"Teach us to pray"

In Christian Science we learn that man already possesses all. Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 516), "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God." How to reach the realization of this fact deeply concerns the Christian Scientist. By example and experience he has proved that prayer is the means by which his consciousness is awakened to a clearer apprehension of that which exists,—namely, reality; and in proportion to this awakening he finds earth's shadows lessening. Hence the need of praying aright.

A study of the prayers referred to in the Bible reveals much that is helpful. Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Hezekiah, and others prayed with marked assurance that God was abundantly able to bring to pass that for which they prayed. King Solomon, affirming the power and presence of God, prayed that his people would be sustained, forgiven, and delivered, whenever they should confess God's name or recognize His allness. With apparently no selfish motive, he prayed not only that his own people might be brought to this recognition and so be blessed, but also that the cause of his people should be maintained, "that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else." Elijah prayed for the consumption of his sacrifice by fire from heaven "that this people may know that thou art the Lord God;" and King Asa prayed, "O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee." The predominating desire of these men evidently was not personal benefit, but that God should be glorified in the earth. It is noticeable in Old Testament prayers that men generally recounted the wonderful works God had already done, thus reassuring themselves of His power and presence.

Jesus has described prayer as asking, seeking, knocking. In response to the disciple's plea, "Lord, teach us to pray," he gave that prayer, the more usual version of which occurs in Matthew. The Lord's Prayer, spiritually understood, cannot be too frequently in thought. This prayer is not alone petition; it is also a confident affirmation of the authority, perfection, presence, power, supremacy, infinitude or allness of God, and of His ability to sustain, forgive, and deliver His children. In that wonderful prayer of unselfed love, recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, Jesus earnestly desired that the Father might be glorified in the Son, and that all mankind might be so sanctified as to be brought into conscious oneness with the Father and reflect divine Love as he himself had done.

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"O king, live for ever"
October 25, 1924

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