"Instant in prayer"

In Christian Science, as in other things, it is a truism that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This statement implies no limitation to the healing power of Christian Science; rather does it emphasize the necessity for watchfulness, a quality which Jesus was constantly urging upon his followers. Truth can destroy error regardless of how strongly it may seem to be entrenched, but to destroy error in its incipiency is a duty which if neglected invited additional punishment as a penalty therefor. On page 234 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy says, "You must control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second." The same lesson is given by Paul, who enjoined the Romans to be "instant in prayer," and who exhorted Timothy to be "instant in season, out of season."

It is undoubtedly true that a very large proportion of the work of Christian Science consists in prevention, a thing regarding which we hear much nowadays. As a part of their campaign our medical friends are constantly preaching bodily cleanliness, but Christian Scientists go much farther and uphold the desirability of "a body rendered pure by Mind as well as washed by water" (Science and Health, p. 383). No one can estimate the wonderful work that Christian Science has done and is doing in preventing disease. The very large immunity which its followers have enjoyed in times of contagion, as well as the number of authenticated individual instances of evil nipped in the bud, shows this teaching to be a mighty factor in the realm of prevention. There are thousands of such known instances, and there must be countless others in which the practical understanding of God has thwarted threatened dangers that were never even dreamed of by those so protected. A host of people who were practically invalids before accepting Christian Science, now rarely have to meet a physical ailment for themselves; and it must be apparent that this condition has been made possible solely through the prophylactic influence of their faith.

Effective prayer is simple, and consists in mentally and scientifically rejecting the false and accepting the true. Jesus said, "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." This is the prayer of affirmation and denial, in which every good thought is accepted with a "Yea, yea," while every evil suggestion is rejected with a "Nay, nay." Until thought becomes perfectly attuned to "the things of the Spirit of God," the seeming suggestions of evil will knock at the door of every consciousness; but the unbidden guest can be effectually barred out. The consciousness that is open to truth spontaneously rejects every suggestion of error, and it must be plain that such opposites cannot occupy the same place at the same time.

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