Affirmative Prayer FAQ’s
In our faith, we have a particular form of prayer called “Affirmative Prayer” that we use as a spiritual tool to help shape and direct our spiritual lives.
I’m often asked a lot of questions about Affirmative Prayer fairly regularly so, I thought I would share some of my typical responses to the questions I field most regularly:
1. Why does there HAVE to be a particular way to pray?
Actually, there doesn’t “HAVE” to be a particular way. What we know in our teaching is that thought itself is prayer. That said, when we take a closer look at Affirmative Prayer we come to find that it is shaped in such a way that it reiterates all of our principles.
We Recognize that God is All there is, we Unify with it knowing that God is within us and every other human being.
We Declare the thing we wish to accept more fully in our minds so that our actions align with those ideas.
We accept the power of our word and the blessings that flow from that power.
Then, we surrender our prayer to the infinite Law of the Divine, knowing that the Law is what brings it into being in the best was possible.
And so, there is a lot to be said about reiterating ALL of these ideas EVERY single time we pray. We are trying to adjust patterns of thought, and so it seems reasonable that we would establish a new pattern using a pattern of prayer, a template if you will.
2. What if I don’t know what to say?
Anyone who has ever been a student of mine has heard my response to this. The power of the prayer is NOT in the words. The power of prayer is in the FEELING of the prayer.
We don’t just want to change the words being rattled around in our heads, we want to shift the way we feel and the presence we embody. When we teach children we teach them this simple form of prayer:
Sometimes there’s only one word that follows each of those prompts. With the youth, we use our Divine Virtues of Peace, Beauty, Joy, Truth, Love, Life and Light. But you can put anything in there. If you are worried about the words, focus on the feeling instead, and useless words. Simple as that.
3. What if I forget the steps in the middle of my prayer?
KEEP GOING! Remember, the feeling is what matters. If you are lost for words or lost in the steps, take a breath. Prayer is not all about non-stop wordsmithing. We can pause, think, feel, and center ourselves as many times as we needed in prayer. If we get lost in the steps, there is no harm to come of it. So rather than scramble to find our place we can take a pause and a breath, and then pick up wherever we want and follow through. Ultimately the steps are for guidance and with practice, they will feel like second nature. We can expect some process of growth in attaining that level of confidence in the steps but only if we persist and keep turning to prayer to practice.
4. How often should I pray?
I like to say that we should pray until the thought of praying for that particular idea no longer occurs to us. It would be nice to think that human behavior and thought just changes because we said so in a prayer one time. While that is a possibility, it is almost always more probable that it will take many prayers to cultivate the faith, remember that’s the feeling, that we seek. If you aren’t feeling the thing you want to feel, that’s a perfect time to stop and pray. And we continue that process until the feeling we have, without need for prayer at all, is our resting state of being.
5. Why should I pray out loud with others?
Should is a strong word, but that’s why I would use it here. Cultivating our faith happens on many levels. If we’re intimidated by or nervous about our prayer, then pour prayer becomes that feeling. Rather than enter into prayer with those feeling sin mind, we can literally use prayer to address those feelings so that we can pray aloud with others.
It also takes practice. It’s like anything else in that way. So when we start, we should be mindful not to be judgmental of our own prayer… otherwise that feeling becomes the prayer. Instead, let us lean into our faith so that we can pray aloud with our spiritual community and feel the love and nurturing support that our community is built on. We all know that we are loving and supporting others while they are praying, we have to imagine that is exactly what others are doing for us when we pray ourselves.
It’s important to embolden our spiritual practices with faith and our spiritual community has to be the perfect place for that to unfold. And remember… the words are secondary. The feeling we hold is the prayer and thus, all prayer spoken with love in our hearts is powerful and potent regardless of the words.
Want to explore affirmative prayer with other members of Oneness while being able to give AND receive prayer every week!? Check out our prayer circles! They are the most powerful and potent part of our prayer ministry here at Oneness. If you’re interested in joining a circle CLICK HERE for more information.
For more information on Affirmative prayer, visit our webpage at http://onenesscsl.com/affirmativeprayer/
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