There are two statements in the Bible which should prove of inestimable value to one in his praying. Were all prayers brought up to the standard which they establish, God's declaration as recorded in Isaiah, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear," would be a daily experience. The passages referred to are these: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss;" and, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Both indicate that the cause of unanswered prayer is not that infinite Love would willingly withhold that which is needful; not that the loving Father-Mother God turns a deaf ear to one's petitions, but that mankind has failed to comprehend the true nature of God.

In determining what it means to "ask amiss," of first importance is a knowledge of what God is, as one would scarcely expect to receive from God that which is His very opposite. Both the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, teach that God is Spirit, and that His creation, man and the universe, is spiritual. From this it follows that man's needs must be of an entirely spiritual nature.

The question may be asked, Is Christian Science a practical religion, which teaches of a God to whom one may go with his everyday problems? Assuredly it is! But what are one's everyday problems? Are they material or are they mental? Is it not happiness and contentment for which one yearns? and does he not seek a particular material thing because he believes it will bring that happiness? Happiness thus sought, even if attained, is not satisfying; it is unreliable, since nothing established upon a material basis can be substantial. Almost immediately after some material object has been realized the human mind finds that it does not bring the promised peace. Something else of matter is then believed to be essential to bring satisfaction. And so human belief goes on indefinitely, always in the background being the fear of losing its treasures. Had a better understanding of God existed in the consciousness of the petitioner, he would have seen his need in a different light. Solomon's example is worthy of following. He prayed for wisdom, and God gave him not only the wisdom for which he asked, but also riches and honor.

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Peter, the Conqueror
August 11, 1928

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