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HARMONIOUS CHILDBIRTH THROUGH PRAYER

From the October 4, 2010 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

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When I became pregnant with our second child, my husband and I were excited. However, a few weeks into the pregnancy, it appeared I might have a miscarriage. As a student of Christian Science I had been supporting the pregnancy with prayer (as I was accustomed to doing). But because I had miscarried some months earlier, the fear was aggressive. I immediately called a Christian Science practitioner to help pray for me. After we spoke, I opened my notebook (I kept one filled with ideas and inspiration to aid me) and I homed in on the poem, "Mother's Evening Prayer," by Mary Baker Eddy. Its first verse reads:

O gentle presence, peace and joy and
power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting
hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling's
faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing
tonight. (Poems, p. 4)

Through spiritual inspiration, I was led to look up in my dictionary words I thought I already knew the definitions to, such as owns, nestling, faltering, and upward. To my surprise, it helped me gain a whole new perspective. This was how I read this verse afterward:

"Father, Mother, a gentle presence of peace and joy and power;

O Life divine, that possesses, maintains, governs, and guides each waiting hour,

It's You, Love, that is guarding this child, this spiritual idea, which is not ready to leave its nest!

And Mother, I know You will keep my child on Your inspired thought and hold it right with You, at the source of Love, tonight and forever."

After I prayerfully dissected this verse in this way, I understood that Love was maintaining and keeping my child in perfect order. Humanly, there was nothing that could be done. But spiritually, I knew I was on the side of the All-power. I called the practitioner, grateful to have gained some peace, and told him that in my prayer I was simply staying with the truths from this poem. It was my "bread," and I felt satisfied each time I thought of it.

Over the course of the next week, whenever the physical symptoms seemed to suggest lack of harmony or lack of right activity, I held closely in thought the inspiration I continued to gain from "Mother's Evening Prayer." And each time, it helped me regain my peace and dominion. By the end of that week, all symptoms of a miscarriage dissipated, and the pregnancy continued along as normal.

Having had our first baby at home, we wanted to follow the same course of action with our second baby. About halfway through this pregnancy, my midwife suggested that I had gained weight too rapidly and that I was carrying more water than was normal at this time in the pregnancy. She was alarmed as she could not feel the baby and was not sure if there were one or two babies. She said if my water weight did not normalize within two weeks, she would be required by law to turn us over to a doctor for the birth of the baby. She knew my husband and I were Christian Scientists, and respected that we wanted to use prayer to handle this situation.

That week's Christian Science Bible Lesson was on "Sacrament" and focused on baptism—baptism of Spirit—and being purified. I found great comfort in this statement: "In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ultimate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being" (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 63). Mrs. Eddy put it plainly in her work Retrospection and Introspection that "Science reveals Spirit as All, averring that there is nothing beside God..." (p. 60).

As I prayed with these truths, I loved thinking about how this baby, this spiritual idea, did not have to "pass through material stages" to reach maturity or completion. Instead, I understood that Spirit was the source, the cause, and that the "beautiful, good, and pure" were the effects. Miscarriage or imbalance was not an effect or result of Spirit. It became very clear to me that both the child and I were surrounded by and submerged in Spirit. Any time my thought would become concerned that my water was out of balance, I found peace in the thought that there was not an overabundance or lack of Spirit. This baby was perfectly balanced in Love. I also found comfort in the fact that nothing could be hidden from Spirit. I found a statement by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health regarding "scientific obstetrics" very helpful. It reads in part: "A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive" (p. 463). I felt confident that any removal or readjustment would be natural and harmonious.

Two weeks later, when I went to my next appointment, the midwife confirmed that my water had normalized. I had hardly gained any weight, and she was able to feel the baby and confirm that there was only one. She was very relieved and happy that we could continue along our normal course of action. I left our appointment grateful for this affirmation of Spirit and Truth revealing harmony for all who needed to see it.

The rest of my pregnancy was normal and joyous. I enjoyed knowing that my Father-Mother Love was guarding and governing this child, already entirely whole and complete. I continued to pray to understand better something Science and Health explains—that "there is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected" (pp. 502–503). With one creation, that being Spirit, I could expect only good to reveal itself in my experience.

The harmonious birth of our son was to me a confirmation that God's work is perfectly ordered and maintained.

Great joy and freedom result when we trust God completely. Then, reassured, we realize God's control.


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