This is week 2 of 6 of Affirmative Prayer: What is it and why Should I Care? This week is split into 2 parts for easier reading.
If you haven’t already done so, please take in week 1, as it’s the foundation for the rest of this class.
To download this post in .doc format, right click this link and choose “Save target as…” or similar. Affirmative Prayer Week 2 Part 1 Notes
Feel free to follow along below as we continue with III. of the class outline. Again, further explanations begin with *.
III. Prayer: Traditional vs. Affirmative
* As you read this, think about how much you identify with. What feelings about traditional prayer, if any, do you still have? Do you have negative feelings about prayer that you want to sublimate with positive ones?
A. Traditional prayer
* This is prayer as it’s often taught, and what is implied in and about prayer, in Western Christianity.
What do you do in traditional prayer?
1. Petition (to beg, pray, request, plead, ask, beseech)
* These are synonyms of petition, from the dictionary. I looked them up and found it interesting that “pray” itself is one. So automatically, as a mass consciousness, humans think of prayer as having to petition, beg or beseech for something. Is that a good feeling?
2. Supplicate (to implore, beseech, beg, entreat, pray, plead)
* Again, we see plead, as well as implore. Not “Ask and it shall be given,” but “Plead and…” Well, we’re not sure what might happen after that…
What feelings underlie begging, pleading and imploring? Often these are feelings of guilt, fear, lack, and unworthiness. Am I good enough to be heard? Is what I’m asking important enough to be granted?
The idea of traditional prayer often goes something like this:
God is the all-powerful King, and feels so far away. SO in order to have a prayer heard, much less answered, I must be humble, lowly, begging and even apologetic that I’m even trying to get to God’s ear for a moment to make a request.
And then, even if God hears me, my request will only be granted if my petition is good enough to stir up God’s compassion and pity.
Also interesting is the concept of kneeling to pray. I didn’t read further into this, to see what others say. My personal sense is that kneeling comes from this obligation to be humble in prayer, submitting yourself to a much higher being – one you will never be even close to.
Ritual is another element in traditional prayer. If you want something from the King, you don’t just go to him and say, “Hi King, can I have this?” Sure you can, if you want to lose your head! But, if you complete the ritual, kneeling, praying say 3 times a day, and if your prayer is sincere and humble enough, knowing you’re not worthy… Then, the King may grant your wish.
I realize I’m painting a bleak picture here. However, in traditional prayer, that’s often the feeling people have. I’m bringing this out so that your own personal feelings about prayer come to the surface for you. There, you can respond to them and decide which feelings and beliefs serve you, and which don’t. Then, you’ll re-program positive beliefs about prayer for yourself, if you choose to.
3. Doubts that prayer will be heard
* If people really knew their prayers would be heard, they wouldn’t feel the need to plead, beg, beseech, implore, and so on. The doubt exists first though. We don’t doubt because we plead. We plead because we doubt. Keep this in mind as we continue.
a. Is unsure whether prayer will be answered
* Because you doubt that your prayer is heard, you naturally(?) are unsure whether the prayer will be answered.
Students in class brought up how we don’t always know how prayer will be answered. And sometimes it’s not answered in the way we think it should be. This is true, but it’s not what we’re getting at here. This is the simple idea of whether a prayer will be answered at all. In traditional prayer, doubt is often so integrated in the mind, that people aren’t even sure they get an answer of any kind.
4. Places Christ above oneself
* Whether Protestant or Catholic, traditional Western Christianity sees Christ as better than us. That’s got to be the understatement of the year, at least! These religions stress that Christ was a man, but is God’s Son; he’s special, chosen, the Messiah. In short, Christ is almost a hero, as in a fairy tale or myth.
We, as ordinary praying individuals, can never hope to do what Christ did. We will never be equal to Christ; in fact, it’s blasphemy to even think equality is possible.
Christ is Christ, and we’re just mankind. Christ is to be followed, but we’ll never teach or preach or heal or live as He lived.
Remember that these are traditional views, and it gets better from here! 🙂
5. Repetitious, to be sure it is heard
* Simply put, repetition is used in traditional prayer as part of the ritual I mentioned above. The question to ask is this: Why are you praying repeatedly? If it’s because you’re not sure it took the first time, don’t know if you’re getting an answer, etc, uncertainty is the motivation. Unfortunately, this is often the case in traditional prayer.
B. Affirmative Prayer
* And then there was Light! Sorry, I’m just re-realizing that traditional prayer doesn’t serve me in the slightest, and I’m grateful to be on more positive ground!
So, what do we do in affirmative prayer/metaphysical treatment?
1. Declare (to proclaim, announce, state, pronounce, assert, decree)
* Now don’t these feel better? To declare, pronounce or decree something, means you already know, and expect it to be so. You’re positive that “so it is,” even before your “prayer” has begun. I like the synonyms above, which I also found in an online dictionary. Choose some that feel empowering to you, and know this is what you do in metaphysical prayer treatment.
2. Realize (to understand, perceive, comprehend, see, carry out, bring into reality)
* To realize, means to make real. But since my English teachers taught me not to use the word in the definition, I’ll say this. To realize, means to decide what is illusion and what is true for you. It means choosing what you give power to and what just doesn’t matter. (See week 1 for more on giving power to negativity.)
So you can see how realization, as it applies to prayer, means to perceive, understand, comprehend, or see.
But what is “carry out?” In this case it refers to demonstration – the act of making a prayer the reality that you live. Before you can demonstrate in physical form, you need to realize, bring the prayer into your own realm of possibility. Realization is a big part of metaphysical treatment.
You must always come to your own realization. Even if you use the services of a Metaphysical Practitioner, a prayer ministry, a minister, or a friend or family member, all of which are great supports. Still, realization must take place in your own consciousness. Learning to realize things for yourself, is like as the saying goes, teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime. People can assist, but no one can do this for you.
How do you realize something? Not from your personal ego, that’s for sure! Realization involves daily, or more than once a day as needed, giving up your ego. Don’t worry, this is not painful! You’re just allowing the presence of God-Mind within you, to control your life and realize your prayers through you. The more personal ego we give up, the more divine control we actually have!
Ego control is fleeting. Divine control is unchanging. Things around us change; we know that. But divine Truth does not change. We can experience the control, the peace of this unchanging Truth when we give up the fleeting “happiness” that comes from ego.
3. Knows that prayer is heard
* Basic metaphysics says that we are all one. So if we pray, we know our prayer is heard, by the very nature of our being one with whatever is “hearing”. I.e. we are one. We ask. We also hear. There is no separate being that hears us.
Where traditional prayer involves doubt, affirmative prayer is founded on faith. This doesn’t mean we never doubt. It means we have more faith, than doubt. For this you only need 51% faith, if you have 49% doubt. It’s a balance. As long as the scale is tipped more in a positive direction, you’re on the path to building faith and eliminating doubt from your mind.
a. It follows that because prayer is heard, it is also answered
* We take this a step further believing our prayers are answered. Again, we may not know how, or when. But that doesn’t matter here. We know we are heard. And we know the Universe/God responds to our vibration. Therefore, no prayer goes unanswered. Prayer, whether in thought, words, or feelings of desire, is vibration. And the Universe must, and does respond to it. This response is our answer.
4. Anyone can pray as effectively as Christ
* This might be shocking to some people. And even if you accept it, it may not feel true. So I recommend meditating on this for a few moments, asking for clarity, truth and understanding to integrate this into your conscious and subconscious mind.
It does not say anyone except ___ (your name). Anyone can pray as effectively as Christ. You can pray as effectively as Christ. And not after you learn, study, practice, sweat, and try! You can pray as effectively as Christ, now!
But how did Christ pray? He saw what he wanted (asked for it) and said thank you. Christ had complete faith that his prayer would be answered. In fact, he saw the answer before he saw it in front of him. Believing is seeing; not seeing is believing. When he had the realization of the answer in his mind, Christ said thank you.
And who or what was he thanking? “The Father within me that doeth these good works.” We see the Father as the God-Power and presence within everything and everyone. So we, too, thank the Father that works through us.
5. Repetitious, as treatment of your own consciousness
* The goal of metaphysical treatment is to bring the mind into alignment with our prayer, until it becomes real to us. This is why we use repetition – to continually lift up our consciousness to the level of prayer made manifest in our lives. It’s not because we don’t know the prayer is answered. It’s because the more we focus the mind on a prayer’s manifestation as if we already have it, the more quickly we perceive its answer.
Repetition is for us. It’s not for God or for anyone else, even those we pray for. It’s for our own mind, to bring our thoughts and other mental processes into alignment with the good we ask for in prayer.
As always, if you have any comments, questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me!