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Positive thinking: does prayer have power?

This is the fourth post in a series reflecting on the book The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This summary and reflection cover chapter 4. Please leave a comment and share how the concepts from chapter 4 connect to your personal life.

Chapter 4 is a tough one to write about because the whole chapter is all about the power of prayer and I know that not all people believe in God or the practice of prayer. Because I am a Christian, it felt natural reading this chapter and reflecting on Peale’s teaching about prayer.

But the whole time I was reading, I also kept wondering how my non-Christian friends would feel reading it. I recognize that “prayer” may not be the go-to positive thinking strategy for all people.

I do think there are some valuable insights from the chapter that people, regardless of religious beliefs, can lean into. So as you read on, if you don’t believe in traditional religious prayer, what if you replace the word “Prayer” with something else? Some words to consider are: meditation, reflection, affirmations, acknowledgment, ponder, contemplation, profound thought, or soul searching. Try replacing the word “God” with a different higher power. A higher power is something greater than us. For many people, God is a higher power. For others, a higher power isn’t associated with religion or a deity. It may be a connection that one shares with a living thing, mother earth, the universe, a spirit guide, a spirit animal, a deceased loved one, nature, humanity, music, the horizon, or simply an energy.

I think the teachings in chapter 4 are the same when looked at through a religious lens or a non-religious lens.

The Power of ___________ (Insert your word here)

Prayer is essentially passing some peace thoughts through your mind. It is a manifestation of energy. Prayer helps you to tap into forces and utilize strength not otherwise available. It can steer you to take right or wrong action and it has the power to keep your reactions correct and sound.

Difficulties in life such as disabilities, tension, stress, and financial troubles result from a lack of inner harmony. Prayer can restore the harmonious functioning of body and soul. It can help you feel better, work better, do better, sleep better and overall just be better. However, try to avoid saving your prayers for moments of desperation, rather, practice it every day.

Affirmative prayers release powers by which positive results are accomplished.

The Process of ____________ (Insert your word here)

The goal is to experiment with different prayer formulas because there is no right or wrong way to pray. You just need to find a method through which you can stimulate a powerful feeling to flow into your mind. Try to drop a prayer into the subconscious at the moment of its greatest relaxation such as while meditating, in the bathtub, listening to music, or as you are preparing for sleep.

One method to try is called P.P.A. (Prayerize, Picturize and Actualize).

  1. Verbally speak out loud and talk to God or any person, thing, or spiritual guide as if they are sitting in the room with you listening to everything you are saying. Ask questions, say what is on your mind, affirm God’s blessing, share your gratitude, and remember to try to keep your words positive.

  2. Visualize yourself assuming success. People who assume failure tend to have failure. Make a mental image of exactly what you want to happen. Print a picture of it on your mind as happening and hold it firm in your consciousness.

  3. You will be astonished at the strange ways in which picturization comes to pass, especially because you invoked an energy or power upon your picture.

I’ll ________ (insert your word here) for you…

Prayer is essentially sending out vibrations from one person to another. When you send out a prayer for another person you essentially transport yourself to the other person a sense of love, helpfulness, support, and a sympathetic and powerful understanding. You can pray for people right next to you, people across the country, people you know, or complete strangers. One strategy to try is called flash prayers. Essentially you walk down the street and “shoot” prayers at people bombarding them with thoughts of goodwill and love. You might be surprised at the power, or electrical energy, you might feel. You can even pray for people you do not like or who have mistreated you because resentment block healing powers. You may also find that the more you pray for other people, especially those not connected with you, the more the prayer results will come back to you.

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