Series 1 - Lesson 1 - Annotation 18

Series 1 - Lesson 1 - Annotation 18

What is meant by "holding a thought" as used in connection with prayer?

18. "Holding a thought" as used in prayer means taking into the silence of our being a statement of some spiritual good that we desire to see manifest. The statement "holding a thought" is the same as "holding to the Truth," and we find further explanation of this in How I Used Truth Lesson 8 Annotation 1, "Trusting and Resting":

"By this familiar statement, we mean holding words in mind that declare the reality of God, a person, a situation, or a thing until the meaning of the ideas back of the words becomes clear to our consciousness (thinking and feeling). . . . If we are 'holding to the Truth' with a sense of anxiety concerning the answer to our prayer, then we are not knowing that God is in charge. ... When we 'let go and let God' we are releasing everything erroneous or limited from our thinking and feeling and letting our consciousness be open and receptive to the inspiration of God ideas."

At first the thought or statement is viewed intellectually only. By affirming it over and over (silently or audibly), mentally studying its meaning, and from time to time excluding (denying) all other thoughts from our attention, we give all our interest to this statement in absorbed concentration. Meditating on the ideas embodied in each word of the statement or prayer holds the mind steadily focused and helps us attain a fuller understanding of the context of the statement or prayer — and thus we are "holding the thought" or "holding to the Truth." Meditation and concentration enable one to obtain mental control; this activity is carried on in the brain. But to reach the desired good requires more than this. It is through contemplation in the heart, or the feeling side of the soul, that we come in conscious contact with the intuitional state of our being that leads to illumination. The "spirit" (i.e., the meaning) of the thought in the statement becomes alive to us, and we begin to see with the inner eye.

"For the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (II Cor. 3:6 A.V.).

This coming alive causes every area of our lifethinking, feeling, speaking, acting — to express and manifest the spirit of the statement.

Preceding Entry: How does one come into conscious unity with God?
Following Entry: Give three affirmations that help one to realize his unity with God.