Oneness has only one spiritual practice that is unique to it and other forms of New Thought prayers traditionally taught in the Science of Mind and Spirit traditions; Affirmative Prayer.
The deliberate act of cultivating faith in a desired awareness, understanding or outcome that inspires Creative Action in the Law and the self.
Affirmative prayer is unique because it’s not about making a request of anyone but ourselves. While other traditional prayers revolve around asking an external God to respond to us, Oneness is always a conscious awareness of the God within us. So, while we might be used to traditional prayers that ask for something, in affirmative prayer we focus instead on bringing ourselves into a faithful acceptance of our own spiritual principles as they apply to our lives.
Because we believe that the Creative Process is already always working, what we seek to do with Affirmative Prayer is plant the Creative Thoughts, like seeds, into the Creative Law, like soil. We know that when we plant a seed that the soil knows just what to do with it. The same is true of Spiritual Law. When we faithfully place our faith into the Law, it knows just what to do with our prayer.
Because this practice is about convincing ourselves of our own knowing and inspiring ourselves to embody that awareness, what we’re doing is cultivating enough Creative Thought to inspire ourselves to fully accept the idea and move into creative action. When we move into action, the Law moves with us. An affirmative Prayer is about building our faith and acceptance of the thing we are praying for and the natural ability for God to create it in our lives.
This practice is unique because it reiterates so much of our teaching in one specific technique. From the application of several of our Core Principles to the Creative Process, Affirmative Prayer is a genuine affirmation of Oneness itself and brings us into regular reiterative or religious practice of Oneness.
When we pray, the entire practice is about reaching a greater degree of acceptance for ourselves. We’re not trying to convince anyone or anything else. Once we cultivate enough faith to truly embrace our prayer, it is automatically operated on by the Spiritual Law.
The true power of prayer is not in the words, but in the feeling we embody. Our feelings are a much more robust and complex expression of our desires. So, when we pray, we must embody the prayer. Regardless of the words we choose, we always want to embody the desired feeling of the prayer as if it were already answered. This is what truly inspires us and the Law and it’s the thing we take forward with us when the prayer is complete, relinquishing the need to overthink it and relying on our faith in the feeling we’ve cultivated.
There are some key components to keep in mind when we use Affirmative Prayer:
- We speak as if it is already so; in the present tense. The prayer is already answered now, not sometime in the future.
- The potency of the prayer is in our feeling. We must embody the feeling that the fully answered prayer inspires within us.
- Focus on the desired outcome. There’s no need to engage with what we don’t want.
- We’re engaging a creative process, so we want to focus on what we wish to create.
- We state the “What” and the “Why”, but we leave the “How” to the Law.
- We can only pray for our own knowing. We aren’t praying to change other people and circumstances; we’re praying to increase our own faith
The 5 Step Affirmative Prayer is our primary and most common form of prayer. The following outline below shows the elements of this form of prayer:
Because Affirmative Prayer is an active and deliberate practice, we always want to have a clear purpose in mind before we begin. Why are we praying? What are we praying to know? What is the desire we’re seeking to promote with our prayer?
Sometimes this is clear and easy, and sometimes we need to spend some time figuring out what we want and how that desire aligns with our principles. It can be good to get ourselves oriented before we head into prayer. Sometimes we may not know what to pray for, and so knowing what to pray for becomes our prayer.
When we pray with others, it can be important to make sure everyone is clearly prepared to enter into prayer. As a community practice, because we know we can only pray in our own minds, we invite others to join us and then enter into our own prayer. The phrase, “Please join me in this affirmative prayer.” is a simple way to signal the beginning of a prayer in our community. This phrase has no special purpose beyond uniting us with others as we enter into prayer.
If we’re praying alone, this phrase is unnecessary, though we still want to take a moment to center ourselves before we begin.
The very first thing we do in prayer is connect with our awareness of Oneness. This is where we recognize all the brilliant things we know God to be. We can call upon anything that relates to the purpose of our prayer as the focus of what we know God to be. We turn our thoughts to Oneness as God and feel Its presence.
Once we have recognized God, we have to acknowledge our unity with It. We can focus on embodying the things we’ve already stated to know God to be, since we are an expression of God, or we can focus on our union with the Divine Itself. Either way, we take the time to feel our connection to the One and sense Its presence within us, as us and through us.
This is the portion of our prayer where we speak our Word. This is where we plant the seed we want to grow. When we speak this part of our prayer, we focus on the desired outcome as if it is already done. We want to truly embody our faith in the idea that what we desire is already done and speak of it in that way, focusing on the feeling we imagine it bringing us as an answered prayer.
When we make our deceleration, we want to inspire ourselves to accept the prayer completely and with absolute faith. This is where we cultivate our faith and really build up that faithful feeling in the idea that the prayer itself is already answered. This is where our purpose is fully addressed. This is the Creative Thought that inspires us, and the Law, into Creative Action!
It’s not enough to say the words of prayer. We must embody a complete acceptance of our prayer and feel it run through our entire being. Our acceptance is about not only knowing it but being ready to receive all the good that may come with our prayer as if it has already arrived.
Gratitude is a powerful way to engage our acceptance because we can only be grateful for that which we have accepted. This is where we say yes to our own prayer and fall over the edge of wanting into the faithful waters of knowing it is done.
Because we believe that the Spiritual Law takes our prayers and makes them so, we use the final step of prayer to surrender the outcome of the prayer to the Spiritual Law, which is God in action, to do what is Its to do while affirming that we are committed and already engaged in doing what is ours to do.
For our own part, our only real job is to act as if the prayer is already answered and let our actions be lead by the feeling of faith we have cultivated in our prayer. Everything else is the work of the Law. So, we stay out of the business of “how” the prayer is answered and leave that to God.
This doesn’t mean we expect God to do it all for us. It means that as we move from inspiration into action. We know God meets us in every moment and brings whatever is beyond our control into our lives in the highest possible way so that we are co-creating the answered prayer with God. We do what is ours to do by walking and acting in faith and God cares for the rest.
Like our opening, we want to close our prayer with a clear and definitive statement that allows us to know that the prayer is over, that it is already done and that we can move forward in faith.
Like New Thought prayers traditionally taught in the Science of Mind and Spirit traditions, the most commonly used community closing statement is, “And So It Is.” however we can use anything that calls our prayer to a close. Some choose to use the traditional Amen and others use a myriad of traditional and non-traditional prayer closings.