By: Jubilee! Minister Candace Chellew-Hodge
For anyone who has studied the Law of Attraction or listened to Abraham, the ancient wisdom channeled by Esther Hicks, the Apostle Paul’s words in today’s reading (Philippians 4:4-9) may seem familiar. It should, because what Paul outlines is how to activate the Law of Attraction — or put another way, how to start moving out of our ego and into our higher, Divine Self.
First, he tells them, be grateful. “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say, Rejoice!” This word, “rejoice” in Greek simply means, to be glad. The first step to raising your vibration — to stepping out of ego — is to rejoice, to be glad, even when everything around you is working hard to make, or keep you, sad and in the dumps.
After rejoicing, Paul says, stop worrying and start giving thanks. Followers of Abraham would recognize this as the first step to entering what’s called “the Vortex,” which could be compared to “entering into the presence of God.” God is always running in, through and around this world, and we often lose sight of where to find God in the midst of our daily trials and bad news coming from every corner of the world.
The fastest way to become aware of God’s presence in our lives, according to Paul and the Law of Attraction, is through thanksgiving. When we are looking around our world and finding things to be thankful for — whether it’s something as general as a bed to sleep in our a roof over our heads or as specific as our health or wellbeing — we completely shut worry out of our lives.
Focusing on giving thanks puts us immediately in God’s presence, and in the present moment, where worries about the past or the future fall away. This is where we can encounter that peace that passes understanding. The world’s problems go on, our own problems go on, but when we can reach this place, we find a peace we cannot explain, even as anxiety threatens to overwhelm us.
Next, Paul instructs us to ask for what we want. Asking is, indeed, a part of prayer, but after the asking, Paul, like his contemporary counterparts, says stop thinking about what you want, which is a tough step for us, because we obsess over what we don’t have and we chew on our request over and over again. The key to success, however, is to forget about what you’ve asked for, Paul instructs, and instead set your mind on other things — thoughts that will fill you with peace, joy and love and will leave no time for obsessing over what you feel is missing in life.
” … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things,” Paul instructs his ancient congregation and us today.
This isn’t a one-time exercise, though, according to Paul. No, he says, “keep on doing the things you have received … and the God of peace will be with you.”
Jubilants, this is a whole new way to pray that takes us out of our selfish, ego-based prayers for things, or power, or money or even better health or healing for ourselves and others. Praying in the old way we’ve been taught just keeps us in our ego, it just keeps us in that place of asking for the same old things over and over again and wondering why God never answers us.
But, when we change our mind about prayer — when we follow Paul’s advice and begin not in a place of lack, but in a place of thanksgiving and abundance.