Prayers and Affirmations
Are you as uncomfortable as I am with the language of asking the universe for what you want in life?
I have thought that for many, “asking the universe” was a way of not offending people who don’t pray to a god and especially the God of the Bible.
I have prayed to the God of the Bible all my life. I entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ when I was 4 years old. My experience since has confirmed my faith in prayer to the God of the Bible.
For me, prayer to the God of the Bible is prayer to the Creator of the universe. If you understand that to be true, then prayer to the universe seems small and ineffective.
Recently, I read What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, PhD. I found his explanation of how and why self talk is so powerful to be helpful.
In his book, he describes five levels of Self-Talk.
The first two levels are basically diagnostic. You should listen to yourself talk to detect speech like:
Level I Self-Talk – The Level of Negative Acceptance (“I Can’t)
- I can’t . . .
- If only I could . . .I wish I could, but I can’t.
- I just don’t have the energy I used to.
- I could never do that.
- Today’s just not my day . . .
Level II Self-Talk – The Level of Recognition, and need to change (I need to . . . I should . . . but I won’t) – last part isn’t spoken but implied or thought.
- I need to . . . (but I won’t)
- I ought to . . . (but I can’t)
- I should . . . (but I won’t)
I believe that studying Dr. Helmstetter’s explanation of these two levels are important for you. Read them and then listen to yourself to hear if you are saying similar statements. If you are saying similar things, then read and study the next two levels which are:
Level III Self-Talk – The Level of Decision to Change (I never . . . I no longer . . .)
In this level you talk like what you need to change has been accomplished. This is the way you reprogram your mind. This kind of language may seem silly; but I believe that Shad Helmstetter has it right. You will sound like this:
- I never smoke. (As you light up a cigarette.)
- I no longer enjoy smoking and I have quit. (Helmstetter encourages you to say that even as you light up in front of someone else.)
Level IV Self-Talk – The Level of the Better You (I am . . .)
- I am organized and in control of my life.
- I am healthy, energetic, enthusiastic, and I’m going for it.
- People listen to me when I am presenting my business.
Dr. Helmstetter approaches this subject from his area of education and expertise, psychology and behavioral research. He makes an excellent case for these four levels of Self-Talk. I have used them and seen results. I was sold on his methods until I started reading what he suggests in Level V.
Level V Self-Talk – The Level of Universal Affirmation (It is . . .)
- I am one with the universe and it is one with me. I am of it, within it, and exist as a shining spark in a firmament of divine goodness.
Helmstetter states that this Level of Self-Talk “is as old as the ancient religions which inspired it.”
I can’t compete with his knowledge of psychology or human behavior; but I suspect that I know more about the God of the Bible. And it is this lack of knowledge or faith that has allowed Helmstetter to misspeak.
I have been thinking on this for a while and I am ready to offer an alternative. A better way. One in harmony with the One who designed and created us. And the universe.
What do I suggest you do about the first four levels of Self-Talk? Use them if your conscience and faith allow. Let God be your guide.
Personally, I will especially listen for forms of Level I and II Self-Talk in what I say to myself.
And I will use Level III and IV in my Self-Talk with one notable difference. I want to use God’s language.
If you hear yourself saying, “I can’t figure out how to set up my WordPress blog.” Then you will say, “Because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,¹ I can set up the WordPress blog.”
If you tell your leaders that you are afraid to call someone on your “chicken list”, then you will tell yourself, “Because perfect love casts out fear,² then I love my sister too much to not share with her what is blessing me.”
I believe that God – the God of the Bible – offers us specific language for every problem faced by human kind.
Here is a recent personal example:
For years I have said, I am not a morning person. I read not too long ago that there is a gene responsible for that. No doubt, that information further established deep within me that I was not a morning person and couldn’t be happy first thing in the morning.
Then one day when I was taking Max outside, first thing after awakening, I recalled the verse in Psalms, This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.³
I still sleep longer than my mom. But when I get up and say that affirmation I am not only reprogramming my mind I am involving my spirit in worship of the God of the universe. I am worshiping and in a way canceling out the night person in me.
I choose His words and ways through what I call Prayers and Affirmations. Yes, we need to reprogram a lot of faulty thinking. But we can also petition Him for changes to be made inside and outside of ourselves.
The God of the Bible, the Creator of the universe, is infinitely more powerful than you or I or the universe.
Why wouldn’t we ask Him for what we need and want?
²I John 4:18
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