WHY DO WE PRAY?

A year before I knew anything of Christian Science I said to a friend, "Of what use is prayer? We cannot expect our petitions to alter the will of God, though it may be that by drawing nearer to God in prayer, we bring ourselves more into touch with Him, and so receive a blessing." With this question still in my thoughts I welcomed thankfully the teaching of the chapter on "Prayer" in Science and Health. When I first began to read the book I felt that the truth taught in it was something for which I had long been groping. As we go on studying Christian Science we realize more and more clearly the great gulf which is fixed between the old and the new understanding of religion, and we perceive the selfishness and the ignorance of our previous beliefs about prayer; how, in the arrogance of our blindness, we made our own plans for the future, and then implored the Almighty to carry them out according to our wishes.

Although only a beginner in Christian Science, a great calm and blessedness has come with the assurance that "thy will be done" implies not a half rebellious bowing to inevitable evil and sorrow, but the acknowledgment instead of a glorious universal plan for all good to all. That the good planned for us by an all-wise, all-loving Mind is coming to us all the time; and that we shall know it and rejoice in it just so soon as we turn away from all other imaginary sources of pleasure or success, and wait humbly, confidently, at the foot of the ladder which Jacob saw in his dream, on which the angels of God—"God's thoughts" (Science and Health, p. 581)—ascended and descended.

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