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Affective Prayer


Use the Preamble.


This prayer is closer to the traditional meaning of "contemplation" than any other method we have seen. It is a more passive, less active form of prayer. It consists essentially in just being consciously aware of something before God -- like a cat sitting motionless before a door, waiting for it to open. We might just rest in awareness of God's love for us, of His power, or of His presence. We might just be in His presence aching with desire. We are not going through a reasoning process; we are not speaking words (unless perhaps occasionally a single word or short phrase, like "Lord, help me!" or "Who am I? -- Who are you?").


We are not trying to find any answers or come to any decisions.  We are just in the presence of God, absorbing truth, goodness, love, and projecting our need and desire.


To help us enter into this prayer, we should follow the instructions given for the Preamble, but for affective prayer to be what it should be body position is of particular importance. When we are not expressing ourselves through words, and not occupied in a process of thinking or choosing, it helps very much if the body itself is expressing the attitude or desire which we wish to sustain in our prayer. A couple in love, for example, can remain silent together comfortably for long periods if they are sitting with their arms around each other, whereas without the body contact they might feel a need to "say something." When our prayer is just a conscious being with God, an expressive body position relieves us of the necessity to speak.


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