The Prayer that Heals

In this seeming wilderness of fear and doubt and despair, there is a longing for an intelligent understanding of prayer which would bring us into closer touch with God and give us a God who is Love, and as Mrs. Eddy tells us (Science and Health, p. 472) one who is to be "understood, adored, and demonstrated." In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," we find in the chapter on Prayer the very essence of true spirituality, and a careful study of this chapter alone will heal disease and eliminate suffering.

The writer was at one time a member of a so-called orthodox church, trying to serve an unknown, personal God, and was at the same time living in constant dread of the elements and in fear of death as inevitable. One by one loved ones were taken from the fold, though fervent prayer had been offered for their restoration. We were told that it was God's will; that they were taken for a wise purpose and for our good. Inwardly I rebelled at these sayings, and finally lost all confidence in prayer as a means of overcoming disease and suffering.

After coming into Christian Science and taking up the study of Mrs. Eddy's writings, in connection with the Bible, fear gradually left me. I had found an omnipresent God who is Love, who answers prayer, who heals all our sorrows and afflictions. On the first page of Science and Health our Leader says: "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." We are sometimes asked why the prayers of a Christian Scientist are effectual in relieving pain and healing disease, while the unscientific supplications of good, conscientious Christians will not heal? Is it because the Christian Scientist is a better Christian than the other? The point of difference is in their understanding of God and His creation and of man's relation to Him; this determines the result of their prayers. It cannot be denied that the average Christian believes in the reality of disease and death and does not regard prayer as the best remedy for suffering, whereas the Christian Scientist understands that sin and disease are unreal because God never made them. He also relies upon prayer as spiritually understood, to bring him into the true relation to God, and knows that truth is the only remedy. In Paul's discourse at Athens we read: "As I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." We thus find that it was Paul's understanding of God, of His omnipotence and omnipresence, and of man as coexistent with God, which enabled him to heal himself and others.

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"An instrument of ten strings"
March 23, 1918

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