Monday, April 4, 2011

Thinking vs. Prayer

For quite a while I had a hard time with the concept of  "positive thinking" versus prayer.  The way it was presented to me it was one or the other, and while I understood the concept of positive thinking I know the power of prayer.

However, I have come to find that there really isn't a fight between the two because each of them is different. How to use "positive thinking" with prayer has slowly been solidifying in my mind for months now, but this weekend it was cemented.

On Saturday I attended a women's conference at a local church and the great Thelma Wells was headlining the event.  Many of you know her from Women of Faith, and if you haven't had a chance to hear her speak you should.  She is called "Mamma T" for a reason.  She has book about depression and if you have been going through a tough, rough, or sick and tired of being sick and tired time then I suggest it to you.

Thelma spoke throughout the conference, but the end was what drew my attention the most.  It was one of those where you know you are being spoken to and I couldn't help but rejoice with relief as I heard her describe me and what has been going on for the past while.

She suggested something that brings both positive thinking and prayer together in a way that is biblical and freeing.  It was exactly what I had been praying about and now God had answered that prayer.

Our mind truly is where the battleground is.  Everything starts with a thought.  Did you know it takes 55 minutes of positive words to override 5 minutes of negative words?  With our minds as the battle ground it is important that we have the tools to fight against that startling reality.

God already gives us the tools,

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
Like I've said before though we can certainly be our own worst enemy and all it can take some days is just the wrong word to go in the right ear and suddenly you're spiraling.  So Thelma described some positive thoughts or affirmation that she uses and how we can use them to combat the five minutes of negative (that if we believe we will start acting as if true).

 Bad Thought >> Positive Affirmation

I'm broke. >> I have all the money I need to do everything I want.

I'm fat. >> I am well and healthy.

I'm weak. >>  I know I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. 
You can certainly add your own, as you know what negative things you tell yourself, but I encourage you, as Thelma did, to listen to the negative thoughts you say about yourself and come up with a positive thought to counter-act it.

I have found it to be true, and therefore need to put it into practice, that what we think we become. If you are constantly negative and down about everything then life will never be any better because you're continually looking through a negative perspective.

And that is where I finally understand that positive thinking isn't against prayer, but the perspective that you put on your outlook and thoughts to see the truth before you.

And to give you the right send off:

Movin' On Up

by: Third Day
Much Love,


Anonymous said...

In the back of my mind I have always wondered about this, but never thought too deeply about it until I read your post.
Sometimes I give myself a pep talk then I think, "Jessica, you should be talking to God instead of yourself." But you bring up a wonderful point, that the two are not against each other, but rather go hand in hand. Whenever I think positively it is easier to see all the blessings God has given me.

Kelli Wait said...

First I want to say what a blessing your comment was to me jettaspghetta. And I'm glad that I could be of some help. I often still come back to this point because being negative is what comes natural to me, but when I respond to God's word and prompting positively the results are always so much better. Thank-you again!