Prayer as Affirmation
In the Christian tradition, prayer is understood as dialogue with God, that is, as loving conversation with God who has invited us into an embrace. Prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying."
Contemplation, "the hearing the Word of God", takes place in terms of silent prayer that expresses love for God. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word.
The role of the Holy Spirit in contemplative prayer has been emphasized by Christian spiritual writers for centuries. In the 12th century Saint Bernard of Clairvaux compared the Holy Spirit to a kiss by the Eternal Father which allows the practitioner of contemplative prayer to experience union with God. In the 14th century Richard Rolle viewed contemplation as the path that leads the soul to union with God in love, and considered the Holy Spirit as the center of contemplation.
From a theological perspective, God' grace is considered a principle, or cause, of contemplation, with its benefits delivered through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A formula for prayer as affirmation:
1. Focusing in the heart (not the mind, which just thinks but doesn't know) to clarify in consciousness some apparent need or lack in our life.
2. Opening a channel to higher/inner/spiritual levels by using the imagination.
3. Invoking a response to one's felt need or lack.
4. Giving thanks for receiving what is needed.
The secret of prayer:
1. Thought is creative. What we believe and affirm, we manifest. So if our belief affirms a lack we manifest this.
2. We already have everything within. There is no lack in reality, just in our consciousness.
3. Therefore, we must affirm that we already have what we want in order to experience a realization of this.
4. It is helpful to focus on the essence, energy or quality we want rather than the form and trust that the appropriate form will manifest.
Example, using ‘The Lords Prayer’ (as an affirmation):
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
(Who) Give(s) us this day our daily bread, and forgive(s) us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead(s) us not into temptation,
but deliver(s) us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.