The Lord's Prayer

Volumes have been written on the subject of the Lord's Prayer with the hope of helping men to understand it better, and the writers have accomplished good in the measure of their recognition of its true meaning. When Mrs. Eddy gave to the world the spiritual interpretation of this prayer, true illumination was thrown upon it. Later she lifted it to its rightful place in the education of mankind when she included both the prayer and the interpretation among the First Lessons for the children in the Sunday school. Christian Scientists realize that it is only the childlike thought which can enter the kingdom of heaven—and they therefore know that the First Lessons for the children, as defined in the Manual of The Mother Church, must belong for all time to the childlike. Thus it is the privilege of each individual through all his progress Spiritward to cling to these First Lessons, allowing them to unfold in enlightening instruction.

Since prayer is the medium whereby men approach and communicate with God in their endeavor to know and to do His will, nothing can be of greater importance to them than the understanding of the way to pray. There is perhaps nothing more difficult of exact explanation than prayer, because it takes upon itself an individual nature with each individual. One may tell you that it is declaration; another will say it is petition, especially when the petition is for spiritual good. There is little doubt that to-day the right sense of both have their place in true prayer. Also Mrs. Eddy states in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 1), "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." But how can one trust God with his desires unless he, himself, knows what they are? One thing is certain,—each individual must understand his own desires or prayers, and he can do this only as he thinks intelligently about what he is contemplating when reaching out to God. Such intelligent thinking will enable him to confide his every wish or desire to God in order that it may be "moulded and exalted."

Among the Churches
February 18, 1922

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