About Dr. Joseph Murphy

Dr. Joseph Murphy
Dr. Joseph Murphy

Origins

Joseph Murphy was born on May 20, 1898, in a small town in the County of Cork, Ireland. His father, Denis Murphy, was a deacon and professor at the National School of Ireland, a Jesuit facility. His mother, Ellen, ne Connelly, was a housewife, who later gave birth to another son, John, and a daughter, Catherine.

Joseph was brought up in a strict Catholic household. His father was quite devout and, indeed, was one of the few lay professors who taught Jesuit seminarians. He had a broad knowledge of many subjects and developed in his son the desire to study and learn.

Ireland at that time was suffering from one of its many economic depressions, and many families were starving. Although Denis Murphy was steadily employed, his income was barely enough to sustain the family.

Young Joseph was enrolled in the National School and was a brilliant student. He was encouraged to study for the priesthood and was accepted as a Jesuit seminarian. However, by the time he reached his late teen years, he began to question the Catholic orthodoxy of the Jesuits, and he withdrew from the seminary. Since his goal was to explore new ideas and gain new experiences-a goal he could not pursue in Catholic-dominated Ireland-he left his family to go to America.


First Years in the United States

He arrived at the Ellis Island Immigration Center with only $5 in his pocket. His first project was to find a place to live. He was fortunate to locate a rooming house where he shared a room with a pharmacist who worked in local drugstore.

Joseph’s knowledge of English was minimal, as Gaelic was spoken both in his home and at school, so like most Irish immigrants, Joseph worked as a day laborer, earning enough to keep fed and housed.

He and his roommate became good friends, and when a job opened up at the drugstore where his friend worked, he was hired to be an assistant to the pharmacist. He immediately enrolled in a school to study pharmacy. With his keen mind and desire to learn, it didn’t take long before Joseph passed the qualification exams and became a full-fledged pharmacist. He now made enough money to rent his own apartment. After a few years, he purchased the drugstore, and for the next few years ran a successful business.

When the United States entered World War II, Joseph enlisted in the Army and was assigned to work as a pharmacist in the medical unit of the 88th Infantry Division. At that time, he renewed his interest in religion and began to read extensively about various spiritual beliefs. After his discharge from the Army, he chose not to return to his career in pharmacy. He traveled extensively, taking courses in several universities both in the United States and abroad.

From his studies, Joseph became enraptured by the various Asian religions and went to India to learn about them in depth. He studied all of the major faiths from the time of their beginning. He extended these studies to the great philosophers from ancient times until the present.

Although he studied with some of the most intelligent and far-sighted professors, the one person who most influenced Joseph was Dr. Thomas Troward, who was a judge as well as a philosopher, doctor, and professor. Judge Troward became Joseph’s mentor. From him he not only learned philosophy, theology, and law, but also was introduced to mysticism and particularly, the Masonic order. He became an active member of this order, and over the years rose in the Masonic ranks to the 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite.


 Beginning Career as a Minister

Upon his return to the United States, Joseph chose to become a minister and bring his broad knowledge to the public. As his concept of Christianity was not traditional and indeed ran counter to most of the Christian denominations, he founded his own church in Los Angeles. He attracted a small number of congregants, but it did not take long for his message of optimism and hope rather than the “sin-and-damnation” sermons of so many ministers to attract many men and women to his church.

Dr. Joseph Murphy was a proponent of the New Thought movement. This movement was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by many philosophers and deep thinkers who studied this phenomenon and preached, wrote, and practiced a new way of looking at life. By combining a metaphysical, spiritual, and pragmatic approach to the way we think and live, they uncovered the secret of attaining what we truly desire.

The proponents of the New Thought movement preached a new idea of life that brings out new methods and more perfected results, and we have the power to use it to enrich our lives. We can do all these things only as we have found the law and worked out the understanding of the law, which God seemed to have written in riddles in the past.

Of course, Dr. Murphy wasn’t the only minister to preach this positive message. Several churches, whose ministers and congregants were influenced by the New Thought movement, were founded and developed in the decades following World War II. The Church of Religious Science, Unity Church, and similar places of worship preach philosophies similar to this. Dr. Murphy named his organization The Church of Divine Science. He often shared platforms, conducted joint programs with his similar-thinking colleagues, and trained other men and women to join their ministry.

Over the years, other churches joined with him in developing an organization called the Federation of Divine Science, which acts an umbrella for all Divine Science churches. Each of the Divine Science church leaders continues to push for more education, and Dr. Murphy was one of the leaders who supported the creation of the Divine Science School in St. Louis, Missouri, to train new ministers and provide ongoing educational education for both ministers and congregants.

The annual meeting of the Divine Science ministers was a must to attend, and Dr. Murphy was a featured speaker at them. He encouraged the participants to study and continue to learn, particularly about the importance of the subconscious mind.


Church of Divine Science and Radio Program

Over the next few years, Murphy’s local Church of Divine Science grew so large that his building was too small to hold them. He rented The Wilshire Ebell Theater, a former movie theater. His services were so well attended that even this venue could not always accommodate all who wished to attend. Classes conducted by Dr. Murphy and his staff supplemented his Sunday services that were attended by 1,300 to 1,500 people. These were supplemented by seminars and lectures that were held most days and evenings. The church remained at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles until 1976, when it moved to a new location in Laguna Hills, California, near a retirement community.

To reach the vast numbers of people who wanted to hear his message, Dr. Murphy created a weekly radio talk show, which eventually reached an audience of over a million listeners.

Many of his followers wanted more than just summaries and suggested that he tape his lectures and radio programs. He was at first reluctant to do so, but agreed to experiment. His radio programs were recorded on extra-large 78-rpm discs, a common practice at that time. He had six cassettes made from one of these discs and placed them on the information table in the lobby of the Wilshire Ebell Theater.

They sold out the first hour. This started a new venture. His tapes of his lectures explaining biblical texts, and providing meditations and prayers for his listeners were not only sold in his church, but in other churches, bookstores, and via the mail.

As the church grew, Dr. Murphy added a staff of professional and administrative personnel to assist him in the many programs in which he was involved and in researching and preparing his first books. One of the most effective members of his staff was his administrative secretary, Dr. Jean Wright. The working relationship developed into a romance, and they were marrieda lifelong partnership that enriched both of their lives.

At this time (the 1950s), there were very few major publishers of spiritually inspired material. The Murphys located some small publishers in the Los Angeles area, and with them produced a series of small books (often 30 to 50 pages printed in pamphlet form) that were sold, mostly in churches, from $1.50 to $3.00 per book. When the orders for these books increased to the point where they required second and third printings, major publishers recognized that there was a market for such books and added them to their catalogs.


Beginning Fame

Dr. Murphy became well known outside of the Los Angeles area as a result of his books, tapes, and radio broadcasts and was invited to lecture all over the country. He did not limit his lectures to religious matters, but spoke on the historical values of life, the art of wholesome living, and on the teachings of great philosophersboth from the Eastern and Western cultures.

As Dr. Murphy never learned to drive, he had to arrange for somebody to drive him to the various places where he was invited to lecture and other places in his very busy schedule. One of Jeans functions as his administrative secretary and later as his wife was to plan his assignments, arrange for trains or flights, airport pickups, hotel accommodations, and all the other details of the trips.

The Murphys traveled frequently to many countries around the world. One of his favorite working vacations was to hold seminars on cruise ships. These trips were for a week or more and would take him to many countries around the world.

One of Dr. Murphys most rewarding activities was speaking to the inmates at many prisons. Many ex-convicts wrote him over the years, telling him how his words had truly turned their lives around and inspired them to live spiritual and meaningful lives.

He toured the United States and many countries in Europe and Asia. In his lectures, he emphasized the importance of understanding the power of the subconscious mind and the life principles based on belief in the one God, the ‘I AM.’

Dr. Murphy’s pamphlet-sized books were so popular that he began to expand them into more detailed and longer works. His wife gave us some insight into his manner and method of writing. She reported that he wrote his manuscripts on a tablet and pressed so hard on his pencil or pen that you could read the page by the imprint on the next page. He seemed to be in a trance while writing. His writing style was to remain in his office for four to six hours without disturbance until he stopped and said that was enough for the day. Each day was the same. He never went back into the office again until the next morning to finish what he’d started. He took no food or drink while he was working, He was just alone with his thoughts and his huge library of books, to which he referred from time to time. His wife sheltered him from visitors and calls and kept things moving for church business and other activities.

Dr. Murphy was always looking for a simple way to discuss the issues and to elaborate points that would explain in detail how it affects the individual. He chose some of his lectures to present on cassettes, records, or CDs, as the technologies developed and new methods entered the audio field.

His entire work of CDs and cassettes are tools that can be used for most problems that individuals encounter in life, and have been time-tested to accomplish the goals as intended. His basic theme is that the solution to problems lies within oneself. Outside elements cannot change one’s thinking. That is, your mind is your own. To live a better life, its your mind, not outside circumstances, that you must change. You create your own destiny. The power of change is in your mind, and by using the power of your subconscious mind, you can make those changes for the better.


The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

Dr. Murphy wrote more than 30 books. His most famous work, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, which was first published in 1963, became an immediate bestseller. It was acclaimed as one of the best self-help guides ever written. Millions of copies have been sold and continue to be sold all over the world.

Among some of his other best-selling books were Telepsychics, The Magic Power of Perfect Living, The Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind, Secrets of the I-Ching, The Miracle of Mind Dynamics, Your Infinite Power to Be Rich, and The Cosmic Power Within You.


World Fame and Legacy

Dr. Murphy died in December 1981, and his wife, Dr. Jean Murphy, continued his ministry after his death. In a lecture she gave in 1986, quoting her late husband, she reiterated his philosophy:

I want to teach men and women of their Divine Origin, and the powers regnant within them. I want to inform that this power is within and that they are their own saviors and capable of achieving their own salvation. This is the message of the Bible and nine-tenths of our confusion today is due to wrongful, literal interpretation of the life-transforming truths offered in it.

I want to reach the majority, the man on the street, the woman overburdened with duty and suppression of her talents and abilities. I want to help others at every stage or level of consciousness to learn of the wonders within.

She said of her husband: ‘He was a practical mystic, possessed by the intellect of a scholar, the mind of a successful executive, the heart of the poet.’ His message summed up was: ‘You are the king, the ruler of your world for you are one with God.’

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35 Comments

  1. Mr Murphy was truly, and I believe still is one of the greatest men to have taught the Gospel in ways to liberate the masses. His teachings have had a remarkable impact in how I view life. Through his book “The Power of your Subconscious mind” I found answers to questions I have been battling with for the majority of my life. I have, in addition, discovered a passion to learn more about who God is, Religion and Metaphysics as a means to give people a different outlook on life.

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  2. I am reading “Power of Your Subconscious Mind” for the first time. When I saw it advertised on Amazon it magnetically attracted me and I was so excited to start reading. This book is brilliant. This is the VERY best book of all of the New Thought or on the subject of subconscious and conscious kind I have ever read. It clearly explains in detail with deep insights that answer questions without equivocation. I feel so thankful and relieved to have found his work. I know it will help me to make the positive changes desired and be successful. I have spent some time learning more about him today and learned that TODAY is his 109th Birthday !! Wishing him a glorious Happy Birthday wherever he may be. !!!!

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    1. Thanks for your smart comment, Judith. In fact, his books have helped me a lot to turn around my life from one of total failure (despite my doctorate in international law), to one of success, and happiness. Dr. Joseph Murphy was a very great man!

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      1. Hello Dr. Walker, I too am reading this wonderful book for the first time. I have a particular request that I want. It is to heal my hearing loss. Do you think that’s too big an order for my subconscious? Have you heard of others healing their hearing?
        Thank you,
        Jan

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      2. Nothing is ever too big for the subconscious mind to accomplish. Repeat this prayer after waking up and before going to sleep, when you are still in the sleepy state. It will then easily penetrate into your subconscious mind. During the day, make sure that through your inner dialogue, you do not contradict the prayer by being doubtful or negative.

        “Perfect hearing capability was given to me as a birth gift. There is a perfect pattern of hearing in my subconscious mind that will now be activated. With every coming day my hearing apparatus is perfectly remodeled to find its original perfection. I give thanks for the perfect healing!”

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  3. I want to thank Joseph sir for the incredible writing ,” The Power of Subconscious Mind”.Right now I am just 19 year old girl and when I read this book I felt that it is going to help me alot in my life.Thank u alot sir .

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    1. Hello Shrada,
      I am not Joseph Murphy, the author of the book, but your feelings of thanks will be received by his soul. Joseph Murphy (1898-1981).
      Thanks for your contribution!
      Best regards,
      Peter

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  4. I recently found an old copy of “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” at my local library book sale. This book is a life changer and sits right with my bible. I have such great respect for the late Dr. Joseph Murphy and wanted to find out more about him and learned that he lived in Laguna Hills, CA, which is one town over from me. I hope to learn if there is a memorial or grave locally. Give yourself a gift and get this book, however don’t just read it once. Keep it handy as a reference and guide, as it has truly worked for me!

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  5. I have had this book on my book shelf for many years and have recently been drawn back to it , I to have a particular request , to meaningfully connect to my estranged daughter who I believe has mental health difficulties, it has resulted in a lot of misunderstandings and difficulties for many years she is lovely would there be a particular prayer I could say to my sub conscious to bring this about Thank you Sandra

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    1. Here is the prayer, Sandra.

      “My daughter is God’s child and I give her free now, I set her free, and she is guided by her own spiritual self. I have no dominion over her life and if I once had it, I release it solemnly now. Love is the dissolvant of all problems and misunderstandings, and Love shall prime from now on in our relationship. I do not worry any longer, I release the tension, and know this is being taken care of. I rejoice in the miracle of life, and this is wonderful.”

      Please repeat this prayer in a tranquil mood in the morning after waking up and before going to sleep, when you are in the natural hypnagogic state and have thus higher access to your subconscious mind, also after lunch when you want to go for a nap, repeat it a few times before falling asleep, and trust the divine guidence within yourself that the outcome will effect a positive change. And make sure you do not invalidate your prayer by subsequent negative thoughts. Remain in the positive state and miracles are possible.

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  6. Thank you very much Mr Walter, i am actually moved by the prayer you gave to Sandra above, i read Dr Murphy’s books and i saw a big change in my life cause he gave me a new meaning of prayer and faith. I didn’t know he was dead until i read this article online sometimes i imagined myself talking to him face to face cause the things he revealed are so amazing and you automatically find yourself living in his world without even knowing. May God keep blessing your intellectual minds with positive thinking and the works you keep doing even when Dr Murphy has long passed.

    Nomcebo

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  7. I am very frustrated with my professional life. I have been a brilliant teacher where ever I have worked but sadly there had been no stability in my job. I often resign and remain jobless for many months and sometimes a year or two. Please help me to find a job of my liking.

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    1. Please repeat this prayer in the morning after waking up, when you are still sleepy, and before going to sleep when you are again in a sleepy state. Suffices to repeat it about fives times each. If you are used to take a nap in the afternoon, use that sleepy condition before falling asleep to repeat the prayer. In this state between wake and sleep your brain is more receptive to suggestions and your subconscious mind gets impregnated with your desire more easily.

      “The infinite universal intelligence that inhabits mere always cares for my best. It heals me when I hurt myself, and it guides me all day long. I am now putting my faith in this godly presence in me and know that it will attract the job I will love and cherish, and that will provide me the material basis for my life, and more. It will also get me around people with whom I can have meaningful work relations. I now promise to myself that I will not neutralize this prayer through subsequent doubts or negative thinking. I know that the god presence cannot fail. It will multiply my present means so that my living standard rises and I can grow more and do more good in my life.”

      You find many other prayers in Dr. Murphy’s books some of which I have reviewed and that contain many prayers. Use this link:
      https://blissviews.wordpress.com/authors/joseph-murphy/

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  8. I just found my book which is falling apart, so I used it well in the past. It seems like when things are going well, I fell away from saying my affirmations and prayers which is wrong. My family is experiencing some financial challenges right now. It was like an angel shoved this book in front of me. We are being extremely positive and meditating daily, but I feel there is a blockage. Several of my husband’s real estate deals have been on hold and listings aren’t selling despite much work put into them. I would appreciate a word of wisdom to guide us. We are helping our son pay his college loans which has been a challenge. Any words would be appreciated and supportive. I am going through the book again.

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    1. Here is a prayer for you taken from Dr. Murphy’s book ‘Think Yourself Rich.’
      https://blissviews.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/think-yourself-rich/

      START OF PRAYER—I know that to prosper means to grow spiritually in every dimension. God is prospering my husband, myself and my son now in mind, body, and affairs. God’s ideas constantly unfold within us, bringing to us health, wealth, and perfect Divine expression.

      We are born to succeed; the Infinite within us can’t fail. Divine law and order govern our life, Divine peace fills our soul, Divine love saturates our mind. Infinite intelligence guides us in all ways. God’s riches flow to us freely. We are advancing, moving forward, and growing mentally, spiritually, financially, and in all other ways.

      I know these truths are sinking into my subconscious mind and will grow after their kind.—END OF PRAYER

      Also please behold that light touch is very important when impressing your subconscious mind. Dr. Murphy reminds us of the fact:
      —Long sessions of prayer are usually a mistake. They may indicate that you are trying to force things by using mental coercion. This generally leads to the opposite of what you are praying for. You will often find that a short prayer uttered from the heart gets better results than a long prayer.—

      The best way to pray is in the morning after waking up and in the evening before falling asleep when you are in a natural state of relaxation. It is the state between wake and sleep, also called the ‘hypnagogic’ state. In this state, the brain is especially receptive and conscious and subconscious mind are more in sync. Then focus inside for a moment and pray from your heart, with all your sincerity. Learn the written prayer by heart and say it feelingly, and with conviction that it will cone to pass.

      Important is then that during the day you do not invalidate or neutralize the prayer through subsequent doubts or negative thoughts. Remain light and joyful in your mind, and confident that the prayer will come to pass. Then, in the evening, prepare your night time with another prayer instance that will accompany you to sleep.

      Remain open-minded for any suggestions you receive via dreams or hunches from your subconscious mind. This inner voice is very subtle. Remain confident that you are guided.

      Let your husband and son equally do the prayer so that you unite in bringing about strong positive thought forms.

      I hope this helps! Best wishes,
      Peter

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  9. Hello, Mr. Walter,

    First I would like to thank you for the time and effort you have put into this site. I am very appreciative of your work. I have been trying to close a deal with a particular company and was wondering would you help me with a prayer for my success? I have read many of Mr. Murphy’s books and my feet have been set on the right path. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Respectfully,
    Justice

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    1. Hello Justice,
      First off, please note that we cannot without creating bad karma influence others’ decisions for they have free will and may want to contract with you, or not. This freedom of another human being, or a group of humans called a ‘company’ we must thus respect under divine order.

      What you can well do is influence your own readiness and appropriateness in this relationship to lead it to a successful outcome for both parties. When you have the wellbeing of the other party in your focus, next to your own success, you can well pray for a good and positive outcome. So with this caveat, here is a prayer you can use for this purpose:

      -Begin of Prayer-
      I am here to evolve, expand, and progress in life. I am fully embracing my striving for excellence and success in my professional and private life. In my contractual relationship with [company x] I am divinely guided, and the company is equally guided, so that we progress in our relationship and final cooperation, and that a mutually beneficial outcome is guaranteed. I now imprint my subconscious mind with this desire and I make sure that I will not neutralize my prayer through later doubts or negative thinking. I bless [company x] and all their staff, and their management, and wish them continued success and prosperity. I submit this contractual matter to the guiding forces in these people and in myself and I am convinced that a mutually profitable outcome of our negotiations is now achieved in divine order.
      -End of Prayer-

      Best wishes,
      Peter

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    1. Hello Fabiola,
      Thanks for writing me. Here is the prayer:

      ‘I am attracting now the ideal buyer for my house, a person who is correct, honest, and solvent to pay the price for my property that is right in Divine order. I am firmly motivated for this sale in order to become free of debt and honor the persons and organizations who have borrowed me money. Through my successful sale they are prospered and I am prospered, thus there is harmony and joy coming from this matter, and everybody involved is blessed.’

      Please help your subconscious mind with your imagination and do this as follows. See yourself in your mind taking the ‘FOR SALE’ sign off your front yard, and this you can do even if there is no such sign. It is sufficient that you see this sign being removed in your mind. At the same time, feel in your heart the great relief from these actions: the sale and subsequently the payment of your debt, two relief situations that following one another. Imagine thus that you feel like a burden was lifted from your heart and you feel light and free.

      This imaginary act to remove the FOR SALE sign is especially powerful when you do this little mind game when you wake up and when you are going to sleep, thus being in a sleepy condition. This will greatly help impress your subconscious mind with the prayer. And during the day, make sure you do not neutralize your prayer through negative thoughts or doubt. Firmly believe that are are acting in accordance with Divine order and that the universe guides you toward a successful outcome.

      Best wishes,
      Peter

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  10. I cannot stop reading “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” again and again. This book has helped me in every aspect of my life. This book was passed down to me by my aunt and I believe the truth in this book is worth sharing with as many people as possible. I hope the readers don’t read it as a self help book. I hope the understand the true purpose of this book. To the readers of this book I say,”Truth shall set you free”. Ponder upon this, the true gift of life is free will. Choose wisely,You are free to choose happiness.

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  11. Thanks for your contribution! I am also re-reading some of Murphy’s books over and over again. The best one in my opinion is ‘Think Yourself Rich: Use the Power of Your Subconscious Mind to Find True Wealth, Paramus, NJ: Rewards Books, 2001. Here is my review of the book:
    https://blissviews.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/think-yourself-rich/

    You also find quotes from the book as audio spoken by myself, on Soundcloud:
    https://drjosephmurphy.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/dr-joseph-murphy-quotes-spoken-by-dr-peter-fritz-walter/

    And the book is not only about wealth. It is also about health and even about miracles cures. You can find an assortment of prayers from the book in my book review. They are sorted by theme and purpose of prayer.

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  12. This is a wonderful website! Thank You so much Dr. Peter Fritz Walter for being so kind to everyone that posted a comment. I was having some stomach pain and I just asked my body to act naturally and the pain ended and hasn’t returned. It would be great if you can keep posting about Dr. Joseph Murphy 🙂

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    1. Hello Leelee,
      Thanks for your contribution and your encouragement to continue the site. Indeed, I would have more quotes to publish. Some people also write to me directly by email with their prayer requests. If you have again any health problem, drop me a line and ask for a prayer. My email is: coachlog@gmail.com.

      Best wishes,
      Peter

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  13. I am a Christian and as I read The Power of the Subconscious Mind it seems to line up with my faith. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and and offered my life to the God who created the universe and the Savior who died to save me from my sinful nature. In reading this book, it makes the words of God more clear. I believe that when you accept that Jesus died to pay for our sins and accept his gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit takes over being, subconscious included, and guides and directs us. The Bible teaches to think on good things and to love others. The prayer especially about trusting God with our children and to quit worrying about them was helpful to me. Thank you. I find the book extremely biblical and does not contradict the Bible.

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