By Rev. Laurence De Rusha
For thousands of years people have been trained in the art and science of praying. Most often we are taught to negotiate with God, plead with God, tell Jesus why this or that happened, and ask for forgiveness, or ask for something we need. This type of prayer without a proper understanding of how prayer works is misinform.
What is Affirmative Prayer and why do I need to know about it?
Many saints have walked the earth illuminating the path of Truth. They speak about prayer in powerful and highly insightful ways: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of The Cross, St. Augustine, Buddha, Jesus and many others. I don’t believe we will ever understand Jesus’ real words if we don’t understand the basic premise that God is not a being in the clouds acting like Santa Claus. This was a misguided understanding of ancient people used to teach children a concept. As Jesus said, “The Kingdom of heaven is within.”
In 1579 Teresa of Avila wrote in her book Interior Castle: “As far as I can understand, the door of entry into this castle [soul] is prayer and meditation: I do not say mental prayer rather than vocal, for, if it is prayer at all, it must be accompanied by meditation.”
I believe there are two forms of prayer: the first is to be in the simple state of communion with God. The second, is the manifestation of a need. So, first your prayer is a connection with the Divine through contemplation or mediation. Second, prayer is not for changing the mind of God. What you need to change is within you – your mind. By shifting your belief about something you can change it. Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (NIV, Mark 5)
Therefore, you must first enter into the state that opens the pathway to shift your belief. This is most often meditation. You need to know the truth of who you are. Your inner world is the path to real understanding beyond the mind. Discover the temple or castle within and go there to pray. Dust away the material stuff, the desire for thing, from the Temple and go within to the alter of the most high place.
St. Teresa of Avila also wrote, “A short time ago I was told by a very learned man that souls without prayer are like people whose bodies or limbs are paralyzed: they possess feet and hands but they cannot control them. In the same way, there are souls so infirm and so accustomed to busying themselves with outside affairs that nothing can be done for them, and it seems as though they are incapable of entering within themselves at all.”
Prayer, then, not only requires you to find the quiet place within, your castle or temple, but to come in the manner fit for such things. God is spirit, and to come to God, we must do so “in spirit” not in mind and body. We come not to have a mental/verbal communication but a communion with God.
So, first you enter into this sacred meditation. Then, you come with clear feeling or quality (Wisdom, Love, Joy, Peace) you want to experience, not a mental concept of it, but the real feeling.
How different this kind of prayer is from ordinary haphazard rambling done without understanding! Prayer must have intention and feeling until co-creation itself takes place.
By using this type of prayer, and combining it with intuition (real listening) you have the tools to create the life you want and feel secure on your spiritual path.
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