09.07.2022

Holding the High Watch

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
World Day of Prayer Opening Service

Click HERE to download this transcript.

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

Okay; so you guys ready?

So what do you think our responsibility is to others? When you think about what your personal responsibility is to others, how do you see that? How do you feel? How do you think about your responsibility to others?

Because Jesus' model is a little different than most of us are used to. Jesus' model was a product of his environment; of his experience; of his life. And in Jesus' model -- and his way of being -- they lived in a community. He and his disciples and his followers: they shared everything. It was very much of an inclusive community where everything was shared.

So when Jesus speaks to us through the Gospels, sometimes to us it sounds a little, "Well, that's just too much!" Right? Because we're used to our culture. And in our culture, we have a sense that we're responsible for ourselves, and maybe we're responsible for the family members that we like. [Congregation laughs] Right? And pretty much everybody else is on their own! We might do a little something here and there, but we don't really look at the people around us as our responsibility. In fact, we call that co-dependent! Right? We so don't do that that we've made it wrong.

Now am I making a case tonight for all of us to be co-dependent. No! But what I want you to see is a model of responsibility that is different than we're used to. And I want you to open a space just to hear it maybe with new ears.

Because in the world today, what we take responsibility for is sometimes pretty small. Sometimes [laughs] we don't even want to take responsibility for ourselves. Right? Have you ever been in that place where it's like, "No; it's not my fault!" Right? You know, it's that, "I didn't do it! It wasn't me!" Like, "The devil made me do it!" Or whatever it is! Right?

And so what if today we expand our definition of responsibility. Reading from Philippians 2:4: "Let each of you look not only on his interests, but also the interests of others." From Ephesians 4:32: "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." And John 13: "A new commandment that I give you: that you love one another." And Matthew 25: "For truly I say to you, as you do unto the least of my brothers you do unto me."

So his model was pretty extensive. His model is that the way I treat one another -- the way I treat the people around me -- really is part of your spiritual practice. And that over and over again, I want us to look at it from two different points of view. I want us to look at it from our spiritual point of view, and I want us to look at it from our human point of view. Right?

Tonight we go into our World Day of Prayer. And the theme for World Day of Prayer is "Holding the High Watch." So what does that mean? Well, I believe that it means, from a spiritual point of view, that we see each other from the highest point of view. That we see each other whole and complete and lacking in nothing. That, from the highest point of view -- as you see each other from this highest point of view -- you see the perfection in each other.

And it doesn't mean that we don't disregard the humanity. But we allow ourselves to see each other the way that God sees us: whole and complete and lacking in nothing.

Charles Fillmore said this about healing. He said, "The healing word is not a special creation to meet an emergency. The word goes worth and establishes that which is. It does not heal anything -- in its perfection, there is nothing to heal. Its office is to behold the perfection of being."

See, as we move into this 24 hours of prayer, I want you to see the people around you -- the people on your prayer list; your family; your friends -- I want you to see them from the highest point of view. And not deny their humanity, but actually to see the spiritual perfection in all people.

Because there's something that happens when you see somebody from the highest point of view. It actually is an acknowledgement to their soul that once they've been seen -- once you've been truly seen -- there's something inside you that is activated, because you can never be the same after that. Once somebody sees you from that highest light, it activates something within you.

From James 5, beginning with Verse 14: "If any of us is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing his head with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick man. And the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. For the prayer of the righteous man/woman has great powers in its effect."

Like, that's our job! Our job is to see each other from the highest point of view. Our job is not to get lost in the details and down in the dirty of it. Not to just focus on somebody's past mistakes or where they've been or how awful it's been. Our job from a spiritual point of view is to see them in the highest light.

And so for the next 24 hours, every name that you're praying for -- every person that you're praying for -- your job is to see the spiritual perfection in each and every one.

And it's not to go, "Oh, dear; oh, no! What will they do? How can they get through?" Your job is to see the spiritual perfection in each and every person in each and every situation.

From John 4:35. This is Jesus: "Do they not say, 'There are yet four months and then comes the harvest'? But I tell you: lift up your eyes and see how the fields are already white for harvest."

See, this is the deal! Like, our humanity sometimes gets lost in all the details. Our humanity says, "No; it's going to be four months and then I'll get my promotion." Or, "It'll be four months, and then I'll be healed." Or, "It'll be four months and then this will happen or this will happen or this will open up or this will change. And if I do the inner work, then this will happen. But it's four months away."

But spiritually, the real work -- the true work -- is to see it: that the fields are already white for harvest. That in each and every one of us, that spiritual perfection is already fully manifested.

See, that's why for some of us, the whole idea of spiritual growth is an incorrect image. Because your spirit doesn't grow. Your spirit came in whole and complete and lacking in nothing. All that happens is: it's revealed. Your wholeness; your completeness; your divinity; your sacredness was established the moment God gave you life. And our job for each other is to look past -- or to look beyond -- all the human limitations and to see the spiritual perfection of each and every one of us. To know the truth and to allow the truth to set us free.

So how do we do this? How do we look at one another and see this highest spiritual point of view?

And it all begins with me, right? I open my eyes to see the spiritual potential! That as I ask Spirit to let me see with new eyes, any situation. Like, say your finances or your health or relationship is not where you want it to be. Say it's ... You know, you crashed. Now, looking at it from that point of view, does anything every change? If you keep seeing somebody broken day after day after day, do they respond to your belief in their brokenness? Often, yes!

So it all begins with us when we ask Spirit: "Spirit, let me see it in a new way. Let me see it from a higher point of view. Let me see this situation from your vantage point: from the highest and the best that's available to all of us." And as we ask for that, we begin to learn to see things with spiritual eyes.

And when we look at someone, I want you to begin to look to see what God is doing in their life. To notice what God is doing in their life. Because sometimes we get so busy doing what we're doing that we sometimes don't even notice that God's at work in our life. And it takes somebody to come in right beside us and say, "Wow! Did you see what God did right there?" And it's like, "What? What? Like, what'd you see? I missed it! What'd you see?" And they're like, "God just created a little miracle for you right there."

"Oh!!! It was a little miracle!”

Like, that wasn't happening a week ago or a month ago or a year ago! Your life is different; it's been changed. And sometimes we need somebody from outside of our life to look at our life with new eyes and to put out the miracles when they're happening. Because sometimes miracles feel very ordinary to us.

You know, most miracles that have happened in my or around me: there's always a logical explanation for them after the fact. Right? They always make sense after the fact. But the moment before the miracles happened -- before the answer to prayer happened -- it was literally a miracle that you could go from Point A to Point B and that something could happen. And so sometimes we need people around us, who walk with us -- who are doing the spiritual walk with us -- to say, "That was a miracle. You just had a healing."

One of my favorite ones: A woman went in for surgery, and she said, "Richard will you pray with me?" And I said, "Yes." So we prayed before she went in. She went in for surgery. And as they were doing the last set of MRIs, the doctor said, "The mass isn't there anymore. The first MRI must have been wrong." Right? Well it was right enough that you were going to cut into her, right? [Congregation laughs] Right?

But after the fact -- right? -- it looked logical. And the only answer they could come up with is that the first one had to be wrong. Because it wasn't even clear to them the possibility that we could have a significant healing, and that it could be different a week later.

So we need to look to see what God's doing in each other's lives. And we need to speak to it; we need to praise it; we need to give thanks for it. We need to notice it. When God is doing amazing things in your life, you need to speak to it; you need to acknowledge it; you need to pray for it; and you need to give thanks for it. We need to affirm that, as we're overcoming through faith.

And I want you to think about all the things that you've overcome in your life. All the situations that, through faith, you were able to walk through into a greater day. And we need to be praying for them: praying for others; praying for their highest and best; and to give thanks for all the things that God is doing. That we can truly be at peace.

You know, my job as a minister is to see your perfection. That's my job! Right? That's my first and foremost job, is to see your perfection. Now sometimes as a minister we're also managing a ministry. Right? So sometimes as we manage a ministry, we have to not only be able to hold your spiritual perfection, but sometimes we have to know and to look at: Is this a good fit? Is this a good fit for you? Is it a good fit for the ministry?

So we have to be willing to look at your humanity as well as your divinity and say, “Either I think this is a good fit” or “I don't think this is a good fit." Right? Because it sometimes hurts people's feelings when you say, "I don't think this is a good fit." But it's better to say it's a good fit in the beginning than in the end.

And it's, over and over again, this opportunity for us to hold both.

Now what sometimes concerns me, if I'm going to tell you the truth, is somebody who comes up to me and says, "You know, I've met this great person -- this great guy -- and he's had a really rough life. But I know that we can work together, and he's going to be okay."

And I go, "Uh oh." Right? Because there's times when [laughs] we want to look at other people as a house we're going to flip. [Congregation laughs] Right? You know, "Not so bad; a little rough around the edges ... You know he needs new carpet; maybe new cabinets; lay a little paint. But I know if I dress him up; clean him up; if I bathe him once or twice, he's going to rise to the occasion! Like, he's going to just be this fabulous guy! I can see his potential!"

And I want you to be able to see his potential! But you know what the difference is between an individual -- a person -- and a house is? Free will!

If you buy a house, does the house ever say to you, "I don't want new paint?" [Congregation laughs] Does it say, "I don't want new carpet; I don't want new cabinets; don't put a new roof on me!" No! [Laughs] No! A house just lets you do whatever you want to do to that house! The house is a perfect thing for you to manipulate! It will just love you and love you and love you!

Now when it comes to a human being, they have free will! So you may have this great plan for their life, but who gets to choose their life? They do! And you can still see their spiritual potential, but you can't pretend like their humanity is something other than what it is.

Tonight I have this invitation for you. That tonight our job is to see the spiritual perfection in everyone. That's our job. That's our job!

And I want to go over the process of spiritual healing. Because I truly believe that it's an understanding.

And the first step in true spiritual treatment is the recognition that God is. God is fully invested in each and every one of us. That each and every one of us is created in the image and likeness of God. That God is fully present right there.

The second one is that they are -- I am -- fully expressing that divine nature. So not only is that divine nature fully present, but it's fully present in me!

And then the third step is the realization -- or the declaration -- that I accept it; I affirm it; I agree with it; I allow it. So that I move into oneness with God.

So God is; I am; and the realization that I am created in the image and likeness and God.

And the fourth is acceptance and gratitude. I give thanks for my healing even before it physically is manifested.

And fifth is: I release and I let go, and I allow my process to unfold.

So for the next 24 hours, it's no small thing what we do. If you don't have a person on your prayer list, I invite you to find one. You can always pray for me; God knows I need all the help I can get! [Congregation laughs] Okay?

So for the next 24 hours, I want you to have a prayer list: one, two, three, four, five people. If you can remember 30 people, God bless you; it's a little much for me! But I have people that, as I go into this time, I'm praying with.

And we're going to read every name that has been given to this ministry. We're going to read every name. And when every name is spoken, I want you to know that they are whole and complete and lacking in nothing. That they are created in the image and likeness of God. That they are absolutely God living; God manifested; God expressing. That their life is wildly and wonderfully blessed.

So will you pray with me?

I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of prayer: the deepest activity of prayer. The time we come in with a quiet mind and an open heart to see the perfection in each other.

 

And we know that everybody has a personality; everybody has an ego; everybody has a story; everybody has drama. But tonight our job is to see the perfection in each other. Is to see God at work. In every person; in every situation; in every moment to see God right where we are.

So the people that you're praying with: I want you to see them whole and well and lacking in nothing. I want you to see them fully expressing the Divine. And every name in the next 24 hours that is spoken: I want you to truly know that they are created in God's image and likeness. And whatever is going on in their life, that God in them is greater than that.

And know that we join together in Unity churches around the world tonight. Some of them have already started on the East Coast or Central or Mountain Time; they've already started. So that consciousness has already been building for us. And tonight we join that. In the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we give thanks for all the good that God is. For the healings and the miracles that will happen tonight, we say thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, 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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