The Healing and Transformative Energy of Prayer
There are several different types of prayer and all of them useful and powerful in their own way. In Catherine Ponders beautiful book “The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity”, she explains there are at least 4 ways to pray.
The first is called general prayer and is the one most people think of as the traditional, old-fashioned, down on your knees type of prayer. It is the asking for something and expecting to receive it type of prayer that will never go out of style. The key to this type of prayer is in the expectation of it being answered. Many people say prayers without really thinking about what they are saying, or believing they will actually experience the results they wish for.
Ponder describes the second type of prayer as the prayer of denial. In this case denial does not mean to withhold but instead means to dissolve or to be free of something. It is a refusal to accept anything in your life that is not satisfying or good. It is saying no to the things you are “putting up with” or “tolerating”. The best way to do this type of prayer is to follow saying “No, I will not accept this (situation, person, or experience) any longer” with, “And, yes, I will accept what I rightly deserve instead, or something better.”
The third type of prayer discussed in her book is used in conjunction with denial prayer and this is the one we hear about most often today as scientific or new age prayer and it is called affirmative prayer. I teach my clients to always start affirmative prayer with “I am so happy and grateful now that I…” Affirmative prayer states the desire as if it is already true in a gesture of faith that what you desire is already yours. It is related to the Universal Law of Command which states that “through an attitude of authority, you can take control of the good which you wish to experience in life.”
The final type of prayer described in Ponders book is the prayer of meditation and silence. In meditation you make the mind receptive to Divine downloads of information such as ideas to move you into right action or may you just receive a sense of peace and that all is well, there is nothing you need to do right now. In my opinion, this type of prayer is the best way to solve problems. If you just meditate on the solution rather than focus your energy on the problem, then the answers you seek will come. Daily meditation is like your “inner short cut” to success in any area of your life.
There is a lot of energy in any earnest prayer, regardless of the type. Greg Braden, author of “The Lost Mode of Prayer” talks about the importance of feeling into your prayers. It’s the feeling of what you desire, such as peace, love or happiness that evokes an energy that is greater than and quiets down your fears and anxieties and is very healing on so many different levels. Also, when two or more people gather together in earnest prayer, the energy increases dramatically! Today, we are lucky enough to live during a time when we can measure the power of prayer and positive intention through scientific study. In the early 1980’s the effects of prayer were documented through studies of prayer and meditation in Israel, in addition to urban areas of crime in the U.S., the Philippines and India. In the presence of focused and intentional practices of thought, feeling and emotion, measurable decreases in crime and terrorism were observed and recorded.
As modern science continues to validate a relationship between prayer via our inner thoughts, feelings and dreams with the outer world that surrounds us, we have proven that a powerful bridge that links the world of our prayers with that of our experience exists. In light of such research, imagine the potential of applying such subtle principles of affirmative, meditative and expectant prayer to an outcome of collective healing, global peace and graceful transition through the challenges that we’ve been experiencing recently around the world?
Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude. ~Walter A. Mueller
Debra Betterly, PhD is an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach and Metaphysician whose passion is to help women expand their health, joy and purpose in midlife and beyond.
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