In days gone by I often heard the minister in church say, "Let us pray;" So I say, "Let us pray;" first, that we enter not into temptation, and let us look ahead far enough to be sure this prayer is from the heart and genuine. Many of us when children had father, mother, or friends, to us loving, tender, and good, who used to teach us to bend our kness in prayer. The aim was to insure to us a future, and the lisping of our prayers, no doubt, was to them "sweeter than honey and the honey comb." As a rule, we were taught to pray to a seemingly good and terrible God, who when angry would punish with eternal hell-fire in the hereafter. Our parents did the best they knew to teach us rightly, but perhaps failed in many instances to teach us God as Love.

I had a praying father, a good man in many ways. He meant to give me sure guidance, so that I could escape the fires of hell. His instructions seemed right to him, but they filled me full of fears of what "the Lord" would do to me unless I did this or that, which to little me appeared impossible. Oh, how I feared God at times! I was even afraid to be left alone lest He should come and punish me, or take me away. Was that the way to make me love God? Could I look upon God as Love? Even after many years of trying to love God I found I still feared Him more than I Loved Him. But, my dear friends, we have cause to thank God to-day that we have changed our views, and, I hope, have forgotten such instructions, and are learning the prayers that will demonstrate for us here and now that God is Love.

The Lord's Prayer we know is sufficient to cover all human needs; but repeating "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," without a more clear apprehension of the real meaning of those words, is apt to impress upon our thoughts that man has not sole dominion and power. Now study that prayer through its spiritual interpretation as given in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy, and you will see that divinely bestowed power does enable man to do what Jesus taught,—command the evil to depart. It was through the prayer of understanding that Jesus did his healing. To the man with the withered hand he said, "Stretch forth thine hand." To the epileptic boy tormented, he said, "Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him."

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To the Glory of the Father
September 5, 1901

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