Paul Hunt Cuffee RScP/LSP
For those of you new to this site, new to this blog, or new to Science of Mind, Affirmative Prayer is a five-step process that practitioners of Science of Mind use to reveal wholeness. The Revealing of Wholeness is an activity we undertake to establish and anchor Truth in consciousness, most typically our own. Some refer to the Revealing of Wholeness as Healing, although Ernest Holmes, the founder of our teachings, liked to say, “There is nothing to heal, only more to reveal.” This more that is to be revealed includes Love, Life, Health, Light, Joy, Prosperity, and all the Goodness that God promises. The Truth being revealed, the Truth that establishes an infinitude of this “more-ness” is this: God is all there is.
The first two steps of Affirmative Prayer are Recognition and Unity: “I recognize that God is All there is” followed by “We, you, me, and all of existence, are One with God.” These two steps—Recognition and Unity—are the Revealing of Wholeness I speak of, and so powerful are these two affirmations that some early New Thought Practitioners used only these two steps to manifest Demonstration, or Healing. For the purposes of this essay, the word healing is used to refer to any outcome, or transformation of experience, or condition in accordance with a stated desire.
The third step is Realization. (The five steps of Affirmative Prayer are sequential.) In this step, I prayerfully anchor my consciousness in such a way that I declare and affirm that whatever experience it is that I am desiring to have, remove, or transform in life is fundamentally made manifest because I am One with God, working within a Law of Cause and Effect that firmly establishes the Truth that—as I think, feel and believe—so shall life unfold. “I know that being one with God, which is the perfect and complete totality of All that is, I am of One Mind, One Heart, and One Body with God, individualized and unique, expressing as God as Me, now, and forever.”
The fourth step in Affirmative Prayer is Thanksgiving, which I refer to as Gratitude. “The Truth of God, and the Truth that I am One with God fills me with immeasurable Gratitude. I give thanks, I say yes to life, and I reside in grace.” To me this may be the most important step because this is the step where all of the emotional energy of prayer is concentrated. Emotional energy is the “juice “ of Affirmative Prayer that provides the personal power that makes manifest in my consciousness what I am praying about. Gratitude is the place in the prayer where I can generate profound feelings of joy, grace, awe, and reverence—deeply felt and expressed. Principally, Gratitude for Life, Love, and the Knowing that God is All there is and that I am One with God. To me, Gratitude is the Payoff, much more so than the Manifestation, or Demonstration, begotten by the prayer itself.
The fifth step in Affirmative Prayer is Release, meaning that once I have prayed through to the point where I am full with gratitude for what I know has, in that moment, been established and made manifest, I let go of any mental attachment like hope for demonstration, or any similar thought that things might work out. I release my prayer with a strong knowing that it is done unto life as I have set forth and as I believe, that “Spirit is moving upon the waters….” This fifth step is closed with the phrase, “And So It Is”. Some like to say “Amen”.
Thus, when one is faced with the question, “Will you be made whole?”—which is itself a trick question, given that we are all already whole, perfect, and complete expressions of Divinity, Spirit made manifest in human form, born to show God a good time—we turn inward, toward the guiding light and transformative power of Affirmative Prayer. It is true that Affirmative Prayer is a magnificent tool for transforming conditions and circumstances from what is real, though undesired, into what is True, which is everlasting goodness, but all of that is just icing on the cake of our own undoing. The profound and lasting impact of Affirmative Prayer is found in the awakening of consciousness that is concurrent with the demonstration, or “healing” that results from Affirmative Prayer. Yes, the condition is changed—prosperity, health, right relationship, etc., is brought into being, established, and steadfastly anchored in spiritual principle—but the big deal is really the awakening of awareness to the power and the presence of Spirit that resides within each of us, even as we reside within Spirit. Again with the Unity thing! And what is more exciting than the mere transformation of conditions (the desired healing) is that our awareness of the presence of Spirit grows at such a magnitude that we begin to express Spirit deliberately and directly. We become more conscious in every moment of knowing just how One we all really are, joined by the golden thread of Spirit that weaves us all together into a glorious tapestry of Love and Light and creative Expression. This awareness is something we at ABQ CSL call The Pathway, a title coined by our beloved Senior Minister and spiritual leader, Reverend Amani Malaika.
Simply put, The Pathway is a three-fold demonstration of Spirit expressing itself in co-creation with each of us: Spirit In Me, Spirit As Me, and Spirit Through Me.
Spirit In Me
The notion behind Spirit In Me is inspiration:
Connecting to our divine wisdom and our divine nature creates the life we want, leading to the establishment of the world we want to be living in. —Rev. Amani Malaika
Being inspired to be Love in Action, and being inspired to grow my spiritual practice and heed the inner wisdom residing with Spirit in Me is exactly what I experience on this step of The Pathway. Through the experience of Sunday celebration, Wednesday guided meditations, and frequent spiritual nourishing, I am fed and inspired. When I open myself to Spirit In Me, I deeply feel myself, I feel all that is happening in my body, and I feel all that is happening in my being. I allow the wisdom of my felt experience to teach me, to give me clues to my own nature, to inspire me, and to awaken within me a sense and a knowing of my own uniqueness and authenticity. Thus I am empowered to inspire others, connecting across the golden threads of Love that weave us all together, with Spirit In Me singing in harmony with Spirit in Thee, across the expanse of eternity. And wouldn’t you know it—connecting to our divine wisdom and our divine nature does create the life we want to be living, leading to the world we want to be living in. Amen and Hallelujah !
You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him: in the heart of a true lover. —Shams of Tabriz, Islam
That “heart of a true lover” is your heart and it is my heart, and there, in that heart, is where Spirit in Me and Spirit in Thee resides.
Spirit As Me
Spirit As Me is all about one’s spiritual practice:
When we engage in spiritual practice, deliberately cultivating spiritual understanding, we are becoming more spiritually mature. We are increasing our spiritual awareness, aka; becoming more conscious. When we increase this awareness, we then become more and more aware of Love’s impulse in us. That Love directs our thought and anchors our belief, which sets the Law of Creation in motion. This is the process of manifestation. It is also Love in Action. —Rev. Amani Malaika
So then, by deepening my own spiritual practice, anchoring my own belief in Unity, Love, Goodness, and the inexhaustible grace and glory that is God, and by embodying a consciousness of Gratitude, Spirit As Me has free reign to create more and better and bigger experiences of Love and Joy and Delight. This is how I show God a good time. It is practice, practice, and more practice that awakens us to our divine self, realizing more fully God on Earth. Through consistent meditation, studying sacred (and sometimes profane) texts, participating in classes here at ABQ CSL or online, and prayer, I grow and deepen my awareness of Spirit As Me, reaching ever more strongly, like a flower turned to the sun, inward toward the Light and Love in me that is God.
Spirit Through Me
I like to say that Spirit Through Me is a way to describe “divine right action”. I know that my Divine Presence is how Spirit is revealed on Earth. I know this is true for me, and I know it is true for you who are reading this, and for every human being who has ever existed throughout all time, including right now. Full stop. I also know that Divine Right Action is the perfect demonstration of God on Earth, operating through human beings.
Only you—connected to your divinity, heeding the still, small voice within you—can know what your divine right action is. When we bring our whole self to life we allow our whole self to be received and used in whatever way that life needs, much like visual art is perceived by the viewer. We give ourselves to Life and have no control on how we are received. And, we uniquely receive the gifts of life and Spirit based on what we need, giving us the things—be they ideas or prayers or intuitive inspirations—that resonate for us. We have choice about the beliefs and thoughts and ideas we take on, opening to that still, small voice in ways unique to our own understanding. Let us each receive nourishing, uplifting expansion and the raising of consciousness, and let us each receive glorious food for our Spirits. —Rev. Amani Malaika
The bottom line is this: following Love’s impulse from within moves us into our unique divine expression. That is the definition of Spirit Through Me.
And so it is. Affirmative Prayer illuminating The Pathway—Recognition, Unity, Realization, Thanksgiving, and Release—leading the Spiritual Celebrant step-by-step on The Pathway of Spirit In Me, Spirt As Me, and Spirit Through Me, demonstrating Love in Action and creating a world that works for everyone.
Pause with me here, for just a moment. Reflect on the perfection with which all of life reveals itself. The flower does not think to bud, nor does the sun think to burn. Rain comes of its own accord, not beckoned by urgency. The wind blows, and we breathe. Love comes freely from our hearts, shared amongst each other, and life sings with all the tongues and in all the voices ever known. The unspeakable name of God is the name that is given to everything that has ever been, is now being, or will yet be. Now contemplate with me, if you will, the nature of eternity: that it is endless, infinite, and forever unfolding. One cannot step into the river in the same place twice, nor can one step away from life. God is All there is, And I am One with that. So are you, and this cannot ever be undone.