Transformative Mind Action- Prayer

Midweek Faith Lift

June 12, 2024

Transformative Mind Action-Prayer

Rev. Deb Hill-Davis


My Mind is Made Up! Don’t Confuse Me with Facts!

Quote Investigator, 2-13-2013


The earliest known use of this declaration appeared in a 1945 article titled “Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!” by Roy S. Durstine in the periodical “Advertising & Selling.”  Durstine was a prominent specialist in advertising, and his article described a meeting between an ad agency and a client:


    A group from the agency had just finished its presentation of a market survey. The findings were conclusive—clearly showing that the policies being followed by the client could lead only to disappointment and perhaps disaster.


Despite the facts given in the presentation the client had no desire to change the strategy that had been previously selected.


    “I still think we’ll go along as we have been doing.”

    “But how can you say that in the face of this evidence?” protested the agency man.

    The client stared at the presentation, deep in thought. At last he reached for a cigarette and said softly:

    “Don’t confuse me with facts!”


"Someday, after we have mastered the winds and the waves and the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of Love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, humans will have discovered fire." - Teilhard de Chardin


Affirmative Prayer for Today: Infinite Love is alive in me, energizing every cell in my mind, body and spirit to embrace the power of transformation through the process of affirmative prayer.  I am filled with Zeal for the possibilities open to me.  Amen.


As we delve further into the affirmative prayer process, we come right up against our own resistance to change, to transformation, even when we say we really want change, right?  As I was reading this chapter and contemplating the process of transformation, what popped right into my head was this opening quote, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts!”  That seems to be the prevailing mood of race consciousness right now, doesn’t it?  I can get caught up in that along with everyone else, that is for sure.  I know I’m right about that, right???


And yet, and yet….and yet, I also invite the affirmative prayer process to open my mind, body and Spirit to a different experience.  The bottom line is that facts, alternative or otherwise, are not what will bring about transformation.  It is something else.  In the Universe is Calling, Eric Butterworth declares that we need to cultivate a “beginner’s mind” when it comes to prayer, letting go of our pre-conceived notions about what prayer is and what it does for us.  He says on p.33:

           The Greek philosopher Zeno held that the more important aspect of the learning process is to unlearn our errors.  In the study of prayer, we must “unlearn” the many errors that color our thinking about the prayer  process.


If we ask in prayer and it does not happen, we wonder why.  Jesus says “You ask and receive not because you ask amiss. ( James 4:3 ASV)


How is it that we ask amiss and how do we ask aright instead?!?  Well, the first thing to realize is that prayer is about consciousness, and our usual point of entry to consciousness is our own human experience and perception of consciousness.  We also remember that the first movement of affirmative prayer is “I open to a new understanding,” which moves us ever so slightly from our fixed stance of “my mind is made up!”  We often do this because we are in a tight spot and life has become unmanageable and it is clear something has got to change.  It takes a while but eventually we learn that maybe it is us…that has to change!


So we begin to consider consciousness and the simplest definition is awareness or perception.  Awareness or perception of our thoughts, emotions, memories and knowledge and experiences is a start point for understanding consciousness.  What we are aware of is not always complete or not apparent to us.  We have all had that experience for sure!  Just think of the last time you wanted to smack someone or tell them off in no uncertain terms for something truly innocent.  The nature and emotional intensity of your response makes no sense on the face of things because we also have what we call the subconscious mind, which is below our level of conscious awareness.


All the stored memories, feelings, thoughts, experiences, beliefs and knowledge are what make up this ocean of our subconscious mind and are not readily accessible.  All of this conscious and subconscious reality impacts our bodies and bodily processes including our digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system and so on.  We live in our bodies, which register everything and are impacted by everything that we experience including what we think and feel about it.  And none of that is necessarily logical or predictable.  That is why there is therapy!  The therapy process helps us sort all this out and regain the suppressed parts of our “self,” body, mind and spirit and integrate that reality into what is now our present day actual experience.  The more we become aware of and recover, the more present we can actually be to what is now here and less reactive to it.


This is not an easy journey and it doesn’t happen all at once, it happens over a lifetime.  What accelerates and supports this healing, learning and growing, integrating process is to also access the superconscious realm, which is Spirit or what we call Christ-consciousness.  We do this through prayer, affirmative prayer.  It is worth noting that Charles and Myrtle Fillmore developed the essential Unity teachings before the emergence of the fields of psychology and psychiatry.  They were not aware of the nuances and intricacies of human thoughts, feelings and behavior.  In classic Unity, everything is under the umbrella of thought, which then creates our feelings and experiences.  If you change your thoughts, you automatically change your feelings, behaviors and experiences.


We now know that humans are far more complex than that and that our feelings and thoughts, beliefs and behaviors are at times under our control and many times they are not.  It is critical to realize that as humans, we cannot use spiritual practices and principles to by-pass our very human emotions and reactions.  There are some in New Thought/Unity who have wanted to become so “Spiritual” that they never get angry or upset, don’t feel pain, hurt or ever get sick.  This is called spiritual by-pass and is unhealthy. It also results in what is called “spiritual malpractice” whereby one asks, “What is in your consciousness that created this?” thereby assigning blame or insufficiency in your prayer practices.  That is a load of horse hockey and is damaging to individuals as well as to Unity. 


What is true is that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors are deeply embedded in our conscious and subconscious, all interconnected AND it is possible to discern which is which and cultivate that observer self that can just witness how it is that I show up in any given circumstance.  It is the power of prayer in action that allows us to cultivate the self-awareness to empower us to really notice what happened and ask the hard questions.  It empowers us to discern just what questions to ask so that we identify our true need, not necessarily jump to our current want or desire. It creates space for prayer.


At the beginning point, with the beginner mind, prayer is just asking for that opening in the mind and heart that is the first step. And perhaps we are at that place in this present situation where we are just looking for openings, praying to just see what is really there.  Perhaps we are unlearning our rush to take action, or perhaps we are unlearning our hesitance to take action.  Reflecting on what we are unlearning is as powerful and meaningful as what we are learning and is integral to the healing journey that is affirmative prayer.  Our journey is unique to each one of us because we each need to learn and unlearn different things.  Hence, the person who really yanks your chain and gets you going is usually your greatest teacher!  And you are that for someone else.  Thank you, Spirit for this healing journey.


Many years ago, when I was just starting the Personal Growth and Development classes to become a Licensed Unity Teacher, I was working with a situation with a friendship group where I was feeling really stuck.  There was no good way to move and nothing to do that would improve anything. I was feeling frustrated and anxious.  I told a classmate that I had started working with a prayer, “God please do for me what I don’t know how to do for myself.”  Her response was “Whoa! Buckle your seatbelt, girl, are you nuts!”  Well, at times yes, it felt like that, but in the fullness of time, I realized my prayer had created that opening to a new understanding, a new spiritual understanding.


What happened to me was a process of unlearning first, that the antidote to being stuck was not to do something, to act, to move.  The affirmative prayer process for me was to ask, listen and then follow the internal guidance of Spirit   Mostly, I was to just listen, be still and do nothing, just lean into the “stuckness,” fully embracing it.  You don’t learn about “stuckness” by resisting it, after all, you learn by observing yourself in it.  Eventually the friendship group fell apart, which was a good thing as I learned much about the impact of toxic relationships.   It was in that transformative fire of self-love that I learned that sometimes love required me to just walk away.  Transformation is not easy but it is very powerful.


Blessings on the Path
Rev. Deb