The Answer to Prayer

The answer to prayer has been a question of vast importance to Christian people in all ages. Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you," and James, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss." Many testimonies are constantly being given by people who for years prayed to be delivered from the bondage of sickness and sin, and for whom many prayers were offered without apparent results, yet, on coming to Christian Science, a speedy release was found. Does it not follow that they must have ceased, in some degree, to ask amiss, and in that same degree begun to ask aright, since "by their fruits ye shall know them"? The statement in 1 John, 3: 1–3, which is read at all Christian Science Sunday services, presents a condition attainable by us, when "we shall be like him." What does it mean to be like him? From our present standpoint does it not mean that we shall possess everything for which we can possibly pray? No one conceives of God as experiencing fear, doubt, discouragement, sickness, sorrow, or sin; or as lacking any good thing. God is Life, Truth, Love, infinite good, and surely, when we find ourselves like Him, in His likeness, the necessity for prayer, as commonly understood, will be done away, for we shall realize the possession of all good things. Is it not equally true that in the degree of our finding ourselves like Him, we shall gain the supply for our present need and the relief from our present bondage,—the answer to our prayer?

Again, a condition is named whereby we may attain to this desired estate. It is, that we see Him as He is. What does it mean to see God as He is, as infinite good, omnipotent and omnipresent? Does it not mean that we must cease to see evil? To know one Mind we must cease to believe in many minds. To see Spirit we can no longer look into matter to find substance and intelligence. To see infinite Love it is necessary to banish malice and hate; thereby fulfilling Paul's injunction to "put off the old man" as a necessary condition to putting on the new.

June 10, 1905

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