Image by ratterrell via FlickrL.D. Turner
One of the most effective tools that we have in the process of following Paul’s injunction to renew our minds (see Romans 12:2) is “Affirmative Prayer.” My personal experience with this positive method of prayer, along with that of many clients over the years, has demonstrated to my satisfaction the effectiveness of affirmative prayer in bringing about remarkable gains in spiritual formation and personal change, provided it is carried out with commitment, consistency, and especially, simplicity.
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.
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 2010/ All Rights Reserved