Life of Prayer II - Lesson 3: Concentration

Reading:

  1. Effectual Prayer: Chapter 4 — Concentration

INTRODUCTION

  1. Relaxation is on the physical level.
  2. Concentration is a mental process.
  3. Concentration is fixing the attention of the mind on one thing.

1. REASON FOR CONCENTRATION

  1. We concentrate on spiritual thoughts in order to build them strong within.
  2. Concentration keeps us poised and centered in our prayer and meditation.
  3. In concentration we keep our mind on one God idea.

2. HOW TO CONCENTRATE

  1. Few people still their mind enough to hear Christ knocking.
  2. Concentration on God for a few minutes vs spending hours thinking and living the exact opposite.
  3. What to do when a doubt thought comes? Don't give it room. Push it aside gently, but firmly.
  4. What to do when a fear thought comes? Don't give it room. Push it aside gently, but firmly.
  5. If we start Godward in our time of meditation and then let other thoughts come trooping in, we have wasted energy and unrecallable time which if we had used in concentrated prayer would have given us peace and power and strength.
  6. Don't waste your meditation time. Concentrate.

3. HOW LONG SHOULD WE CONCENTRATE IN PRAYER?

  1. Remember Jacob who would not let the angel go until it had blessed him (Gen. 32:22-31).
  2. How long should an affirmation be repeated? Until the good you seek has become manifest.
  3. When we take a thought for the purpose of concentrating upon it, we repeat it over and over until it is fixed in our mind. We give it our undivided attention.
  4. Only patient practice and earnest desire will give power to concentration.
  5. There will come a time, after we have truly learned to concentrate without the intellect interfering, when we can go directly to the Source.
  6. Until then, we shall practice concentration whenever we pray.
  7. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." (Isa. 26:3)

4. PRACTICE

  1. Concentrate on the word "light."
  2. See this light in your mind's eye. Take the light down through your body. See it filling the twelve power centers described in Fillmore's Twelve Powers of Man.
  3. Do not let the mind waver. Concentrate on "light."
  4. If the mind does waver, gently bring it back to the light.

In the above four steps, Mary Rexroth has us concentrate on bringing light to various parts of the body. Here is an audio recording of May Rowland doing essentially the same thing. It is the second of a two-step process that begins with complete relaxation of the body (see previous lesson on relaxation), followed by these concentrated affirmations to realize the Christ spirit within. This recording is from Come Ye Apart Awhile. You can follow the written tract or the audio presentation.

5. CONCLUSION

As a closing prayer use the text in italics on page 60 in Effectual Prayer.