The Rev. Alvin Petty
By Alvin Petty
Here is a great gift idea for Christmas: Give yourself permission to learn to practice positive imaging.
You already have the gift of positive imaging within you from the Creator. You need to give yourself permission to become aware of its power and practice it to change and improve your life.
Norman Vincent Peale is perhaps my favorite American minister. Through his writings, he has been my pastor and has helped me to successfully keep and live my faith more than any other one person.
His books include “The Power of Positive Imaging.”
In it he says positive imaging is faith or positive thinking carried one step further. You not only believe your desired goal is possible, “but you see or visualize it in your imagination and reinforce it in prayer. Constantly seeing the goal before you releases inner powers that work mightily to help you achieve the goal.”
Peale was a rather shy and inhibited young man with great promise. But his self-confidence was lacking. A college professor challenged him to change himself and live up to his potential. He prayed to God to help him change. He came to realize that an image “vividly conceived and stubbornly held has a reality of its own.” He became one the 20th century’s greatest pastors and most beloved speakers.
Positive imaging has really caught on in the last 50 years. Good basketball shooters are trained to look not at the ball but at the edge of the rim and imagine the ball receiving just the right push and spin from the player’s hand so as to arch and descend just over the edge of the rim and swoosh through the net for a goal.
Positive imaging will not help us perform things impossible in the natural order. But it can help us achieve our best possibilities within the natural order or created universe. God’s power does not come from outside the natural order but it is all the power within the natural order. “God’s imperial rule is within you,” Jesus said. (Luke 17:21).
Pray for wisdom, choose right goals and constantly visualize success in attaining those right goals and work hard to attain them. This is a way you can successfully pray without ceasing and help answer your own prayers (1 Thess. 5:17).
Give yourself permission to use this gift of positive imaging this Christmas and you will give blessing to others and perhaps help them to attain to their best also.
The Rev. Alvin Petty is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Friona.