Prayers for Prosperity

The thought of prosperity is to be found in many places throughout the Scriptures, and it was undoubtedly regarded by the Hebrew people as a manifestation of divine favor. It certainly cannot be said that there was anything wrong about this if the idea which it represents was rightly understood, and it surely was by the more spiritually minded throughout the centuries which preceded the coming of Christ Jesus. In patriarchal times we find that no enterprise was undertaken without a prayer for divine guidance and prosperity, and we have a wonderful illustration of that which really constitutes it when we read in II Chronicles of the experiences of Uzziah. From the record we find that Uzziah was only sixteen years old when his long and harmonious reign began; but it is good to read that he did "that which was right in the sight of the Lord," and we are told that "as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper."

In the Psalms we find many different phases of human belief presented, and if we search diligently we can always discover the spiritual truth which corrects the error. Thus we find the psalmist declaring that "God is good to Israel." Then we find him saying, "I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." He evidently was passing through experiences such as are common to many Christian Scientists, but he tells us that when he went into the "sanctuary of God," advanced beyond material sense to spiritual reality, then he understood what had formerly been hidden from him; and the light of Truth entering his consciousness brought an awakening from this mortal dream wherein good seems to be subservient to evil. We find him giving thanks for the divine counsel which he had received, and a deep lesson may be gathered from the words which follow, "It is good for me to draw near to God."

In the 118th psalm we read, "O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." This recalls our Leader's words in her annual Message to The Mother Church in 1898, called "Christian Science versus Pantheism," where she says, "Pray for the prosperity of our country, and for her victory under arms; that justice, mercy, and peace continue to characterize her government, and that they shall rule all nations" (p. 14). One thing is certain, that neither nations nor individuals can prosper in any true sense, or for any length of time, unless they are obedient to the law of Truth and Love; and the sooner we find this out the better for us as individuals in the working out of our daily problems. The trouble usually is that the necessary steps, which call for unswerving obedience to divine law, are overlooked, because desire is turned so constantly toward prosperity, without due thought as to what really constitutes it, hence the spiritual height is not reached.

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The Army of the Lord
November 3, 1917

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