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Receptive Prayer

We cannot give without receiving. We are barren without grace. There is no way to be a channel of God's life without drinking it in, without allowing God to touch and fill us, without opening our hearts to receive the perfect, healing love of the Holy Spirit. That is what living receptively is all about.

To be truly alive is to be able to respond. Everything that lives both receives and gives, breathes in and breathes out. To cease to breathe in, to respond, is to cease to live. We are alive by the breath of God. It is that life which energizes us, and it is the only gift we can give away. It is given for us, and it is given for us to give again. It is the Creator's way.

pages 137 and 11 (Introduction) in:
Faith, the Yes of the Heart by Grace Adolphsen Brame

Abide in me and I in you .... for without me, you can do nothing.
John 15:4a, 5b

A Definition of Receptive Prayer
Receptive Prayer is the forgotten side of prayer. We know how to ask, but not to receive. We look for answers, and do not realize that sometimes they come when we learn to simply enjoy God's presence, accept God's peace, be open to God's new ideas, and breathe in God's healing. There are many ways to do this. The author of RECEPTIVE PRAYER: Prayer Which Nourishes, Heals, and Empowers has listed 21 ways in her book, and she tells her readers how to do them. Those ways include dwelling on one line in a Bible passage that speaks uniquely to us, breathing in the love and life of God, dwelling on a repeated affirmation until it becomes a natural attitude, visualizing new relationships, and seeing Christ's hand upon our heads: loving us, healing hearts and bodies, and claiming us, telling us that we belong.

Most people pray receptively without realizing it. It often is unconscious. One looks at beauty, is enthralled by a sunset, visualizes a dream, pauses when reading the Bible to let the words "sink in." But conscious, intentional Receptive Prayer which is habitually repeated, is probably the most important means of creativity, art, inspiration, and invention. It is the way of prayer which allows us to learn how others feel and to understand them. It allows us to be embraced and fed by God's love. It even changes body responses and is a primary factor in healing.

We can talk ourselves into almost anything by dwelling on it. The self-talk in most people's heads, the things we silently say to ourselves daily, is often painful and condemnatory and deeply affects both our reactions and responses. Instead of establishing habits and attitudes which destroy, we can build a discipline that positively nourishes, guides, heals, empowers, and permeates our lives. It is, in short, simply trusting the One to whom we pray, then giving to others the gifts we have been guided to give.





"To those who received him, who believed on his name, he gave power to become the children of God."
John 1:12

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