Once, in the early years of Unity, they were experiencing money challenges. Myrtle Fillmore got together with the Silent Unity prayer group to let them know of the problem. One in the group suggested that together they would pray for prosperity. Myrtle said that no they would pray for what was lacking - together they would pray for faith.
By having faith in our wholeness and holiness as a child of God, we harmonize spirit, soul and body. We focus and concentrate our faith power to manifest the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Wholeness).
"GOD IS THE HEALTH OF HIS PEOPLE"
Charles Fillmore wrote, "God is the health of his people." Unity and New Thought are health and healing religions. When William James wrote his famous study of religion in 1900, he called the chapter on New Thought, "The Religion of Healthy Mindedness." Jesus was more engaged in healing than anything else. He is often called "The Great Physician." There are thirty-five healing stories in the Biblical Gospels.
Rosemary Guiley in the book New Thought for a New Millennium wrote, "Throughout his sermons and addresses, Jesus emphasized over and over again that faith is the pivotal factor. He grew exasperated when his disciples and others could not grasp the simple idea that faith not only heals but makes all things possible."
If it weren't for Faith, we could barely move. There is this phenomenon that occurs on freeways all the time. The police have to escort people off the freeway - because they have frozen and just stopped their car in fear. They are in sheer terror about driving on the freeway. Some say that they have gone insane, but I'm not sure they haven't gone sane.
Do you realize that to drive on a freeway takes immense faith? You have to have faith that those other people on the freeway know what they are doing and are safe. If you didn't have that faith, you too, would freeze and have to be escorted off the freeway.
So, we have Faith in a lot of things in our lives - and our Faith in God helps us be willing to bear all things.
In every age, our perception of the qualities of faith changes in accordance with the times. During the ministry of Jesus, faith was compared to a rock - the rock on which Jesus declared he would build his church. But today, faith is more energetic and active. The occurrences of today demand that it be a fire. When tragedy strikes, when the world turns upside down, it is faith that sees us through.
The fire of faith empowers and energizes. It purifies. It makes the torch that lights our daily lives and our spiritual path. It emblazons the way to God. The fire of faith calls us to action. The road ahead of us is clear. We MUST use faith to erase fear. We MUST use faith to heal. We MUST use faith to work miracles if we would stop terrorism in our world.
The best definition of faith can be found in the Bible, in Hebrews 11. The letter to the Hebrews was written to a group of early Christians so discouraged that they were on the verge of giving up their new religion. The anonymous author of the letter encourages them to hold on, for often we can't see what we strive for, and we lose hope, when instead we should persevere. The goal, the reward, has not gone away, but is merely momentarily out of sight. If we stay to the path, it will reappear around the next bend.
Hebrews 11:1-3 says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible."
Similarly, Charles Fillmore defined faith as "the perceiving power of the mind linked with a power to shape substance. It is spiritual assurance, the power to do the seemingly impossible."
Faith moves in the realm of the unseen. It can't be measured, captured, rationed, or held. It moves us out of the plane of the material and into the plane of the universal Mind.
It says in one of the Gnostic gospels: 2 Enoch 18:5 "From the invisible he made all things visible, himself being invisible."
Through faith, we come to terms with one of the fundamental metaphysical laws of the universe, that thought creates reality. What we think becomes manifest. What we believe comes to pass. How well and how quickly these manifestations occur depend on our faith. With faith, we are empowered to make the invisible visible. We can pull our hopes and dreams from the intangible into the tangible.
Faith is the engine that drives our existence. Without faith, we are not motivated to believe anything, do anything, or accomplish anything. Jesus said in Matthew 9:29 "...According to your faith let it be done to you." The greater our faith, the greater results we obtain, the greater works we do.
Jesus performed healing more than any other deed. He healed instantly by touch. Just a word from him could heal. Even the sick who touched his clothing were healed. What made it possible? FAITH.
A man took his epileptic son to the disciples, but they could not heal him. So, the man appealed to Jesus. Jesus healed the boy instantly and said in Matthew 17:17, "...You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you?" When his disciples asked how he had been able to heal the boy when they had not, he said in Matthew 17:20, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." IF YOU HEAR NOTHING ELSE - HEAR THIS: "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed... nothing will be impossible for you"
And, as is related in scripture, a woman who had suffered for twelve years from hemorrhage believed that if she just touched the fringe of Jesus' garment, she would be healed. She did, and she was. Jesus told her in Matthew 9:22 "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well..."
In the new era, our faith will lead us to more and more miracles of healing. We will believe in our own abilities to heal as Jesus did, and we will put them to use. Faith works through prayer, and prayer is the foundation of healing. The healing and prospering through faith in God is wonderfully demonstrated every minute of the day and night by the millions of calls and letters that pour into Silent Unity, the international prayer ministry. The requests for prayer come from people around the world who have faith in the power of prayer to move mountains and to alleviate all afflictions.
"Salvation" and "being saved" are often misunderstood. Salvation comes from the Latin, salvus, which means "whole, well, healthy." So, the correct question becomes not, "Are you saved?" but, "Are you in good health?" Isn't that a switch!
Unity and New Thought teach people that "Jesus saves" brings a consciousness of wholeness, health, and wellness. It is a consciousness of healing for us to realize and apply in our lives. His purpose was not to die on a cross to "save" us from our own sins and to make it possible for us to go to a heaven in the skies after we die. Some of his followers have formed that notion. However, Jesus said, "You are made whole." "By your faith you are healed." "Come, follow me."
Despite the mountains of evidence that faith enables us to work wonders, we don't put faith to its full use. Rather than develop our spiritual muscles through prayer, meditation, right thinking, right living, and dreaming big goals, we wait for catastrophe to strike. Then we beseech God for help, hoping that God will come through quickly, but feeling panic that our prayers might not work. If we had practiced our faith every day, we would know without doubt that every prayer is answered.
Even without catastrophe, we sometimes doubt our faith. We set a goal and then wonder if we will reach it. Doubt creeps into our minds about our skills and abilities. Every time even the tiniest doubt enters our minds, we erode faith and thus erode our ability to achieve the heights.
We also do not use our full miracle-manifesting potential, because it is characteristic of people to let others do their thinking for them. We give our power away. We think that only certain appointed ones, certain mystics or prophets or institutions, can access the power of Spirit. This is wrong thinking, and it keeps us away from our good and from realizing our full potential. We all have access to the same substance, the same power. We must believe that we do. We must have faith that we do. In so believing, we have it in an instant.
SCIENCE NOW CONFIRMS THE FAITH POWER
Science now confirms the Faith power. Studies of the placebo effect show that 30%-70% of individuals who believe that a remedy will help them, even if that remedy is inert, show improvement and healing of their symptoms. A relaxed, hopeful, positively charged state of mind and emotions leads to the release of powerful brain chemicals, such as endorphins, which produce feelings of well-being, harmony and ease from pain.
Norman Cousins writes, "The placebo, then, is not so much a pill as a process... The process works not because of any magic in the tablet, but because the human body is its own best apothecary and because the most successful prescriptions are those filled by the body itself."
WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU WILL SEE IT
When you believe it, you will see it. The belief of a doctor or caretaker also is important. Marilyn Ferguson writes in The Aquarian Conspiracy, "In a set of experiments described by Jerome Frank, an authority on the placebo effect, patients were given either a mild painkiller, a placebo, or morphine. When the doctors thought they were administering morphine, the placebo was twice as effective as when they thought they were giving a mild analgesic! In a similar study, psychotic patients were given either a mild tranquilizer, a major tranquilizer, or a placebo. The placebo's effects were far greater when the doctors thought they had given the powerful drug rather than the mild one."
Fillmore said, "Faith and prayer go hand in hand." The language of prayer is based upon faith. Faith is assumed before we even begin our prayer. Without faith, prayer is unfocused and weak. Yet when we have faith, no matter what we say in prayer, God hears the faith and responds accordingly. The more we pray, the more our faith builds. Faith assures we will not "pray amiss," as the apostle James said concerning prayers that seem to go unanswered. All prayers are answered - in fact, they are answered in the moment we conceive them in the deepest parts of our hearts. The answers lie waiting for us before we even form the words in our minds or let them loose from our lips. When we have faith, we know that the answers are there for us, and we are confident that they will be revealed and we will receive what we need. The faith-filled prayer cannot go amiss.
FAITH POWERED WITH IMAGINATION
There is amazing documentation of people who have multiple personalities. Each personality can have its own corresponding bodily conditions. For example, one personality may have high blood sugar or diabetes, whereas in another personality, the blood sugar levels may be normal. The levels change with the personality switch. This appears to be the "same" body, so how do we explain that when the person thinks or believes he or she is someone different, their body chemistry changes so dramatically?
Charles Fillmore's statement is an important insight: "Faith is the perceiving power of the mind linked with a power to shape and mold substance." This power that is linked with faith is imagination. Can you see in the examples I've mentioned and in your own life how faith and imagination produce such dramatic results?
Marilyn Ferguson wrote, "Two hundred years ago the French Academy threw Mesmer out, declaring that hypnosis was a fraud, "nothing but imagination." "If so," said a dissident member, "what a wonderful thing imagination must be!""
Shortly afterwards, Charles Fillmore, teaching and ministering in the same "mind-cure" practice, put faith and imagination together as essential companion healing powers.
HEALTH & HEALING PLEDGE
So this week I encourage you to put together a Faith Covenant or a Faith Pledge. I'll give you an example:
By my faith I am healed.
I hereby dedicate myself to the consciousness and practice of healthy thinking and living.
I let go of limiting thoughts, worries and negative ways of talking about others and myself.
I use my power of faith to perceive health in others and myself.
I use my power of imagination to conceive health in others and myself.
I see and incorporate into my daily life the healthiest food, drink, and exercise.
I perceive and imagine myself getting healthier, wealthier, & living life more fully each day.
My life is good and getting better each day.
Then... let it be your way.