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Affirmative Prayer Week 1 Notes
To begin, we read this
from Centers for Spiritual Living, another New Thought Metaphysical organization. I ask that you read the prayer and allow it to calm and comfort you as needed.
This prayer was written in response to the acts that took place in Boston and elsewhere earlier this week. As people who study and live metaphysical principles, we can choose not to become caught up in traditional responses to violence. However, we often need to respond in some way. Here, you can experience affirmative prayer as universal, calming and opening. You can also glimpse the best attitude of prayer – one of peace, love and understanding, even though we still don’t condone the acts that have been committed.
Your Personal Background
I asked class participants these questions. Think about your own answers, or even write them down. This is just a starting place to understand your feelings about prayer and any experience you’ve already had with affirmative prayer.
1. How do you feel about prayer in general? I.e. is prayer for the weak? A last resort? A routine in your day?
Do you pray regularly? Do you think you “should” pray, but still don’t do so? Has it seemed like a waste of time for you?
Do you believe that prayer can be a valuable spiritual practice? If not, will you suspend your disbelief? 🙂
2. How familiar are you with affirmative prayer? Have you learned one of the many step-by-step methods that are often a great place to begin?
Do you attend metaphysical meetings where prayer is used? I use prayer in my talks, meetings and services/celebrations. However, our particular Unity doesn’t stress prayer. We have a prayer box and a prayer team. But to my knowledge, no one ever instructed the prayer team in affirmative prayer. Thus this class…
Think about your current understanding of affirmative prayer. Do you understand it at all?
You can download the entire outline in .doc format here. Right click the link and choose “Save target as…” or similar to save it to your computer.
Affirmative Prayer Class Outline If you prefer another format, email me and I’ll make sure it’s accessible for you to read and use.
The sections of the outline we covered are reproduced below, with notes beginning with *. These notes are transcribed from our live class discussions.
I. Other Names for Affirmative Prayer
* These are words you may find in books or other metaphysical settings to describe the method of prayer many of us use.
A. Positive prayer (so named for its positive statements/affirmations)
B. Scientific prayer (often used with step-by-step guidelines for prayer)
C. Effective prayer (more mainstream books use this term)
* Rightly done – that is, with the right attitude, this is the most effective form of prayer.
D. Spiritual Science prayer (used in general metaphysics; I use this term myself sometimes)
E. Spiritual Mind Treatment (often used in Religious Science/Science of Mind)
* What are we treating?
1. Personal consciousness
* There is universal consciousness (God, cosmic Mind, God-Mind, etc). We are all part of this consciousness. At the same time, this consciousness is individualized in, and as, each of us. It’s this personal aspect of universal consciousness that we treat in prayer.
2. Personal mind/ego
* We treat any sense of personal identity we’ve created. You are not your job, your children, your income… In treatment we make this real to ourselves, bringing our awareness back to our true identity. This ultimate reality is Spirit, Source, God, the Universe – and in treating the personal ego, we expand further into Truth.
* Treatment improves the way we see, sense, feel and perceive things. With improved perception come improved feelings. Suddenly, things don’t bother us as much, people aren’t as annoying, and all because we have a new perception after treatment.
Another aspect of perception is size. We seem to have agreed, as a human mass, that some things are bigger than others. Financial problems are bigger than paper cuts. Car accidents are bigger than forgetting your lunch. Manifesting 10 million dollars is bigger than getting a good parking space.
None of this is true! Looked at from the framework of ultimate reality/oneness, nothing is bigger than anything else. There is no big. There is no small. There is desire, and there is fulfillment. Treatment of our perceptions helps us to integrate and live by this Truth.
* How do you spend your valuable thought time? Are you even consciously aware of most of your thoughts during the day?
Treatment is used to improve our thinking. A positive attitude is essential; so are positive thoughts. However, it’s possible to “fake” positive thinking, to show it off to others, but still have underlying negative beliefs. Treatment addresses the underlying foundation. So improvements are made from the subconscious, outward. With continued treatment, positive thinking becomes more authentic.
Prayer is also called
F. Metaphysical Treatment
G. Prayer Treatment
H. Healing Treatment
* “Healing” refers to bringing your consciousness back to a state of wholeness. It is not a cure or a treatment in the sense of a doctor’s or medical professional’s.
Treatment goes beyond the physical appearance (meta-physical) and lifts up your consciousness which created any physical appearance. When you create from an uplifted consciousness, you create better physical experiences.
I. Treatment (my favorite, for the reasons above)
* I offer the following as further explanation of treatment.
Treatment means going within and contacting the God-Presence that is always at the center of your mind.
The only thing we can truly treat, is consciousness. We can intend a treatment for a physical condition, such as a broken leg. However, all we’re really treating, is your consciousness (thoughts and conscious and subconscious beliefs) about that condition.
We don’t refuse to see the broken leg. But we refuse to give it power over us. In treatment we give power back to the Spirit within us. We establish to our own mental satisfaction, that something has more power than the broken leg. We recognize that this Power dwells within us; so how can a broken leg be anything more than an appearance?
We acknowledge that the broken leg, though it may seem so real, is not all there is. It’s not the end of things, not the be all and end all. There is more, beyond this. And we bring our consciousness back to “more” in a positive sense.
Imagine 2 people, each with a broken leg. The first person thinks: I have a broken leg. Guess I’ll do things differently for a while. Some rest might be nice. I wonder what I can read, learn, catch up on, or who I can re-connect with while I’ve been given this time?
The second person thinks: Oh no! Now my leg is broken, and I can’t go to work. I could lose my job. With my job loss I’ll lose my income. How will I provide for my family? What can I do with myself while I’m stuck in bed?
The first person has accepted the appearance and is embracing it for the good that can come out of it.
The second person is climbing up the walls of his/her mind… And can’t get away from it, because the mind is something we always carry with us!
The first person hasn’t given the broken leg any power. Instead, the power goes to, what positive things can I do now?
On the other hand, the second person is letting the broken leg control what is going on in the mind. I.e. worry, stress, concern, anxiety. This person is projecting what could happen, as if it were already true! A broken leg does not need to have that much power over anyone!
During metaphysical treatment, we sublimate negativity into positivity. We take the power of fear away and replace it with love, possibility, understanding and Truth.
An important note about treatment: Someone else’s healing does not come through you! You may be a participant, you may allow God-energy to work through you and flow to that person. But when someone is healed, it’s because their consciousness has risen to that level where the healing can take place. It’s not because of you specifically, or your practitioner.
Parents sometimes have trouble with this. In some organizations it is said that treatment of a child comes through the parent. This is simply not true in the sense that it’s often understood. On this premise, if your child isn’t healed after treatment, you must be a bad parent, or you don’t have enough faith… So how do you feel? Guilty? Unworthy? Pretty rotten, and your child still isn’t healed!
You are not responsible for anyone else’s healing! Practitioners hold the space, a safe place in consciousness where, when the recipient is ready, healing can take place. But the recipient must accept the treatment. This acceptance goes beyond words. A person can say they accept the treatment and are ready to be healed. However, underlying beliefs can still exist, that keep the healing from manifesting right now.
This is why we assert: The only thing to treat, is consciousness.
Metaphysical Practitioners do not heal; we do not cure; we do not treat in any medical or physical sense. Our treatment is spiritual only, unless we are specifically qualified to offer other services in conjunction with metaphysical treatment.
If a Metaphysical Practitioner tells you to stop taking all medications or prescribes any substance (vitamin, pill, etc), perhaps you should find a different practitioner. A good practitioner will respect any choice you make. If you choose medical treatment as well, find a practitioner who respects that choice.
Some people choose only metaphysical treatment. That is their personal choice. However, treatment works in conjunction with any and all other therapies, modalities, medications and anything else you choose as a tool in your return to conscious wholeness.
II. Benefits of Affirmative Prayer
A. Aligns daily attitude with God-Mind
* Why? Because prayer is only as effective as we allow it to be. If we pray 10 minutes daily, and spend 23 hrs. 50 min. doubting our prayer “worked,” that means our attitude isn’t in alignment with our prayer.
Matching our attitude with God-Mind, highest good, the best outcome, allows our prayers to be answered. It’s been said, “God can only do for you, what He can do through you.” This is a true statement.
So what do we get when our attitudes are aligned with God-Mind?
1. Peace of mind
2. Reduced stress (mentally, emotionally and physically)
* I believe that treatments for health are so important. As long as we’re on this planet, we live in physical bodies. And we need to physically care for them. However, we also need to care for them spiritually. Unlike some traditions, Metaphysics doesn’t specifically encourage fasting, certain diets, sexual practices, exercises, programs, etc. What it does encourage, is unity and harmony in the psycho-physical unit, that is, the mind-body.
Treatment for health, and for anything, opens the mind-body energy field, allowing health to manifest. This automatically means reduced stress and a lighter feeling. It may be subtle at first, but meditation and prayer time, is time well spent.
3. Living your true purpose
* It always feels better to be doing something you love! Your true purpose won’t make you feel anything less than great! The more you pray effectively, the more you *easily* live your own purpose. You live on-path, and it’s not a struggle!
4. Increased happiness
* Even people who seem unhappy all the time, probably want to be happy deep down. Ultimately happiness is all we really want. The house, the money, the good job, the family, anything we could possibly desire… We only want these things because we think they will make us happy. Or they should, or could be part of our happiness. Maybe they are! But really, all we want is happiness itself.
5. Awareness and acceptance of choices and opportunities
* We’re all familiar with the victim consciousness. I have no choices. Things happen to me all the time. I have to do this. I need to struggle.
Prayer is cumulative. And the more positive prayer energy you accumulate, the more you will move upward from victim consciousness. Now, you’re aware that you do have choices. No matter what happens, you can choose how to respond.
In class I brought up negative trends. “Bad things come in 3’s” and so on. Negative trends probably will happen from time to time in your life. The important thing, and the thing you can control, is your response to them.
It’s not the trend or circumstance that matters, it’s how you respond to it. And that response, is a choice only you can make.
So now you know you always have a choice. Next comes acceptance of opportunities. As soon as you see a choice, you also see opportunities opening up for you. When you accept them, you realize there are more!
6. Achieving goals
* If you’re running a marathon, finishing is a concrete goal. You can even see when the achievement is close; you see the finish line. But many goals aren’t so physically apparent. These goals in particular, are the ones we achieve through treatment. Physical form can’t help but follow the achievements of, say, calm, centered mind, peaceful feelings, spiritual connection above all, and the knowing that, as Einstein said, we live in a “friendly universe.”
With treatment as a tool, you don’t need to struggle to achieve any goal. Whether physically-oriented or not, life flows better, you’re open to possibilities, and goals are achieved more often and more quickly.
Also recognize that goals often have steps. Be grateful for each step achieved! Being grateful allows more good, thankful feelings to come to you. As your appreciation expands with each step toward the “big one,” you come closer to the big one itself. Be grateful for the journey, as well as the destination!
7. More physical and mental energy
* As we allow prayer to work through us, we’re freed up. We’re expanded, and we experience a lightness in mind and body. Gradually we notice we have more physical and mental energy, more time, things don’t take as long as they used to, we’re not as bone-tired at the end of the day, and more.
Along with this, be mindful of what you read, hear, and think before sleep. Every now and then, I still do what I call the sleep experiment. I’ll fall asleep reading an action-oriented novel, a mystery, something suspenseful, etc. And when I wake up, I notice I didn’t sleep well, maybe had bad dreams, and generally feel less rested.
But, when I meditate before going to sleep, read positive poetry or metaphysical things, or listen to relaxing music, I sleep much better. I wake up earlier, feel grateful for the new day, and know the day will be positive.
8. Inspiration and creativity
* Inspiration, by its very nature, is divine! Creativity is divine, too! There are so many ways to be inspired, and to express that as creativity. When we mention creative people, we often think of writers, cooks/chefs, artists, craftspeople and so on. But just by living, we are being creative! We create our lives each moment of each day, through our thoughts, words and actions. And we create *from* what underlies these thoughts, words and actions. TO live our best lives, we must be open to divine creativity being expressed through us. Prayer opens us to creativity, and lets us be open more of the time.
9. Opening to intuitive sensing and knowing
* The God-Power within us already knows. What does it know? Everything! Having a regular prayer practice allows us to tap into that intuition that is already ours in a spiritual sense. Our intellect is not worthless! But for best results, it should be guided by an inner sensing, an intuition from our God-Power. We can live by intellect alone. But we can live well when spiritual intuition guides our lives.
Opening to intuition means just that: opening to what is already there. You already possess divine knowing! You’re not gaining anything; you’re just shifting your awareness, your mind and consciousness, to the place of that intuition. It can be a comfort to realize you don’t have to “go out and get” this. It’s already there; just allow it to be in your life.
10. Expressing Truth in your own unique ways
* Truth is Truth is Truth. That is, ultimate, divine, universal Truth. So why are you here? To express Truth in ways that satisfy your soul’s purpose.
There are billions of musicians in the world! And there is always room for more! Why is that? Because even when 2 singers sing the same song, or 2 people play the same part on the same instrument, they express something different. The notes may seem the same. But the emotion, the energy, the spirit they interweave, is their own.
You are unique, an individualized expression of Truth. And no matter how you seem to be the same as others, know that you are unique. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t exist.
Prayer, along with other tools, can help you express your own uniqueness. When you do, you are happy, you’re living on your purpose, and your light will shine so that others will shine their lights as well.
B. Relieving pressure from the psycho-physical mind-body, so it can be uplifted from the problem, to the solution
* Each of us is a psycho-physical unit. We have a mind (psycho) and a body )physical). They interact as a unit – what the mind does, affects the body; and what the body does, affects the mind.
Prayer acts to relieve pressure from the whole unit. It takes mental pressure off the mind, and physical pressure off the body. The result is that we expend less energy carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.
In relieving this pressure, we let ourselves be uplifted. Whatever you’re experiencing has a level of consciousness. If you’re on the same level as a problem, you will experience it.
However, when you lift up your consciousness, you experience the solution! Your desire is fulfilled; the problem, isn’t anymore, and you’ve expanded your awareness.
C. Allowing the natural healing agency (God) to work through you
* God is wholeness. “Healing” means wholeness. So healing is God’s natural power. This is why we call God the natural healing agency. In prayer we open to that agency, and let it work through us, to flow into our lives.
D. Conversing with your inner God-Power, opening to its full expression as and through you
E. Experiencing God-presence fully (meditation is the highest form of prayer)
* True, meditation is the highest form of prayer. In deep meditation we’re completely open and we let the God-Mind be in control of our lives.
Prayer, as we’re speaking of it now, is only a little less than the meditative experience. It’s a conversation with the God-within. We may not be as completely open to God-Presence as we are in deep meditation. But we’re getting there.
I like prayer for its conversational benefits. Who better to converse with than your Higher God-self? Most effective is to spend time in prayer, and separate time in meditation. This way we benefit from the conversation and the deeply meditative experience where God truly lives as us, and where there is no more sense of personal ego.
We ended with a few moments of meditation. I asked class participants to commit to spending some time in prayer this week. All you really need is positive intention, the desire to converse with your own God-Self, and a little time. Treatment does not take long! It can, especially if you go into deep meditation along with prayer. However, you can pray any time, anywhere.
I ask that you, too, make a commitment to yourself to spend some time in prayer each day.
We will be forming prayer partnerships in this class. Two people will pray for each other, using affirmative prayer techniques, starting next week and as long as they wish to continue.
If you would like a prayer partner, please contact me! THhose in the live class will pray together, and online participants will be matched up on a first come, first served basis. Everyone who wants one, will have a partner.
I also provide Metaphysical Practitioner services. Contact me if interested.
As always, if you have any comments, questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me!