Pathways to Prayer, Part 4: You are a Being of Light
April 3, 2011
The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor
Montgomery United Methodist Church
8 For once you were
darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light.
9 For the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.…
Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Today we are continuing our Lenten Sermon Series on "Pathways to Prayer."
We are going to focus on the Epistle reading today. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light. For the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
I encourage you to take a pencil and double underline the words, You are Light. Please say them with me now. (Congregation says)You are Light. The bible doesn’t say, “You are touched by light.” It doesn’t say, "You are enlightened" (although you are). It says You are light. The essence of your being is the light of God! You are a person of brightness and your job is to make a dark world brighter.
It says this right in the Bible as clear as clear can be, you are light. I invite you to think about this in relation to your prayer life, my friends. When you go before the Lord in prayer, concentrate on the words, I am a being of light. Close you eyes and say that with me, won’t you? (Congregation says) I am a being of light.
The Bible says once you were darkness. How is that so?
We are in darkness when we live in a consciousness of fear, of doubt, of lack of faith. We are in darkness when we live in a world of negativity--a world of put down of others, put down of God and put down of ourselves.
My friends, I believe that this is a decision that we have to make every day. Every day we have to decide. Which path will we take? The path of light or the path of darkness?
I am inviting you today to make a personal commitment inside your heart, to take the Scripture into your heart and make it a part of you. To say deep in your soul, I am light, I am a being of light. I radiate light wherever I go.
Jesus was always a bringer of light to others. Think of how He restored "light" to the life of this blind man in the gospel today! Everywhere He went, he brought hope and brightness. That is why so many people followed Him, and why we follow Him today.
Think for a moment of the people in your own life who bring Light to you. It's not hard to do, is it? You know who they are - the people who are a joy to be around, the people you can trust, who you can be yourself with, whom you know will only bless you, only affirm you, only be kind to you. Our souls hunger and thirst to be around folks like this.
You are one of them. You are a Being of Light. As the Bible puts it, you are light.
Praying with Light
How can we apply this principle in our prayer life? As you go to prayer, whether you are praying for your own intentions, for other people, or just in general, there are three ways you can pray with light.
First-pray with thanksgiving. We all have something to be thankful for, don’t we? Big things, little things, countless things. Start your prayer in a consciousness of thanks, in a consciousness of all that God has given us. This is an expression of light. As you do, you will find yourself settling in to a certain state of consciousness that will be conducive to effective prayer.
Second, pray with a consciousness of trust. Jesus said, “Lord not my will but thine be done.” You can always trust that God’s will is good will. There is an Affirmation of Faith - a Creed that we say on many Sundays. Fill in the blank for me: We believe in God the Father whose will is ever directed towards His children’s _____.(Congregation says the word: good.) Bravo! Yes! We believe in God the Father whose will is ever directed towards His children’s good. God's will is good will.
Be open to God’s good will, and trust Him. When we open ourselves to His will, maybe He is going to give us some good ideas about how to make that goodness flow. I am giving thanks for all of you and your prayers. I believe your prayers were instrumental in me getting that priceless second surgical opinion. I believe that God uses medicine and people of the medical profession to let His goodwill flourish on this earth. Be open to God’s good will, and trust God. Give thanks in advance.
Third, let your prayers be filled with love. When someone asks you to pray for them, give thanks for them, trust in God for them, and send love their way. Let your heart be filled with a feeling of love and high positive regard for that person. If you pray with thanks and trust and love, then your prayers will be prayers of light.
When you think of someone praying, do you think of a person pressing on God’s door and saying fervently, “Oh God, please change your mind about this, please do this differently.” My suggestion is to pray lightly, pray gently. I think the best way to "pray hard" is to "pray gently."
Let the goodness of God’s light flow from you to the situation. See yourself as a radiant source of light, something like a glowing Angel, sending light to the situation that you want to pray about.
Prayer is more like unlocking a door than pushing it open. Prayer is not like thrashing around in a dark room, it is like gently turning on a light switch. You are a source of light. Let your light shine upon the situation that you are praying about. No force is needed. When you pray, pray from that "light" consciousness and you will be amazed at what good can take place.
One last thought. If you are in a situation that is confusing or frustrating and you are not sure how to pray about it, simply put it in God’s hands and say, Let there be light. God will know what to do. Good things will come.
God bless you, Friend. You are a Being of Light.
God loves you; I do too. Have a wonderful week. Amen.
© 2011 Anthony J. Godlefski