Prayer is an Inside Job
by Marylyn Kirk, RScP
Many people pray when they are in need, which is a good thing. Most spiritual texts say to pray at such times. But praying only (or mostly) when you are worried, fearful, sad, or stressed is not what will get you to a joy-filled life. That approach may lead to seeing yourself as worried, fearful, sad, or stressed, which then leads to more worry, fear, sadness, and stress.
Instead of waiting for the “need” for prayer, why not switch that around and pray affirmatively for what you desire. Instead of worry, affirm tranquility; instead of fear, affirm calmness and confidence; instead of sadness, affirm hopefulness and happiness; instead of stress, take a deep breath and center yourself, then affirm relaxation and peacefulness.
Prayers of affirmation are one way to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . . . excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). The best prayer of affirmation is one that counters the untruths you have spoken to yourself and have come to believe about yourself. Remember, affirmative prayer is simply a clearing away process to replace the negative with the positive.
Affirmative prayer is a powerful process – not to cajole, beseech, or impress the God of our understanding, but to change our perception of a situation and any false beliefs, or limiting ideas we may hold about it or ourselves. Prayer changes things because it changes us! That’s why prayer is an “inside job.”
Ernest Holmes suggested this simple affirmative prayer: “I am One with the infinite rhythm of Life which flows through me in love, in harmony and in peace. There is no fear, no doubt, and no uncertainty in my mind. I am letting that Life which is perfect flow through me. It is my Life now. There is One Life, that Life is God (good), that Life is perfect, that Life is my life now.” And so it is!