faith.

And the sixth is: The kingdom of God must be desired above all things.

And the seventh: The mid must let go of every unforgiving thought.

I love that he saved that one for last! Right? Because the reality is that, as long as we're holding a sense of resentments or upset, or we're keeping score, we're not accessing all that God is. And sometimes we have favorite resentments. Do you have any favorite resentments? People you just love to not forgive? Like, "That dirty dog; I'm never going to forgive them. What they did to me was unspeakable; it was awful. I'm never going to forgive them, because I never want to really let them go off the hook."

And the reality is that, in true prayer, as we forgive everyone for everything -- including ourselves -- we actually open the door to the infinite reservoir of God's good. And you have a God-given right to be as miserable as you want to be for as long as you want to be miserable. But in that moment where we let go of all resentments, we actually unleash the fullness of God.

So tonight I want to talk about ... How many of you know that I often say, "Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you God!"? Well, what I love about this prayer is: It's 66% fewer words. [Congregants laugh] We're just totally eliminating the "thank you." So this week -- for the next seven days -- you have three words. And I want you to say them with me: [with congregation] "God, God, God!"

One more time: [with congregation] "God, God, God!"

And whatever is going on in your life, for the next seven days your only response to it is: "God, God, God." And I want you, over and over again, moving the focus of your attention off of whatever it is that's got you twitterpated and on to God. That God is the only thing that matters for the next seven days.

How many of you can think of a time when you bought a new car? Or even a nice used car? Right? Or just a junker? [Congregation] Right? Now what's amazing about when you buy a new car is: you're convinced that you're going to be the only person in the neighborhood who has that car. Until you buy it! And then you see that car everywhere! Like, there's seven of them on your street alone! Right? And that you never noticed them before until you got it.

So whatever we put our focus on expands in our awareness. I want you to really hear that. Wherever we place our focus expands in our awareness. So as you put the full focus of your attention on God for the next seven days, you're going to be amazed at how much your expanded awareness of God is going to transform your life. Because when you move off of the problem; off of the situation; off of the fear; off of the doubt, and you put your full focus on God, you actually open the door to the infinite reservoir of God's good. That God is infinite. And every time you move your focus off the situation ...

And it's really an act of faith. Because your ego wants to focus on the problem, believing that your ego can solve it. And true grace -- really living in the grace of God -- means that you just focus on God, and God takes care of everything.

"Well, Richard, how does that work? Don't have a role in fixing my life?" Yes! But from a spiritual point of view, every time you focus on God, you unleash the infinite reservoir of God's good.

"God, God, God!"

Together: [with congregation] "God, God, God!"

So one of my favorite poems was written by Yogananda. Paramahansa Yogananda. And it's a little booklet called "The Songs of the Soul." And in it ... I love this little poem! And everytime he gets to the refrain; the refrain is simply -- I think you know where I'm going, ready? "God, God, God." And every time I get to the refrain, I want you to say that with me. The three words. Can everybody remember those three words? [Congregation laughs] Okay; good. Because it's really just one word three times. Right? You with me? "God, God, God." Here we go:

From the depth of slumber,
As I ascend the spiral stairway of wakefulness,
I whisper
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

Thou art the food and when I break my fast
Of nightly separation from Thee
I taste thee and mentally say
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

No matter where I go, the spotlight of my mind
Ever keeps turning on Thee;
And in the battle dim of activity my silent war cry
Is ever;
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

When boisterous storms of trials shriek
And worries howl at me,
I drown their noises, loudly chanting
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

When my mind weaves dreams
With threads of memories,
Then on that magic cloth I do emboss;
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

Every night, in time of deepest sleep,
My peace dreams and calls; Joy! Joy! Joy!
And my Joy comes singing evermore;
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping,
Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving,
My soul constantly hums, unheard by any;
[With congregation]: God, God, God!

You know, one of the things that I do when I'm driving; I just chant those three words: "God, God, God." And what I find, over and over again, is that it just lifts me. Like, if I'm having a bad day, my go-to prayer is, "God, God, God." If I have a problem; if I have a challenge; if there's a need or situation in my life, I go back to the name of God that speaks to my soul: "God, God, God."

Now, for some of you, God is not the name of God that you prefer. And whatever it is ... If you like Spirit or Universe or Harold -- Harold be thy name -- right? [Congregation laughs] Whatever it is, right? Whatever the name is of God, I want you just to keep coming back to the name of God that speaks to you.

Together: [with congregation] "God, God, God!"

Like, when your soul is upset; when you're unsettled; when life looks crazy: "God, God, God."

Because there's a deep peace. That when you put your full focus on God, there's a deep peace that just washes over us when we put our focus back on the Infinite. Because the longer you stare at a problem ... If it's true that your perception, your focus causes things to expand, the longer you focus on a problem, all that happens in your awareness is that problem expands in front of you. You see it and it looks scarier and it looks uglier and it looks more traumatic. And in that moment, when you shift the focus of your attention off of the problem and back on to God, everything in your life is better.

So you know one of my favorite little booklets is The Golden Key. If you haven't read The Golden Key, go pick it up; it's like a buck. Right? It's in the bookstore. Go pick it up. And it's six pages. Really, you can read it before you go to bed tonight. Right? And the whole premise of Emmet Fox's "Golden Key" is that -- whatever the need; whatever the situation -- move your focus off of the problem and on to God.

And it's like, "But it can't be that easy! Like, that’s really all I have to do? Is move my focus off of the problem and on to God?" And our ego really resists that. Our ego wants to get involved in the details. It wants to earn its money. Right? And if it's just sitting around focusing on God, who's going to pay your ego if it's just sitting eating bon bons focusing on God? Right?

So over and over again, what I want you to see is that your focus on God is your job. That's your job! As a spiritual being, you come into this three-dimensional world, and you get to focus on whatever you want. You have free will. You can focus on how bad it is. You can focus on how terrible your neighbors are. Or how the politicians are messing things up. Or what this person did or what your kids are doing or not doing. You can focus on whatever you want to focus on! But spiritual masters have learned that, if they focus on God, there's a profound peace.

That if you're looking at the face of the Infinite, it's hard to be stressed. Here's the words of Emmet Fox. And these are actually not from the booklet, but a dissertation he wrote about the booklet. He says:

"As for the actual method of working, like all fundamental things, it is simply itself. All you have to do is stop thinking about the difficulty, whatever it may be, and think about God, instead. This is the complete rule, and if only you will do this the trouble, whatever it ism will disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is. It may be a big thing or a little thing. It may concern your health, your finances, a lawsuit, a quarrel, an accident, anything at all. But whatever it is, stop thinking about it and think about God, instead. That's all you have to do,

“But you must stop thinking of the trouble. The rule is to think about God. If you are thinking about your difficulty, you are not thinking about God. To continually glance over your shoulder in order to see how matters are progressing is fatal, because it is still thinking about the trouble. You must think about God and nothing else. Your object is to drive the thought of the difficulty out of your consciousness, for a few moments at least, substituting it for the thought of God.

“If you are very frightened or worried, at first it may be seem difficult to get your thoughts away from the material world. But by constantly repeating a statement of Absolute Truth, such as 'God, God, God,' or perhaps best: 'God is within me.' However mechanical or trite or simple it may seem, but you will soon find that your mind clears. Do not struggle violently, but quietly. Persistently. Each time you find your attention wandering back to the situation, bring it back to God."

"God, God, God."

One more time: [with congregation] "God, God, God."

Charles Fillmore continues to say, "[The purpose of prayer] is to establish in consciousness a broad understanding of the divine principles on which all life and existence depend. By affirming truth we are filtering out the false thinking into a conscious oneness with Spirit."

That our mind cannot focus on more than one thing at a time. How many of you like to be multi-taskers? I do; right? And really want happens when we're multi-tasking -- if there's three or four things that we're trying to do all at the same time -- what happens is: your mind just goes from thing to thing to thing very rapidly ... but it still only focuses on one thing at a time. And what happens as you're moving from thing to thing to thing, our tendency is to get more and more anxious.

But when we focus just on one thing at a time -- and bring our full focus to one thing at a time -- it actually creates a level of peace within us. And especially when the thing that we're focusing is the nature of the Universe. Like, if you're really dwelling on the nature of the Universe -- if you're dwelling on God -- it's hard to get upset about anything. Because you're actually staring at the face of the Infinite.

"God, God, God."

So I want you to look at any area in your life. It could be your finances, your health, a relationship, your work, your home. It can be anything in your life. And I want you to just close your eyes for a moment, and I want you to just imagine looking at that thing. But instead of seeing that thing just the way you sometimes see it, you're going to see it from the highest point of view. You're going to see it from God's eyes. And you're going to say with me, "God, God, God. God, God, God. God, God, God,” until you can see God right there. When it's no longer "this" and "that"; it's no longer duality, but it's just God. It's just oneness. Could you do that? Could you send a silent blessing to that area of your life?

And so for the next seven days ... are you ready? For the next seven days, all you're going to do is: Every time you notice that you're focusing on the problem, you're going to just bring it back to God. And you're going to feel your blood pressure lower. You're going to feel the stress in your life go down. You're going to feel your life become so much more manageable, because all you're expected to do for the next seven days is focus on God!

"Well, Richard, that's not the way it really works." [Congregation laughs] Right? "I'm a busy person." [Snaps fingers] "I've got to make things happen; I've got to solve problems and fix things. Who would pay me if I'm not doing all the things I'm doing?"

And for the next seven days, you're to really stop being you. You're going to stop operating out of your ego for the next seven days. For the next seven days, God is the only thing that you're going to focus on

How many of you know that your ego's kind of cute? My ego can be adorable. Right? It can just be adorable. Sometimes it's funny or charming or witty or, you know ... It's just kind of adorable. But it's not God! It's not God! And every time I choose my witty little ego instead of God, I cheat myself. I cheat myself! And as adorable as I think I am sometimes. Right? God is better than that! God is truly better than that!

"God, God, God."

Together: [with congregation] "God, God, God."

Okay; let's pray.

I want you to take a deep breath, and I want you to feel the presence of God that's right where you are. And no matter what's going on in your life, God's right there. No matter what the need; whatever the situation is; whatever the condition is, God is right there. And over and over again, you get to decide: Am I going to focus on the problem or am I going to focus on God? Am I going to scare myself or am I going to lift myself higher? Am I going to go into self-doubt or am I going to believe in possibilities?

For the next seven days: "God, God, God." And just feel the relief. Feel the deep inner transformation when you just keep bringing yourself back to God. God -- the Infinite -- is always right there.

"God, God, God." And so it is. Amen.

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

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

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

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