Sunday Service Week 45: Faith Is a Call to Prayer; Prayer Is a Call to Faith
Reading from Rays of the One Light
Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within.
The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapters 7 and 21, we read:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. . . .
Verily I say unto you, if you have faith, and doubt not . . . if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Paramhansa Yogananda showed by his own example that prayer is a power, provided we believe deeply in that power. When our thoughts and feelings are strongly focused and then united in growing awareness to the Divine Presence within, they can bring even seemingly unrealistic wishes to fulfillment.
When Paramhansa Yogananda was in charge of his school in Ranchi, India, he took the boys on occasional outings to the surrounding countryside. “There was a waterfall not far away,” he told Swami Kriyananda, “where I took them sometimes. It was dangerous to cross there. But I would cry out to the boys, ‘Do you believe in God?’ ‘Yes!’ they would shout back enthusiastically. And so we always crossed in safety.
“Years later, after I’d gone to America, one of the teachers tried to do the same thing, but he lacked spiritual power. One of the boys slipped on a rock and was drowned.”
Thus, the Master explained, belief alone is not enough. It must be united to one-pointed awareness, which leads to Self-realization. The Bhagavad Gita, in the sixth Chapter, underscores the necessity for such one-pointed concentration:
Whenever the mind, fickle and restless, wanders off from its concentration, let the meditating yogi withdraw it resolutely, spurning every distraction (no matter how alluring!), and bring it back again and again under the control of the Self.
Thus, through holy scripture, God has spoken to mankind.
Reading from Affirmations for Self-Healing
Openness can be a great virtue, but only when it is exercised with discrimination. To be open to wrong ideas, or to people who would harm you, would be foolish. For it is not with openness that error can be conquered, but with love.
Openness of mind is a virtue when it is centered in the desire for the truth. Openness of heart is a virtue when it is centered in love for God. Both mind and heart, however, need filters to screen out what is not true, and what is not of God. This we can do by referring back for approval to the divine presence within whatever comes to us. We must be ever open to truth and to God, but ever closed, or at least indifferent, to error and delusion.Practice this affirmation out loud, guided by Swami Kriyananda
My mind is open to the truth, whatever its source. True statements remain valid, even if hurled in anger.
Divine Mother, let me hear Thy melodies everywhere: in the laughing brooks, in the songs of nightingales-yes, even in the roar of city traffic! Behind all earthly sounds, let me listen for Thy voice alone.