Silent Prayer

At each Sunday service and Wednesday evening meeting in Christian Science churches, the following statement, or one similar thereto, is made from the desk: "Let us unite in silent prayer." When first becoming interested in Christian Science, the writer was greatly puzzled as to what constituted silent prayer; and during this part of the church service she found herself in a state of confusion, wondering what it meant to "unite in silent prayer." After passing through a period of this state of thought, she began an earnest study of Mrs. Eddy's writings to see if anything could be found on the subject. On page 42 of our Church Manual, under the heading "Prayer in Church," was found the following: "The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively." A careful analysis of this By-law showed that the time allotted to the silent prayer was not intended for the working out of one's own problems, but that the truth should be realized for all present; and how to do this was learned through further searching.

During the study of the chapter on Prayer in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, attention was called to the following statement on page 15: "Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers." It was then realized that during the silent prayer one must forget self and silently strive to realize the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of God, and to know that man, as the spiritual idea of God, reflects perfection, harmony, activity, and freedom, and that therefore inharmony, doubt, or confusion do not belong to the child of God and cannot proceed from God. It was also clearly seen that if during the silent prayer each one closes his thought to the arguments of evil,—mortal mind,—and realizes that God is the only power, intelligence, and presence, mental or physical claims will be silenced; and through this unity of right thinking peace and harmony will be established in individual consciousness, and man as God's likeness will be manifested, free from inharmonious beliefs.

In teaching a class of four- and five-year-old children in a Christian Science Sunday School, a teacher asked one morning what they did during the silent prayer. One little tot answered, "Think love." What a wonderful thought for the adults to express during the silent prayer! For if each were to "think love,"—that pure Christ-love without any thought of self, such as the child thought expresses,—it would purify the atmosphere to such an extent that those coming to the service with a sense of discord would be lifted out of inharmony and receive a blessing such as can come only through right thinking.

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Supply—the Gift of God
September 27, 1924

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