April 27, 2017
In this 8th installment in the “Walking the Unity Talk” series, we conclude our exploration of Unity Principle #4, which focuses on the creative power found in silent meditation and affirmative prayer. In this week’s installment, we focus on the value of using affirmative prayer as a vehicle for creative thinking, and the means for demonstrating our divine creative power.
Through meditation and affirmative prayer, we enhance our awareness of our fundamental oneness and connection with God-Mind. We also access the infinite supply of divine, creative power available to us. Last week’s article, “The Power of Silence” explored the value of meditation in achieving this end. In this week’s installment, we focus on the value of affirmative prayer as a means of expressing and living that truth.
What Exactly Is Affirmative Prayer?
In The Revealing Word, Unity Co-Founder, Charles Fillmore offers numerous insights into the nature of affirmative prayer. Curiously though, Fillmore offers no specific definition for affirmative prayer. Still, we can discern how Fillmore may have defined it by reviewing how he defined affirmations and prayer.
According to Fillmore, to affirm means “to hold steadfast in mind or to speak aloud a statement of Truth.” Breaking this definition down to its parts, we see that it describes a two-step process by which we affirm a “statement of truth”. In the first step, we affirm a “statement of truth” by holding it steadfastly in mind. In the second step, we affirm it by speaking it aloud. In Unity, we are familiar with this process through our use of affirmations, which Fillmore defines as “positive” statements of truth.
The Power of Yes
As Fillmore further defines it in The Revealing Word, an act of affirmation is a “declaring of Truth” and represents the “yes action” of the creative mind. Every time we affirm anything, we say “yes” to it, even if what we affirm has negative consequences. It is important to note that Fillmore’s basic definition of affirm does not include a qualifier, positive or negative. The basic definition is neutral and simply describes the means by which we affirm, or say yes, to something.
Yet interestingly, Fillmore does qualify the definition of affirmation by saying it is a “positive” statement of truth. Perhaps, this is because when we think in terms of affirmations, we take our time to frame them in positive terms. In their optimal expression, affirmations represent the “sum total of [positive] thought” we hold in consciousness. However, when we are simply affirming on a day in-day out basis, we can, and often do, affirm things that are not necessarily “statements of truth”.
For example, Unity Principle #2, which we have covered earlier in this series says that we are “Spiritual Beings created in the image and likeness of God”. To affirm this truth principle in positive terms, you would say, “I am a Spiritual Being created in the image and likeness of God”. By contrast, in managing the day to day stresses of life, you might find yourself affirming, “I am only human”. Clearly, we are not “only human”. So, to affirm this, is to say “yes” to something that is not a “statement of truth”. If we do say it, then we are saying “yes” to being only human and, by extension, we are saying “no” to the spiritual dimension of our beingness.
I Am What I Affirm I Am
Fillmore maintains that affirmations are the method by which we “claim and appropriate that which is ours in Truth.” So, a statement such as “I am only human” can never be a real affirmation, since it is not a “positive statement of truth”. No matter how many times we may affirm that we are “only human,” we can never make it be the truth of who we are. Still, it is readily obvious from our own experience that we may believe otherwise.
Unity Principle #3 maintains that we are creating our life experience by the thoughts and feelings we allow to prevail in our consciousness. Every thought or feeling that maintains a seemingly permanent place in our consciousness we have said “yes” to. We have affirmed each one to be true, even when they are not.
If I affirm things that are not the truth of me (and I have), I will believe them to be true. In this sense, I am what I affirm I am, or at least, I experience it that way. The same holds true for you and for everyone else on the planet. As Fillmore understands it, the purpose of affirmations is to “establish in consciousness a broad understanding of the divine principles on which all life and existence depend,” so that “we are lifted out of false thinking into the consciousness of Spirit.”
Affirmations Are Prayers
Affirmations are not only a form of prayer, they are intrinsic to the very process of prayer itself. Fillmore’s most basic definition of prayer is a “communion between God and man”. He adds that this “communion” occurs in the “innermost part of man’s being,” which is perhaps best experienced in silent meditation, though not necessarily exclusively. However, when we speak the truth we know with positively-framed affirmations, we truly begin to demonstrate our divinely inspired, creative power.
Traditional prayer prays to God in petition and supplication for God to supply a need or lack. However, affirmative prayer is beyond mere petition and supplication. To pray affirmatively is to enter into “communion with God” and to affirm the truth from the perspective of God. From the higher perspective of God-Mind, there is only infinite supply. There is never a lack of substance or ideas. In this sense, affirmative prayers are merely the necessary step in the act of creation that calls forth divine substance and ideas from an infinite supply.
The Law of Mind Action
Everything that has ever come into being or existence was first held in mind as an idea. If we truly understand the implications of this spiritual principle, then we know that affirmative prayer is simply the action-part in a process of divine manifestation that follows the infallible law of mind action. The easiest way to remember the law of mind action is to think: Mind-Idea-Expression. This three-phase spiritual principle is sometimes called the metaphysical trinity.
Divine Mind is the source of infinite supply for all divine creative substance. It is in eternal communication with humankind in the form of Divine Ideas and inspirations. Our purpose is to use the principles, substance and ideas made available by Divine Mind (God) in order to give Expression to the Truth of their existence. In the process of demonstrating the principle, our needs are filled. Or, in the more traditional sense, our prayers are answered.
Do Not Pray FOR Anything
God needs our prayers to become manifest as much as we do, but for a different reason. From God’s perspective, every answered prayer evidences the existence and the truth of the creative principle. In order to facilitate the process, an infinite supply of Divine Substance and Ideas has been provided to guarantee our ultimate success. In other words, we will master this process before the universe runs out of Divine Substance and Ideas.
Since there is no lack of Divine Substance or Ideas, there is no need for supplication or petition in our prayers. Do not pray for anything. To pray for something implies an interior belief in lack. However, what we perceive we need (or lack) is already available to us, even if not yet manifest in our lives. Affirmative Prayer is the creative means by which we provide for our perceived needs.
Instead of praying for something, still yourself, quiet your mind and focus on the “inexhaustible resources” of Divine Mind. In last week’s blog article, I cited Matthew 6:33, which says: “Seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6: 33). God’s Kingdom is ever present to us in all of its promise. Whenever we become willing to comply with the creative laws of the kingdom, the manifestation of every good thing that supplies our needs is inevitable.
Divine Power Is Creative Power
Unity Principle #4 tells us that “Divine Power,” like God, is ever present, everywhere, available to everyone. It also tells us that by engaging in “meditation and affirmative prayer,” we “increase our awareness of our oneness with God.” Both of these ideas also resonate with Unity Principle #1, which says: “There is only One Power and One Presence active in the Universe and in my life” In this sense, “Divine Power” is not “like God,” it is God. Since there is no other creative power active in the Universe, then Divine Power is also creative power.
We access and avail ourselves of this divine creative power through meditation and express it though our affirmative prayers. In The Revealing Word, Fillmore describes prayer as the “most highly accelerated mind action known” to humankind. In silent meditation, we heighten the awareness of our “connection with God-Mind,” which, we also refer to as the “Indwelling Christ”. Affirmative prayer is the means by which we “synchronize with the Christ Mind” and become “masters in the realm of creative ideas”.