A good friend started taking Science of Mind classes. She wanted to make some changes, including a happy new marriage. After a few classes, she went shopping and purchased a beautiful wedding gown. She wasn’t dating anyone, but she prayed daily and thanked God for her great marriage daily. She knew it was a “done deal”. Soon after her dress purchase, she met her perfect right husband. They’ve lived happily ever after (more than twenty years and counting) .
One of the most unusual things about affirmative prayer is that we don’t wish, dream or beg, we know. Our prayers close when we give thanks to God for doing the work. We know it works.
That’s what makes our prayer different. We never plead, we simply claim our Divine Inheritance. We speak our word, and give our claim to God, knowing that God does the work.
We pray this way because we know that we are living in God and that our minds are connected to God’s mind. God says yes to any life-affirming goal that we can imagine, believe and accept.
Our job is to imagine, believe and accept our goal both with our minds and our emotions. We realize it is already done in the mind of God. At that point, God, which is Infinite Love, acting through Spiritual Law, must bring it into form or being. It comes into what we sometimes call the “real” world.
In our beginning Science of Mind classes, we learn that God is always saying yes to our prevailing belief system. So prayer is a message to God, and God is Infinite Power, Infinite Possibility and Infinite Love. What’s more, Infinite Mind must say yes when we have thoroughly imagined, believed and accepted it. That’s how the Creative Principle works. It’s the Law!
My friend bought her dress because she believed and she got what she expected. Next time you do a prayer, ask yourself if you really believe it. If not, spend a few more minutes. Even if it takes more than one prayer, aim for total trust. Keep doing the prayer work until you see results. Sometimes there is more to be known and released before you get to the point of total belief.
About twenty years ago, another friend called me for prayer to find a new job in the big city. She’d been praying and nothing had worked so she called me. I asked her if her bags were packed. Later, when she became a Religious Minister minister, it became her favorite story and talk. The title was, “Are your bags packed? Seems she literally packed her bags after my question. Next day, the phone rang with a job offer.
The trick to effective prayer is developing a level of trust in the prayer process that enables you to move right along in the direction of your dreams. We call that opening our consciousness. Sometimes we need to begin by praying for clarity and to deepen our trust before we can budge those old beliefs.
Once we learn the basics, it’s easy to unerstand why some prayers are more effective than others. Even if we always use the same procedure, our level of belief and acceptance is quite different in different areas of our life. Some people find it easy to believe that prayer works in relationships and difficult in health or creativity. They think health is physical and “real” Or they think only “talented” people can write or sing or paint. Others discover they have layers of negative beliefs around prosperity. The idea that money issues can be resolved by affirmative prayer seems OK to one person and nonsense to another.
It is important to have a daily spiritual practice that includes prayer and reading. Classes are also very important. Your spirit practice deepens your belief in the power of affirmtive prayer and helps you release beliefs that stand in the way of success. The need for a good spiritual practice is always there. Long after you are in total agreement intellectually, you will discover some “emotional” resistance if you are honest.
If you pray for a specific issue and get nowhere for a while, consider working with a New Thought minister, counselor or practitioner. That person can help you sort out your beliefs and help you plan to release them.
If you want to try working alone, here’s one way. List the beliefs that you suspect are standing in your way. Look at what you heard about money or love in your childhood. Some beliefs, like taking your doctor as the ultimate authority or believing it is impossible to prosper in a negative economy are easy to spot. You can begin to pray to release the sabotaging negatives. You can also draw a line through your list of harmful beliefs and write affirmations as replacements.
Perhaps you need to begin by praying to be willing to release the old beliefs. Or pray for a deeper conviction of spiritual law. Don’t be afraid to start at the beginning. Be honest. There is no shame in learning something new. I used to believe I could not lose weight because I could not stay on a consistent food plan. I prayed to lose weight and discovered that I was speaking about my failure often.
I stopped saying, “I can’t”. in conversation. I didn’t talk about my weight but I prayed to lose weight. I knew my prayer was being answered when my intuition told me to work on self love. I kept praying and, one fine day, I stopped binge eating. I also stopped ordering small amounts in public because I wasn’t fooling anyone. This was all a part of my self-love, releasing shame, and self-acceptance plan.
I also began to bless the fat people I saw. I stood nude in front of the mirror and blessed myself and said, “I love you.” One fine day, my intuition kicked in again and I decided since I hated diets, I would eat what I wanted and aim for healthy foods. I kept track and aimed for 1200 calories. If I went over, I made new choices tomorrow.
This is not weight loss advice. This is an example of how prayer helped me with a problem that began in the 7th grade. It was a deep seated issue and it took a long time to see results. I eventually released 110 pounds and I also released a carload of old ideas about self-worth. It took several years and I’ve kept it off for over three years. I’m not thin but I’m out of the doctor’s DANGER box on the chart.
Learning to pray effectively is all about learning to pay attention to what you are thinking and believing and learning to trust that this teaching works. When we get to the place where we can trust enough to thank God in advance and totally believe it, then life it smoother sailing. And, if we use affirmative prayer and pay attention to our prevailing belief system, we can all get there.
Do you have goals to reach?
Do you believe prayer is powerful enough to help you?
Is it time for classes? Books? Practitioner help?
What will be your first step?
I hang up on from a phone call with a very good friend and I feel full of gratitude that she is well and happy, that I am well and happy, and that we are in each other’s lives. Over the past twenty years we have been through many changes but our friendship has always been there. We have supported each other through good and not so good times. There have been laughs and tears and lots of shared history. My life is richer because of my friend.
Good friends are really important and they must be nurtured in order to thrive. When I was a girl, switching “best friends” whenever we got a new hobby was common. So was dropping our girlfriends when we got a new boyfriend and I can remember how that could hurt.
Growing up means treating friends as though they are appreciated. Our good, long lasting friendships are precious. If we are not careful, we forget to tell them how much they mean to us. We should also understand that there are times when we need to be there for a good friend when they are in need, even if it is inconvenient. Friendship is definitely reciprocal if it is to work over a long time.
Treasuring a good friend is a lot different from building a network for our business or social ambitions. It is also different from loving our family because they were born to be our connections. Making friends involves choices and choosing good friends is a consequence of knowing who we are. There are plenty of people on Facebook and they may be listed as friends but it takes time and common experiences to develop a real friendship.
Not all friends from the past need to be carried into your world of today. It is wonderful to keep your friends from high school or college but if you want a healthy balance you will have to develop some new ones along the way. Especially as we age, people’s lives and situations, as well as interests, change. Some move away, some change, some die, some simply take a different path in life. So if you only stick with your old friends, you can end up with a very narrow world as time marches on.
It seems to me that we should try to cultivate new friends and, at the same time, treasure the old ones. As always, balance is the key to intelligent living. No one can have an unlimited number of close friends but beware the person who insists that he or she must be your only friend. “Best friends” works better in 7th grade than in adulthood.
One of the best ways to meet friends is to find a people you enjoy who have similar interests. These days, most of my friends are people I’ve met in my spiritual activities; once they nearly all came from my 12 Step program. Before that, most of them came from my writing activities. I still have a couple of friends from every one of those previous interests because they are a part of me and my history. Most of all, these treasured old friends have qualities that resonate in wonderful ways.
What kind of people make the best friends? I love the ones who are always there for you. They can be there in times of need and they are wonderful. On the other hand, the ones who make me laugh are fabulous. I also love the ones who are interested and excited about new ideas and activities. And then there are my deep thinker friends and my deep believer friends. It varies from day to day so I guess they are all my best friends.
What old friend can I contact today?
What new person can I get to know better and maybe make a friend?
Do I nurture my current friendships?
My blog readership is growing. That’s good! I have a goal I know I will reach because I am writing in integrity, love and joy. However, I sometimes think of “get popular quick schemes” and that means I’m pushing the river again. Addiction happens in peculiar ways!
No matter how much one loves a project, the joy will disappear when racing to an arbitrary goal becomes more important than the process itself. The whole point of this blog was to create something in freedom and offer it to anyone who wanted it. It is supposed to be fun.
So what does that have to do with counting numbers? I’m not working on commission or earning brownie points to get into heaven. Once again, I am reminding myself to let go and let God. I don’t ever need to struggle.
After all these years, I know myself pretty well and I know that one part of my personality part is accustomed and addicted to struggle. I call her “The Strider”. She says, “Not enough” or “It should be better,” quite often. The Strider can squeeze the fun out of any project if I am not aware of her tricks.
It is easy to slip into old ways if I am not watching. I struggled to get through college. I struggled to build a writing career. I struggled with alcohol and food and in many other things when I was younger. Truth is, I can use any goal as a piece of torture equipment if I’m not careful.
I have learned a lot about addiction and I have learned to watch out for the symptoms. Writing, for me, is particularly addictive, but I need to remember that I undertook this blog as a service to others and as a retirement hobby. In this moment, I release the need to count readers and I simply return to writing for fun. I don’t have to prove anything.
I am not alone. Work addiction of one sort or another happens to wonderful people. It sneaks up on you, even in your retirement years. In fact, so many ministers “fail retirement” that is kind of a joke.
Addictive personalities will push themselves at work, at home, on the road or in the studio. I have a good friend who was practicing yoga at age 65. She was a marvel. She could do so much, so easily, that she constantly amazed us all. We were all proud of her and she never seemed to show off or be ego driven about her expertise. She did, however, really want to stand on her head. We prayed for that in church. When she got so she could do that well, she upped the ante and wanted to stand on her head longer. One day her guru advised her, “Take the ambition out of your practice.”
When she shared that story with me, I thought, “I should take that advice myself.” Of course, I failed exercise class in the 7th grade and it didn’t bother me. I can’t bend over too well and I certainly don’t plan to stand on my head ever – at least in this lifetime. However, I do try to remember and take her teacher’s excellent advice. I do not want to be a slave to ambition. Do you?
We all know people who seem to be in a frenzy about how they are using their time and what they are or are not accomplishing. The idea of living in a frenzy doesn’t appeal to me. Does it appeal to you? Does the idea of taking the ambition out of your pursuits appeal to you? Sounds good to me.
Of course, ambition can be fine as long as we are making decisions that create a healthy, well-balanced life. But if you feel as though you are struggling to get it all done, you may want to make changes. One of the greatest gifts of our Religious Science teaching is knowing we always have a choice.
The question of how hard to work is one that touches all of us at some time or another. In our youth, our ambition may get us where we think we want to go but if we don’t balance it with loving connections to others, we become unhappy and distorted.
In our middle years, ambition takes many forms including working hard to persuade others, to train our children into our beliefs and to forge ahead in the workplace. Again, we get out of balance if we don’t take care of our bodies and our spiritual lives.
Retirement years are the biggest temptation for many of us. We have choices about how to spend our time and can very well end up staying so busy we neglect our spiritual practice and our bodies and minds. Inaction leads to disuse. Too much action leads to fatigue.
Throughout our lives, we face many questions about our goals and exactly how ambitious we should be. Should I persevere? Should I delay gratification until I get my goal? Should I pile up more money for the future? Should I keep exercising until I “feel the burn”? Should I stay in the marriage and find some way to make it work?
When you look at life’s big questions in the framework of whether or not to live for today or tomorrow, it seems as though life really is an art or dance. We each have to find our own balance. We have to make our own decisions. We have to decide how much energy to put into this or that project.
I talk to people all the time who are in a quandary about how to spend their time and money. I try to help them see they are always at choice, one way or another. There is always something we can choose to do and since balance is constant movement, there is always a need for adjustment.
Making new choices is easier than it looks. We can choose whatever is the apparent step in this moment to move us in the direction of our dreams and let God do the rest. We don’t need to torture ourselves with the past or try to control the future. We just move ahead a step at a time and enjoy life. We can feel good about what we are doing because God is good all the time.
When I get out of balance and start rushing, I remind myself to release the ambition and enjoy the process. The future will take care of itself. I have learned to envision a goal and believe in it and then give it to God to do the work. It is not necessary to struggle or worry about making it happen.
As of now, I am back in balance. This day I am simply writing what I know and sending it out with love. I know the perfect right readers will find it.
Am I struggling to make something happen?
Do I need a new balance?
What immediate choice am I able to make?
Do I want to release the ambition?
*Note -This post is from 11/11/11 and it’s raining again today. I have so many more readers I thought I’d rerun it and take a nap. I still believe every word except the intro. My health is fine and I’m happy. ….. I wake before the alarm but I am not in great spirits. The weather has changed and it is cold. I’m worried about someone I love. My health isn’t as good as it was last year. I wish I had more money saved. Since these were my first thoughts of the morning, my first act is to make a gratitude list.
The first thing I learned in my first 12 Step program 38 years ago was to start my day with a gratitude list. It was a great spiritual practice and I still use it. Since I started, my life has truly turned around and I’ve found that a gratitude list works like magic. It will change my mood almost immediately and I have come to rely upon this simple practice.
Now that I’m a student of Science of Mind, I know that writing a gratitude list is a way of moving my mind as well as lifting my heart with the simple stroke of a pen or touch of the keyboard. It cheers me up to think about things I have instead of things I want. I am happier when I remember to focus on things I love instead of things I worry about. It also sends a direct message to the Infinite Mind of God that I claim more of the good stuff in my life. I accept the best.
Expressing gratitude for the hundred dollars I have in the bank is a much more effective way to build prosperity than praying for the thousand dollars I think I need because the way spiritual laws work is that what I focus on is what I get. When I focus on lack, I get more lack. When I focus with love on the money I have, I will get more love and more money. Expressing gratitude is very effective way to work with the spiritual law of attraction.
The Universal Mind we call God functions on spiritual law. You attract what you are. If you are wrapped in a feeling of doom and gloom about money and your inner refrain is “Not enough” that is the message you are sending to the law of attraction. You are sowing scarcity and it is impossible for you to reap anything but more scarcity. While not everyone understands this, spiritual laws work exactly the same for us all. God does not take a vacation, play favorites or make exceptions.
Never mistake it, making a list of the things you love in your life is a direct prayer to claim more of that good. The best part of all when using gratitude lists is that you don’t have to believe in it or even be hopeful, you just need to make that list. This simple, straightforward spiritual practice does not require any deep intellectual conviction or religious faith. Just about everyone can find something he or she is grateful for, no matter how bleak things look.
I challenge you to make a list of 10 or more things every morning for a month and see how your life improves. You will obviously be more cheerful. That is a psychological fix that will help but a consistent practice of gratitude will do more than cheer you up, it will bring more of what you enjoy into your life. Keep your list simple and honest and it will work well.
My ten things for this morning? 1. The money I currently have in the bank. 2. The distance my loved one has already come. 3. The weather here in San Diego (even on the bad days). 4. My grandson visits today. 5. My coffee is good. 6. My beautiful home. 7. My new novel to read. 8. I’m going to a museum today. 9. My Science of Mind teaching. 10. My prayer partner. … Now that I’ve made that list I’m in a new place of heart and mind and could go on to list another 90, for sure.
How many things can you list that you are grateful for in the next fifteen minutes?
Will you try making a list of ten things you are grateful for every day this week?
I’m amazed! I thought we won these battles a long time ago, yet I see on the evening news that state after state is closing in on women’s freedom to choose. A woman should have a choice about what to do with her own body. Is this a time warp and it is 1960?…Otherwise there is no excuse for this nonsense.
For a while, I was a home teacher and one of my students was a shy, lovely young woman who had been told she couldn’t come to school because she was pregnant and might “contaminate” other girls.
She got caught in an unwanted pregnancy and chose to carry the child to full term. No matter what her choices were after the child was born, this was a setback for her and her life plans. It was a long time ago.
We all face setbacks in life and she had the intelligence to manage better than most unwed mothers. If it was her decision to keep her child, she was headed toward poverty, according to the statistics. If she chose to have her child adopted, that was fine although there could be psychological issues. She had some difficult choices to make.
I didn’t know her well and we didn’t talk personally. She was a good student and I tried to teach her well. I remember I thought it was very unfair to kick her out of school but life was very unfair for women. It’s a sure bet that the baby’s father didn’t have to leave.
Abortions were still not legal and I have no idea if she would have wanted one but the point is, she didn’t have a safe choice. Every woman deserves a choice!
That was a long time ago and times have changed. Teens now are usually allowed to finish school and some of the girls are allowed to choose a special school where they also get parenting classes.
I wrote a book called Young Parents once and I learned from the research. If the girls choose to keep their kids, they were statistically doomed to poverty for the remainder of their lives. Of course there are exceptions but most teen parents struggle for years. Almost none have a baby’s father who stays in the picture.
When I taught high school, back in the Sixties, I heard kids say you couldn’t get pregnant the first time. Some of those kids also believed that you had to “really enjoy it” before you could get pregnant.
Those kids were sixteen years old and it was more than fifty years ago. United States Congressmen and State Representatives are a long way from high school. Some of them spouted ideas on the news that were more nonsensical ideas than any I have ever heard from a teenager.
Why are they really against Planned Parenthood? Why are they attempting to whittle away at abortion clinics? I can’t believe they are motivated by religion or they’d be more religious about helping the children who are already here. I think they must believe that their views will bring them more votes from people who fear change.
These fearful voters are the same ones who are routinely trying to keep poor people from voting. They also want more guns and they are anti-immigration and the list goes on. If dinosaurs ran for office, the change-adverse voters would rush to vote for them. Oops! Dinosaurs do run.
Resistance to change concerns me but I really get hot about the shutting down of abortion centers and the persecution of Planned Parenthood organizations because I have a great long term memory.
In my day, girls were routinely blamed for getting pregnant. We were supposed to know better and understand that boys had “needs” that would drive them to distraction. It was up to us girls, when we went on a date, to keep our wits about us and our knees shut.
During this last election, I heard several political figures spouting the same nonsense. I even heard one candidate claiming that women cannot get pregnant if they are “legitimately” raped. That is probably based on my 1960’s students’ belief that you had to enjoy it before it worked to make babies.
If my news station is to be believed, that is a fairly common belief today. I had never heard that particular canard until recently, but apparently it has been around a long time in the right-to-life circles. Do they old guys still chuckle and say, “If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it?”
All of this is just another alarming sign of the age-old prejudice against women. Whether it is a judge who blames the rape victim because she wear the wrong clothes or the neighbor who blames the teenage girl for going out with that wild boy, it always centers on the idea that it is all her fault.
How about your family? If you have children and grandchildren, what are you teaching them? Do you tell the girls to be careful and the boys to have fun? I hope not.
As a retired Religious Science minister, I’m supposed to look on the positive side and I usually do. The positive side here is that it will all change despite some people’s attempts to block progress. And I’m positively glad to know that New Thought arose, to make progress and accepting women as equals was part of that forward movement.
Many feminists deny all the traditional teachings as being anti-female and patriarchal. Their interest is in ancient teachings featuring goddesses and that is an interesting development. I’m glad they are doing it but I’m happy to see there are other attempts to the nonsense in the dominant religions.
Some people see the Bible as an old fashioned book that promotes men into leadership positions of power. They say blaming the woman is a common theme in the Old Testament.
True – there are a lot of stories about women enticing men to sin, probably because men wrote the book. Whether it is Eve, Delilah or Jezabel, these Biblical characters are nasty ladies. Some of the traditional churches seem to hang on to those attitudes, stating that women cannot be priests or ministers and the man is head of the household.
But most of the traditional churches are moving away from those beliefs based on stories written thousands of years ago. Protestant seminaries are crammed with women studying to be ministers. We are living in more enlightened times.
I don’t worry so much about what the churches say anyway. If someone chooses to believe that sex without a desire to conceive is a sin and not use birth control, that is personal business. It becomes impersonal when freedom of choice for every woman is threatened.
I think this is a good time to take a good look at the issue of women’s rights in general and check out your own attitudes about sexual behavior. Is it all the woman’s fault in your world?
Do I want to change any of my personal attitudes?
Do I want to investigate this issue?
Do I want to tell my legislators how I feel?