Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today's Encouraging Word

I hear non-Christians say, “I feel as though there is something more to life than I am currently experiencing.” What they are missing is God’s great salvation. But I also hear Christians say, “I feel as though there is something more to the Christian than I am currently experiencing.” They, too, are missing God’s great salvation. They have not understood what God accomplished on their behalf. Their hearts have never been opened to understand what motivated God when He chose to save them from their sins and cause them to be born again into the family of God…One of the first great truths concerning God’s salvation is found in John 6:44. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” Jesus knew that God the Father must be active in drawing persons to Himself before they would ever know the joy of salvation. Have you understood how significant this statement is concerning your life? God has called you into a love relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ. In other words, you are special. You are the object of God’s calling. You did not choose Him; he chose you. You can count on it; your salvation began in the heart of God and the love relationship that He initiated is life-transforming and all-consuming.

Henry T. and Melvin D. Blackaby

(from A God Centered Church)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finding God: Faithfulness in Small Things

L. Dwight Turner

So often many of us are guilty of becoming preoccupied with the notion that we have to do great things for God. I know I am guilty as charged. There is, of course, nothing inherently wrong with this sort of thing, unless it becomes an obsession. When we become obsessed with the notion of doing great things, it has at least one highly deleterious impact on our lives: we either ignore or completely miss the myriad small things God may be attempting to have us do.

In practical terms, by focusing so much of our attention and energy of those big, earth shattering projects we are convinced God has in store for us, we may completely overlook all those seemingly mundane tasks that we figure are not worth our time or, for those of us who have a paucity of humility, beneath our exalted station. I am exaggerating here, but I think my point is clear. It is often in those seemingly small events that the will of God may be lurking. Further, the fact of the matter is this: scripture tells us that unless we are faithful in the small things, God isn’t going to give us bigger things to accomplish.

For those who may have forgotten this valuable lesson from the Master, I suggest you review the Parable of the Talents. In the meantime, it might also be highly beneficial to listen to these words from James Allen:

Not only great happiness but great power arises from doing little things unselfishly, wisely, and perfectly, for life in its totality is made up of little things. Wisdom inheres in the common details of everyday existence, and when the parts are made perfect the whole will be without blemish…..

One of the fundamental laws that God has placed in the universe is the principle that states that the small is the exact replica of the great. An example of this is the similarity between an atom and a solar system. Just as the electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom, the planets orbit the sun. And in an example that is both personal and biblical, we humans are made in the image of our creator. It boggles the mind, truly. These divine principles can be of great use to us if we comprehend them and the mechanisms involved in their practical application.

For our current purposes, however, let’s keep things as simple as possible. To do that, we return to the words of James Allen as he reminds us of the importance of giving attention to the small things in life:

Neglect of the small is confusion of the great. The snowflake is as perfect as the star; the dew drop is as symmetrical as the planet; the microbe is not less mathematically proportioned than the man. By laying stone upon stone, plumbing and fitting each with perfect adjustment, the temple at last stands forth in all its architectural beauty. The small precedes the great. The small is not merely the apologetic attendant of the great, it is its master and informing genius.

Our attention to matters small is intimately tied up with two issues: the discipline of responsibility and becoming the optimal version of who we are. Let’s briefly explore these two in turn.

Increasingly, it seems that our culture is placing less and less emphasis on the significance of meeting our responsibilities. Discipline is not a popular word in post-modern culture. Instead, we are encouraged to “follow our bliss” and “do our own thing.” The world pays lip service to the importance of discipline and self-control in daily living, but the over-arching message is in actuality much different. Often, instead of encouraging individuals to delay gratification, defer rewards, and develop character, our culture tells us, “If it feels good, do it.” No one ever manifested divine potential by adhering to this advice.

Scripture repeatedly stresses the importance of discipline, self-control, and personal morality. Without personal discipline, we squander our energies, waste precious time, and lose direction and focus.

Instead of putting forth the effort required to meet the obligations placed before us, either by God or our life situation, many conversely seek ways to avoid that expenditure of effort. As a result, there are many decent people who settle for mediocrity or even less in terms of their personal accomplishment. For all too many, phrases like “the pursuit of excellence” seem like a foreign language.

For the follower of Jesus, this kind of approach to life is not acceptable. We are encouraged by Paul, for example, to do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord. Further, it is a life characterized and motivated by a pursuit of excellence to which we are called by the Master. Anything less does not glorify God and certainly brings no glory and honor to ourselves. We must ever keep in mind that God calls us to be the optimal version of ourselves and our steadfast avoidance of personal responsibility and hard work makes this impossible.

It is precisely that consistent practice of paying attention to the small duties of our daily round that makes a life of excellence possible. Moreover, no one ever slouched his or her way to greatness. Again, let’s listen to the wisdom on James Allen:

The great man has become such by the scrupulous and unselfish attention which he has given to small duties. He has become wise and powerful by sacrificing ambition and pride in the doing of those necessary things which evoke no applause and promise no reward. He never sought greatness; he sought faithfulness, unselfishness, integrity, truth; and in finding these in the common round of small tasks and duties he unconsciously ascended to the level of greatness.

If you genuinely are committed to becoming the optimal version of who you are, you are in for a grand adventure. This adventure unfolds as you discern, identify, and meet the challenges that face you moment to moment each day. And it is there, in the context of the divine moment, that you find God’s work and God’s will.

Erwin Raphael McManus, pastor of Mosaic in Lost Angeles, makes the cogent point that the reality of God’s will can only be found in the present moment; “divine moments” he calls them. I could not agree more with what he says and experience, both my own and those of countless clients over the years, bears this out time and time again. The past is already a done deal and the future, at the very best, is but a fleeing fantasy. Reality is happening right now, under our noses, and it is happening nowhere else. Once you get that, and I mean really get it, you are well on your way to a most rewarding life, regardless of external circumstance.

As a brief sidebar, I also want to mention that a big part of finding our place in God’s scheme of things involves becoming the optimal version of ourselves and the context in which we accomplish that is also in the divine moment. McManus also speaks to this issue:

Earth’s unlimited resource is the gifts, talent, passions, imagination, and ingenuity of its citizens. You would think that we know this by now, but we often seem to miss the gift right in front of us. The world needs you to find the hero within you. The real battle is not between good and evil but between less and more. Most of us don’t choose the worst life; we just don’t choose the best. We can’t afford for you to sleep through your dreams…..The world needs you at your best. This planet is made better or worse by the people we choose to become. If you live a diminished life, it’s not only you who loses, but the world loses, and humanity loses. There is a story to be written by your life, and thought it may never inspire a graphic novel, it is a heroic tale nonetheless. Though you may not recognize it, there is a greatness within you.

I love these words by McManus. They reverberate through the inner fiber of my being, ringing loudly with both truth and relevance. I know that many times I forget that there is a God-planted greatness within me and within others. Fortunately, God has found ways to keep me focused enough to have at least one eye on the potential he placed within me.

Developing the ability to discern where and how God is moving requires more than merely taking time out for rest and relaxation. It takes a more radical and comprehensive reorientation of our approach to life in general and focus in particular. If you are to become more sensitive to what God is doing and where he is doing it, you need to become intimately acquainted with a practice that we in this fast-paced, multi-tasking world are not good at. In order to discover the movements of God in the context of the “divine moment,” you have to become more mindful.

Mindfulness is not stressed so much in our culture and it is stressed even less in our churches. This is unfortunate because no matter how much the post-modern world sings the virtues of multi-tasking this and multi-tasking that, the ability to fully focus on one thing at one time, to the exclusion of any distraction, is a highly useful skill. Our corporate world, in spite of its alleged genius, has yet to discover that mindful people are far more productive than multi-taskers. Their efficiency alone makes them more of an asset.

Even more relevant from a spiritual perspective, if we are going to find God’s will we are going to have to seek the epicenter of his activity. As we have seen, that sublime activity is going to be found in its purest, most pristine and discernable form in the present moment – the divine moment. It will be found here and nowhere else. As we have also seen, in order to discover this epicenter and God’s will, we may, indeed, have to reorient our perspective on several key issues. With certainty, we have to become more mindful.

Mindfulness, discipline, and character are essential ingredients in the establishment of a life of excellence and equanimity. By paying attention to the small things, we are often called upon to crucify our lower desires in favor of loftier themes. It is precisely by doing this, saying no to ourselves, that personal power comes about. And it is by denying “self,” with its clamorous cacophony of heckling demands, that we are walking the path of Christ – the path of the cross. By following the way of the Master, we are better able to master ourselves. Let’s visit James Allen a final time:

The man who sets his whole mind on the doing of each task as it is presented, who puts into it energy and intelligence, shutting out all else from his mind, and striving to do that one thing, no matter how small, completely and perfectly, detaching himself from all reward in his task – that man will every day be acquiring greater command over his mind, and will, by ever-ascending degrees, become at last a man of power…There is no way to strength and wisdom but by acting strongly and wisely in the present moment, and each present moment reveals its own task. The great man, the wise man, does small things greatly regarding nothing as “trivial” that is necessary. The weak man, the foolish man, does small things carelessly, and meanly, hankering the while after, some greater work for which, in his neglect and inability in small matters, he is ceaselessly advertising his incapacity. The man who least governs himself is always more ambitious to govern others…
I don’t know about you, friend, but when I first read those last two sentences I was strongly convicted – so strongly convicted that the Holy Spirit held my feet to the fire, so to speak, for several days. In the end, I made a strong commitment to devote myself to mindfulness in small things and spend less time hankering after great things. In doing so, I discovered two important lessons. First, I became a more efficient and responsible person and second, I became more tranquil and less reactive. Granted, I am still far from perfect in these areas, but I am much improved over where I once stood in these matters.

And herein is the key: we are to be mindful of the small things, presented to us in the divine moment. It is here, and only here, that we will find the epicenter of God’s activity in general and his will for us in particular. If we are faithful in the small things, then we can be trusted with greater responsibilities.

© L. D. Turner 2009/ All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Encouraging Word

The man who sets his whole mind on the doing of each task as it is presented, who puts into it energy and intelligence, shutting out all else from his mind, and striving to do that one thing, no matter how small, completely and perfectly, detaching himself from all reward in his task – that man will every day be acquiring greater command over his mind, and will, by ever-ascending degrees, become at last a man of power…There is no way to strength and wisdom but by acting strongly and wisely in the present moment, and each present moment reveals its own task. The great man, the wise man, does small things greatly regarding nothing as “trivial” that is necessary. The weak man, the foolish man, does small things carelessly, and meanly, hankering the while after, some greater work for which, in his neglect and inability in small matters, he is ceaselessly advertising his incapacity. The man who least governs himself is always more ambitious to govern others…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today's Encouraging Word

As the fruit to the tree and the water to the spring, so is action to thought. It does not come into manifestation suddenly and without a cause. It is the result of a long and silent growth; the end of a hidden process which has long been gathering force. The fruit of the tree and the water gushing from the rock are both the effect of a combination of natural processes in air and earth which have long worked together in secret to produce the phenomenon; and the beautiful acts of enlightenment and the dark deeds of sin are both the ripened effects of trains of thought which have long been harbored in the mind…..Guard well your thoughts, reader, for what you really are in your secret thoughts today, be it good or evil, you will, sooner or later, become in actual deed.

James Allen
(from Byways of Blessedness)

Christian Success Principles: Claim Your Identity in Christ

L. Dwight Turner

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
Creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Since I was a child, I have had a passionate fascination with bears. It all started when I was around five-years-old and my family took a vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was on this memorable trip that I saw my first bear and it was love at first sight.

Throughout my childhood and adolescence I took every opportunity I could to go and see a bear, whether it be in a carnival, a traveling circus, or in a zoo. I also spent hours studying about bears in encyclopedias and books. I guess no one can really explain why a young person develops these sorts of interests. For many, the fascination passes as adulthood arrives with its myriad responsibilities and other interest. For me, however, I still love bears.

With this information as a backdrop, you can imagine how excited I became back in the early 90’s when I learned that the Miami Zoo had obtained a rare, Tibetan Bear. I was living in Miami at the time and read about the bear in the newspaper. The next day I drove out to the zoo to take a look at the Tibetan Bear.

The zoo in Miami is of the modern type. Animals are not kept in cages, but instead roam with relative freedom, separate from spectators by large ditches, canals, or non-descript fencing. I arrived at the zoo and inquired as to the whereabouts of the Tibetan Bear. I strolled over to the area where the bear was being kept and I was in awe.

A relatively smallish bear, the Tibetan Bear has long hair, brownish red, and a face with much character. The bear was near the small canal that ran between the walkway where I stood and the enclosure where it lived. After observing the animal for several minutes, I noticed something quite odd about its behavior. The bear paced endlessly in the same pattern. It would take eight steps in one direction, slowly pivot on one of its front feet, turn, and take eight steps in the opposite direction. The creature kept this up for the entire time I was there, a total of almost thirty minutes.

Inquiring about this strange behavior, the zookeeper told me the bear was about six-years-old and had lived its entire life in a cage. The eight steps was the exact distance from one side of the cage to the other. The bear had implanted a deep pattern of behavior based on its former environment. It had never been able to take more than eight steps in one direction and now, even though it had the freedom to roam as far as it wanted, it still only took eight steps. According to the zookeeper, a trainer worked with the bear each day in an attempt to help it “unlearn” the old pattern of restrictive behavior. The zookeeper said that most animals that had lived in cages for most of their lives had similar patterns of behavior.

On my way home I reflected on this and had one of those moments of personal epiphany. I realized that I, like the bear and a majority of the Christians that I knew, had a similar problem. Through Christ’s mission on earth, we have had our bars removed as well. The cage of sin and self has been removed and we captives have been set free. As the scripture from 2 Corinthians that opened this article states, “we are new creations.” The old has gone and the new has come. This is part of the good news of the gospel and the result of the healing work Christ’s victory has obtained. Each of us, when we accepted Jesus as Lord, was given a new identity “in Christ.”

So why is it we continue, like the bear, to walk as if we were still behind bars? Why do we continue to behave in the same destructive ways that we did before? Why is it that so few of us seem to walk in the newness of life that Christ promised and Paul spoke of so often?

I think there are many reasons for this unfortunate reality. Part of the reason is just the sheer force of habit. Whenever we repeat a behavior over and over, we tend to eventually do it automatically. In a real sense, we become machine-like. Our world pushes a button and we respond in a predictable way. Another reason is our faulty thinking. Let’s get one fact down deep. Our behavior starts with our thinking or, as said often, the thought is the ancestor of the action. Until we change our thinking, we won’t effectively change our behavior.

Paul realized how important our thinking was to our behavior. That’s why he said we needed to “renew our minds.” All lasting change starts with a mental makeover.

One other reason why we continue to walk in our old ways, even though scripture screams we are new creations, stems from the fact that either we don’t realize that we are new creations or we don’t believe it. Perhaps this needs a bit of clarification.

The Church as a whole has been expert at preaching the gospel of the blood and forgiveness of sin. Christ died as a ransom for many and, even though we don’t deserve it, we can now come into God’s presence as if we were spotless. As great a message as this is, it only half the story. Yes, Christ won our forgiveness but he also did something else. He won our victory over our sin and our sinful nature. Go back and review Romans 5-8 to get a true picture of all this.

By his resurrection and his ascension Christ has made possible, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, our sanctification, meaning, we are now operating under a new set of circumstances, with the Holy Spirit working inside of us. Many Christians are unaware of this reality for two primary reasons: first, the vast majority of believers are biblically illiterate. Recent studies by George Barna more than bear this out; and second, pastors typically preach more about the blood than they do the resurrection, the ascension, and our subsequent empowerment.

Other Christians are aware of the fact that they are new creations in Christ, but just don’t believe it. This is a tragedy because just the act of believing what scripture says about us goes a long way toward helping us to manifest this new reality in our lives. Look at it like this: we receive salvation by accepting Christ’s atonement by faith; why don’t we also accept the second half of the gospel by faith? Why don’t we, using our faith in all that Christ has accomplished, accept the gift of our own progressive movement toward receiving the “fullness of Christ?”

In essence, a big part of our problem as Christians is the fact that we sell ourselves short. We don’t understand who we are and what we are in Christ. Even more devastating, we don’t accept and apply our new identity to daily living and we end up only being marginally effective. Like the Tibetan Bear, we pace back and forth in the same old ruts, the same old worn out ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. If we continue to do this and expect results any different than what we have experienced in the past, we are sadly mistaken.

No, my friends, it is time for a change and that change begins with recognizing, understanding, accepting, and applying the blessed gifts of being “in Christ.” I encourage you to not put this off another day. Start today by taking a few minutes out of your schedule, sitting down and getting quiet and centered, and ask God to reveal to you the full understanding of your status as his child. Ask God to show you, especially in scripture, just what Christ accomplished for you in his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, and his successful mission into this world.

Begin a personal Bible study in which you explore this whole business of being “in Christ.” Keep a notebook handy and jot down your thoughts, insights, and ideas. They may be useful reminders as you move forward in the process of appropriating your new identity.
In addition, boldly open your mouth and make firm, biblical declarations of who and what you are, now that you are “in Christ.” Confess openly that you are a child of the Living God and an heir with Christ. This is the proper use of declaration and profession.

For example, a potent biblical declaration of your new identity might be:

I take possession of the reality that in Christ I am a new creation; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Another example fosters awareness of the fact that God indeed cares for his children:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. All things work together for my greatest good.

Compose two or three such brief declarations and repeat them many times each day. With each repetition the biblical revelation of your reborn and restored status in Christ sinks deeper into the fertile soil of your subconscious mind. In time, you will find that your perception of personal identity has undergone a seismic shift and your mind will indeed be renewed.

© L.D. Turner 2009/ All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 12, 2009

Today's Encouraging Word

In order to be anointed with the presence of God, you must do more than just find the Word of God; you must align yourself with it. You must be a doer of the Word.....When we do the Word of God, Jesus says that we prove that we are of the family of God. And if we are the family of God, we have the ability to do as a child of God would do. What did Jesus do? He did the will of the Father and did great works. What does that mean for you? When you do the will of the Father (are aligned with it), you too will do great works - and even greater works, because God will assist you in achieving your divine potential. The key is finding and doing what the Word of God says.

Bishop Jim Lowe

(from Achieving Your Divine Potential)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dreams Require Faith and Courage

L. Dwight Turner

I think it is imperative that all Christians realize that fear is one of the tools Satan uses most often to keep dreams bottled up inside of us. How many times have you felt that God wanted you to take a certain action on his behalf but you failed to follow through because of fear? I know that in my own life, this sort of thing has happened more than I would like to admit. And if you get right down to the brass tacks of the matter, even if it happens one time – that is one time too often.

After much trial and error and fits of starting and stopping due to fear, I finally came to realize several things that were of immense help in overcoming these purpose-aborting fears. First, I came to understand and accept that having such fears is a fairly normal process. The problem comes in when the enemy takes these fears and magnifies them in the mind. The problems associated with following your God-given dream seem larger than they actually are. Once I realized this, just having the awareness that Satan was most likely magnifying the fear broke the spell. I came to understand that what I often thought was a mountain was in reality a mole hill.

Second, I came to the understanding that God would never plant a dream in my heart that he would not equip me to realize. You can trust this fact above all others: God wants you to succeed and will provide you with everything you need to realize your dream, if indeed it is a dream he planted within you. Just as the Lord built his church upon Peter, the Rock, and the gates of Hell itself could not prevail against it, so too will those dark forces be unable to prevail against your God-given dream.

One of the basic principles built into creation is that of “harmony.” All things, when they are in alignment with God’s will, work together in perfect harmonic rhythm. We can see this on a macrocosmic level when we look at galaxies, the solar system, and the natural world around us. The same principle operates on a microcosmic level as well. We see this aspect of God’s harmonics when we see how efficient our bodies work and on an even smaller level, how perfectly composed a single cell is. God is an amazing craftsman, creating all things in perfect balance. This is not some New Age airy-fairy principle, but instead, is a fundamental law with universal application.

How does this apply to our dreams? The answer is simple. When our dreams are in what I like to call “harmonic consonance” with God’s purpose and plan, we can trust that God will assist us in the process of bringing those dreams to fruition. Our “kingdom dreams” have their origins in God and he wants us to be successful in manifesting those kingdom dreams right here on the physical realm. God will not do the work for us. That is our part of the equation. But don’t be surprised if God arranges things in ways that you could have never expected. In fact, I have found that more often than not, God will arrange things in was better than I could have ever expected.

This doesn’t mean we won’t encounter resistance. We will. Chances are if your dreams are from God and are in harmonic consonance with his plans and purpose, you can count on trouble from the enemy camp. This, too, can be expected because Satan’s goals are the opposite of God’s plan and purpose. Still, we can take heart because the Master has achieved victory over the enemy and has placed within you the same power that raised Christ from the dead. With the Holy Spirit as your ally, you are on solid footing, indeed.

So step out in faith, my friend. Like Peter, step out of the boat and start walking. Just keep in mind to keep your eye on the Master and not on the waves. When you move forward in vibrant faith to pursue your dream, keep your focus on God and not on any problems that may arise. If you stay focused on God, you will find that solutions will manifest in unexpected ways. Keep your eyes of discernment open and be ready to act at the right time. Maybe in the past you hesitated and even halted because of your fears, both real and imagined. Those days are over. Jesus demonstrated through his life and his miracles that the rules of the game have changed. Trust that the Master means exactly what he says when he promises that you can and will do even greater things.

(c) L.D. Turner

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Three Keys to Proactive Prayer

L. Dwight Turner

Scripture tells us that God has already blessed us with everything we need to lead godly lives and also teaches that we have many great blessings which exist in the spiritual realms. The key principle we have to keep before us is that it is our responsibility to bring these blessings and positive character traits down from the heavenly realms and into manifest reality in our daily lives.

The most effective way I have discovered to accomplish this is through what I call “Proactive Prayer” and in this article I want to discuss three key aspects of this procedure: simplicity, intention, and repetition. Consistent application of this trio of concepts will make your experience with Proactive Prayer more effective.
This procedure, also known as affirmative prayer is a fairly straight forward process but, as with many things, we humans have a marked tendency to complicate it. I know this from past experience because I have been as guilty of exhibiting this “genius for complexity” as anyone – probably more than most. It was with some degree of difficulty that I eventually learned that with most things it is best to keep it simple. With this truth in mind, let’s see if we can simplify the basics of affirmative prayer by stating the following:

When we use our affirmative thinking, put into the containers which we call words, and animate it speaking with living faith, we are able to manifest that which we desire, providing of course, that it is in alignment with God’s will.

There is really no need to mystify the process any more than that. Granted, the underlying laws and cosmic principles associated with affirmative prayer can seem a bit mysterious, but in actuality, even the laws are not all that complicated.

It is essential that we understand that this process begins with our thinking and moves forward from there. Everything that we see began somewhere as someone’s thought. Creation in all its glory began as God’s thought and came into being at God’s command, using His words. He literally called things into existence from the world of the unseen, into the world of the seen. On a smaller scale, this is how we manifest reality as well. Our thoughts begin the process and or faith-filled words empower and animate the process that results in the creation of the thing desire.

Two important factors are also involved in the process of bringing our desired outcome down out of the spirit world and into concrete manifestation. These are emotion and intention. Centuries of working with these principles has revealed that the more deeply you feel about your desired goal, the more readily it manifests in physical reality. I have found that this is precisely where imagination comes into play. When we clearly visualize what it is we desire we arouse our feeling nature, which is a natural part of our soul. We facilitate this by focusing not only on repetition of our positive prayer, but we also form a clear, concise image of the desired outcome and bring our attention to bear on that outcome. We allow the feelings that arise to become magnified and these feelings, along with our thought, image, and faith-filled words form a powerful magnetic force that will pull our desired outcome out of the spirit world, where it already exists, down into physical reality.

Intention is perhaps the most important component of affirmative prayer. Your intention is what gathers and focuses your cognitive energy in a specific direction. It is for this precise reason that your intention must be constructed carefully and spoken clearly. This is not some sort of cosmic, New Age mumbo jumbo, but instead, is a fundamental principle of positive cognition. Your words of intention accomplish several vital functions in the process of affirmative prayer. First, speaking your intention gives direction to your energy and gives firm direction to your prayer. Second, your intention lets your subconscious mind know exactly what it wants to bring down from the spirit realm and why. And finally, your spoken words contain the power necessary to animate the unfolding of the process of affirmative prayer. As stated before, your words, especially when joined to a vital foundation of faith, serve as a magnet to attract the very thing you desire.

So keep these two aspects of affirmative prayer before you at all times. Positive emotion amplifies the power of your prayer and positive intention supplies even more punch to the process. Without these two vital aspects of prayer, you may find your prayers unfocused, impotent, and ineffective.

At Sacred Mind Ministries we conduct a training program entitled, “Conscious Cognition,” which is basically the capacity to be acutely aware of what we are thinking on a consistent basis. It has as its goal the honing of our ability to recognize negative thoughts the moment they arise and take those thoughts captive. Rather than climbing aboard our negative “train of thought,” we never allow it to leave the station. Instead, through the development of our capacity for conscious cognition, we replace these negative thoughts with positive ones. At first this process will seem quite cumbersome and highly unnatural. This is to be expected because we have been thinking in unproductive ways for many years. It takes time to delete this negative process from our memory banks and reprogram our minds to think along positive avenues. Persistence and patience are the keys. Keep at it and you will eventually find that you are responding to life in a healthier, more optimistic manner.

Another key principle when using affirmative prayer can be expressed this way: use frequent repetition in present tense. Your patterns of negative thinking and behaving were not formed overnight. Instead, these unhealthy thoughts were repeated over and over again until they were firmly planted in your subconscious mind. Once that happened, these damaging thought patterns seemed to have developed a life of their own. This same principle of repetition, however, can also be utilized to your benefit. First, understand that positive thoughts are more powerful than negative thoughts. Formal research and well as the experience of countless pilgrims who have used these methods of cognitive reprogramming have confirmed the fact that one positive thought can counteract many negative ones, provided the positive thought is constructed in the present tense and is repeated many times.

The principles we have discussed here are basic but essential to the process of creating and using affirmative prayers. As stated at the outset, these principles are not overly complicated, unless of course we choose to make them so. My suggestion is that you study the relevant literature available on affirmative prayer, positive thinking, positive imaging, and the Law of Attraction. By doing so you can deepen your understanding of what is going on when you utilize affirmative prayer as a part of your spiritual path. However, don’t let your studies lead you into any unnecessary confusion or complexity. Above all:

Keep it simple!

© L.D. Turner 2009/ All Rights Reserved