_Prayers and Affirmations
Types of Prayer
Any conscious movement toward Spirit or one's higher Self can be seen as a form of prayer. The virtue of prayer is that it establishes a "resonant vibration" and a spiritual alignment with Spirit. A prayer that is pure and powerful (and not undermined by negative subconscious feelings or doubt) is more efficacious or “manifestive” than a prayer that is weak, half-hearted, uncertain, or at odds with one's deep-seated beliefs.
A common type of common prayer takes the form of a communion with a Higher Power. It can be a repetition of the Lord's Prayer (Christian), the Sh'ma (Jewish), the Affirmation of Faith (Islam), the repeating of God's name (in the form of a mantra), etc. This kind of prayer (directed to a Higher Power) can also take the form of a “beseeching prayer” (or a “petitioning prayer”) where a person asks God, or some Higher Power, for help, blessings, improvement in his conditions, material gain, etc. Here the person wants to gain something (that he feels will improve his life) so he turns to God or a Greater Power in order to get some kind of direct help. A higher form of this kind of prayer is when a person communes with a Higher Power or Intelligence in order to gain some spiritual quality, such as a pure heart, or to receive divine guidance. Here the prayer does not ask for any particular material favor but for an inner shift, a state of more fully knowing God or one's own higher qualities.
Another form or prayer is one that we might call “creative prayer” or “affirmative prayer.” This is where a person affirms as already existing what he wants; he adopts the state of consciousness wherein he feels himself to be in full possession of what he wants, now. With this kind of prayer a person feels as if he has already received what he's asked for; and this then attracts a corresponding physical reality. This prayer is not about asking for something but about appropriating the state of consciousness of already having received what you want. For example, if you win the lottery you might feel a sense of abundance, power, freedom, relief, etc. But why wait to win the lottery?—you can feel those self-same feelings now. And by feelings those feelings now (the same expansive feelings of having won the lottery) you set up a “spiritual reality” that then attracts the outer wealth and conditions corresponding to those feelings and that reality.
This type of prayer is used in various systems such as the ancient system of Huna and the more modern system of Science of Mind.
Another kind of prayer is what we might call pure prayer or divine prayer; this is marked by a state of pure communion between the soul and Spirit. This type of prayer unfolds and reveals Love as its primary quality. At the beginning, this type of prayer may take the form of a feeling of devotion and be directed to some Higher Power (outside yourself). Later, when the prayer becomes true, there is no sense of separation; the one praying is the one who is being prayer to. There is no prayer at this point; the prayer is simply an appropriation of your own being; it is an immersion into your inherent state of fullness, filled with such qualities as love, joy, peace, devotion, gratitude, and beauty. In simple terms, it is you being who you truly are, in direct communion with life.
Quotes on Prayer
O Lord, let others ask for every kind of gift, with more and more prayers. I ask for but one gift with but one prayer: “Lord, grant me a pure heart.” How blessed are the pure of heart. By the power of their faith they see God within themselves; they see Him above and below, in all things, at all times. They become the instruments of His divine play, as God guides them everywhere and leads them to all things.
~ Jean Pierre de Caussade
A pure heart and good intention—the one foundation of every spiritual attainment.
~ Jean Pierre de Caussade
“All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall receive them.” (Mark xi. 24) The difference of the tenses in this passage is remarkable. The speaker bids us first to believe that our desire has already been fulfilled, that it is a thing already accomplished, and then its accomplishment will follow as a thing in the future. This is nothing other than a concise direction for making use of the creative power of thought by impressing upon the universal subjective mind the particular thing which we desire as an already existing fact. In following this direction we are thinking on the plane of the absolute and eliminating from our minds all consideration of conditions, which imply limitation and the possibility of adverse contingencies; and we are thus planting a seed which, if left undisturbed, will infallibly germinate into external fruition. (Troward, Edinburgh Lectures, Ch., 5)
Prayer is not petition: prayer is giving thanks. You don=t get down on your knees and petition anyone outside of yourself. There is no intermediary between yourself and Self. You need no priest, no so-called healer; you need nothing on the outside—it=s all within [your own] Self. What would the feeling be like if it were true [if you already had that which you were praying for?] Catch that feeling and then work yourself into that state; feel it and keep feeling it until all of a sudden you are relieved. There is a release within you and then it=s done. You can=t do it a second time. It=s done. [What you have been praying for is felt to be yours, and so there is no longer any need to keep praying for it].
I tell you, [your] prayer will be answered. All prayers are answered if you know how to pray. Remember, prayer is not begging. You don=t petition; you give thanks. You aren’t going to give thanks to something that isn’t [yours, therefore, you must have the feeling that what you pray for is already yours before your prayer can be steeped with gratitude and joy].
You are told, “When you pray, believe that you have received, and you will.” Can you pray in that form? —for that=s the only successful prayer in the world. Begging is not going to do it, for when you beg you are confessing you don=t have it [the thing you are praying for]. You’ve got to appropriate it. It is a subjective appropriation of the objective hope. That=s praying. (Neville, Immortal Man, p. 66, 68, 235)
Prayer—the art of believing what is denied by the senses—deals almost entirely with the subconscious. Through prayer, the subconscious is suggested into acceptance of the wish fulfilled, and, reasoning deductively, logically unfolds it to its legitimate end.
To pray successfully you must have clearly defined objectives. You must know what you want before you can ask for it. You must know what you want before you can feel that you have it—and prayer is the feeling of fulfilled desires [the feeling that you already have what you wish for]. (Neville, The Neville Reader, p, 141, 151)
Prayer is not a foolish seeking to change the mind of Supreme Wisdom, rather it is an intelligent seeking to embody that wisdom in our thoughts so as to, more and more perfectly, express it in expressing ourselves. Thus, as we gradually grow into the habit of finding this inspiring Presence within [or as] ourselves, and of realizing its forward movement as the ultimate determining factor in all true healthful mental action, it will become second nature to us to have all our plans, down to the apparently most trivial, so floating upon the undercurrent of this Universal Intelligence. Thus, a great harmony will come into our lives, every discordant manifestation will disappear, and we shall find ourselves more and more controlling all things into the forms that we desire.
(Troward, The Hidden Power, p. 60-61)
One Method of Affirmative Prayer
The essentials that underlie Affirmative Prayer (also referred to as "Spiritual Mind Treatment") are as follows:
1) Have an understanding and conviction that Spirit is the Totality (and of the nature of Infinite love, joy, creative power, intelligence, abundance, beauty, etc.) and, through its infinite power has effortlessly brought everything into creation; that Spirit needs (and wants) you to create ever-increasing abundance and joy for yourself.
2) Have an understanding and conviction that you are a creative expression of Spirit, containing every quality of Spirit, including creative power; thus, being one in every way with Spirit, you--through the power of your own creative conscious--can (and and are required to) direct Spirit as you will (with no reason, whatsoever, to ever place a limit upon what you want to create).
3) From this state of unity and creative power—and in full alignment with the goodness of Spirit—affirm what is already yours, what you have created; not only imagine what you want, but enter into the spirit of what you have imagined and feel that what you have created, through your consciousness, is now manifest.
4) Experience the joy and gratitude of being in full possession of what you have creatively imagined. Feel the joy and expansion of it. Feel a sense of appreciation for having received exactly what you have asked for.
5) Release the treatment or prayer by having the feeling that the manifestation is complete and that there is nothing more for you to do. Thereafter live in full confidence and conviction that the spiritual reality you created, through the creative, one-with-Spirit power of your own consciousness, is a reality that will, and must, be brought into manifestation by Spirit. (It is just like a seed which, once planted, will eventually sprout into a full plant). Having the conviction that your prayer is complete, that it is manifest as a spiritual reality, and that it will be manifest in physical reality by Spirit (in accordance with the spiritual seed you have created) there is nothing more to do. Live now in the feeling and knowing realization (and absolute conviction) of the eventual physical manifestation.
For example, this could also be like buying a lottery ticket and then discovered that you had the winning numbers. You would have a certain feeling of euphoria; that the payment was inevitable, even though you did not yet hand in your ticket or receive the money. Your seeing the winning numbers would give you an absolute assurance that the money would eventually be in your possession). Likewise, an affirmative prayer in regard to winning the lottery would be completed by having the same feeling as having already won. If you had won the lottery, you would not then continue to pray for money, or continue to wish that you would win, or feel impoverished and contracted, or continue to worry about money issues—all of which would confirm, to your subconscious mind, that you had not won. (And notice that all of these concerns are future-related states and not a present-related state—and it is in the present where all one’s creative power lies). Likewise, when the prayer is complete, and the reality of your creation believed in, all these types of thoughts (about future hopes in winning) would be moot, and not arise. If these mental creations continued to arise (after your prayer-creation was complete); and it they were embraced, and "deemed to be real and relevant" to your conscious mind, they would send a powerful message and affirm (to your subconscious mind) that you have not won. (If you had won, why would you still be thinking about winning?) Thus, these types of thoughts would undermine, and neutralize, the spiritual reality you had created though the prayer. (Your again hoping to win the lottery, in the future, would create another spiritual seed which Spirit would then move to express). Thus, you would create one thing with your conscious mind and completely neutralized it with your subconscious mind. As part of the completion, to realize the fullness of the prayer, you must enter into the reality and feeling of having already won (just as you would, in reality, feel had you actually won) and then, think from that position, shift all your thoughts to accommodate and realize this state (this new spiritual reality) of having won. Make that state of ‘having won’ be the reality upon which you base your thoughts and actions; let your thoughts be created upon that affirmed reality. Think and feel in accordance with that reality; be so convinced of that reality that you need not even think about it. Those feelings and actions, based upon the certainty and conscious conviction that you won, sends a message to your subconscious mind—and once it gets this message, it, with all its creative power, sets about making your conviction into a concrete reality. Doubt will send a message of doubt; certainty will send a message of certainty. Spirit creates this entire universe with certainty, with a single focus, without itself divided against its own creation—this, too, is the only way that a human being can co-create with Spirit.
Also see the Ha-Rite, which is a form of creative prayer used in the Huna tradition.