What is Affirmative Prayer?
Affirmative Prayer is a specific prayer technique taught by Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of the United Centers for Spiritual Living. It is a five-step scientific method, designed after Jesus's teachings; when you pray, pray believing. This type of prayer is based on the Principle of Oneness; that there is no separation between you and Spirit, God, Source, Divine Mother, call it what you will. This is not the stereotypical form of prayer in which people are found making demands, pleas, or begging to a distant, far-off 'God' who may or may not answer!
According to Dr. Ernest Holmes, “…treatment is the time, process and method necessary to the changing of our thought.” In its simplest explanation, treatment is affirmative prayer. By using a five-step formula, we are able to change the state of our thoughts so that we recognize the attributes of God, unify ourselves with those attributes, realize that our desired outcome is at hand, give thanks, and let God take over. Spiritual Mind Treatment is a powerful process that shifts our consciousness so that we can accept the good that is already present in our life.
Science of Mind uses a five-step affirmative prayer called spiritual mind treatment. The five steps are:
1. Recognition: know that God is all there is. Remind yourself of the nature of life/god/spirit. This is the main ingredient in affirmative prayer: recognition. You must know what the nature of God is before going further. If, for example, you used to believe that God was an angry, vengeful God, now is the time to remind yourself of the greater truth. Remind yourself of the lawful and loving nature of God.
2. Unification: know that you are one with God. Remind yourself that you come from life/spirit/god. If God exists and is everything good and wonderful, but you're on the outside looking in, why even bother to pray? Remind yourself that God is the source and Creator of everything, including you, including your desire. This is another crucial ingredient in affirmative prayer.
3. Declaration: state your word for the circumstance you want to manifest. Know life already is the thing or experience you want. If you can desire it, imagine it, picture it, it must exist in Mind. Otherwise, where did you get the idea? Remember, the first premise of Religious Science is there exists a fundamental Unity. There's no place other than Mind to get your idea. For a truly effective prayer treatment, you want to keep contemplating spirit's nature as your own; when you have an inner feeling of "YES!", that's when the realization arrives. When you open your eyes, your desire may not be sitting on the floor in front of you, but don't be fooled...Mind is already at work unfolding it. If doubts arise... Don't just turn away. Face them! Speak the truth about what you are fearing will or will not happen...for example, if you feel that you could never afford a new car, you might say, "Infinite Mind has given me this desire and along with it everything I need to let the power of law flow through me, manifesting my desire in perfection and joy. God IS supply; God IS wealth, so there is nothing to fear...because God is right where I am".
4. Thanksgiving: give thanks for your word being acted upon by the Law of mind. Know what you desire is yours. It is important to give thanks, because it acknowledges already having received the thing you desire. God doesn't need your gratitude, however, to be fully aligned with the laws of the universe, you need to feel the feeling of gratitude. This is the "already having received" attitude which adds fuel to the fire of your affirmative prayer. This is why you have to know how you would feel if you had what you want right now.
5. Release: “And so it is!” Letting go is a crucial step. When you're done, your mind should be at peace, clear, unafraid, and watchful for signs of your desire showing up without becoming obsessive about it! LET the Law work through you and make your desire a physical reality! Remember, it isn't about 'getting'; it is about 'letting'.
Of special note: While there are steps to follow, or ingredients to include in any affirmative prayer, also known as spiritual mind treatment, they don't have to come in any particular order; there's no need for them to follow a rigid pattern. The point is to build a consciousness which is whole, automatically creating the experience you're desiring. This is all about engaging your mind, heart, and being with the creative power of the universe. How you get there is not all that important. This method does work, but it's only the means to the end. Religious Science isn't about a method; it's about a more profound connection with Spirit.
There is no beseeching to or urge to compel an outside entity in spiritual mind treatment. As Ernest Holmes states in The Science of Mind:
Effective mental treatment is propelled by a consciousness of love and a realization that the Creative spirit is always at work....A treatment should be given in a calm, expectant manner and with a deep inner conviction of its reality, without any fear or any sense that the human mind must make it effective. The work is effective because the Law is always in operation.
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