The student of Christian Science is engaged in gaining an understanding of his God-given dominion over the adverse conditions of human existence and in demonstrating that dominion. Sometimes, through lack of a clear comprehension of the nature and value of persistence, he may fail to win the complete reward of his efforts. He may even confuse right persistence with human will-power, and, the latter being erroneous, be deceived into losing his grasp on persistence. But if one's efforts are right, they are inspired by God and are guided and blessed by Him; and so no one need fear to persist in a righteous cause. An expression used by Paul in his epistle to the Romans, "patient continuance in well doing," furnishes an excellent example of the application of persistence.

God is eternal; His ideas are always active; His laws are always governing them; His love never languishes. Man, reflecting God, expresses the eternal activity of God, and, in so doing, is properly and divinely persistent. In this process of divine reflection human will has no place. Human will is of the so-called carnal mind; and, according to belief, it is capable of evil. Persistence in the right is of the divine Mind, is an expression of God, good, and can result only in good.

Jesus' disciples must have felt their lack of ability to pray aright and with "signs following," for they appealed to the Master to teach them to pray, whereupon he gave them the Lord's Prayer. According to Luke's account, Jesus immediately followed this with instruction as to the necessity of persistence in prayer, using as an illustration the story of the man who went to his friend's house at midnight to borrow three loaves of bread, and whose request, though refused at first, was finally granted because of his importunity. According to the eighteenth chapter of Luke, Jesus on another occasion emphasized the power of persistence by the somewhat similar story of a judge who granted the plea of the importunate widow because of her "continual coming." This is preceded by the statement that Jesus "spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." One may ask, Does not the instruction in these two parables conflict with Jesus' words, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking"? Any seeming conflict between the two is dispelled by understanding that the effect of prayer is not upon God, as the two parables might be mistaken to imply, but upon the consciousness of the one who prays. In other words, the Christian is to persist in prayer, not for the purpose of influencing God to grant certain favors to the petitioner, but rather in order to bring his own thought into harmony with Truth, through freeing it from the shadows of material beliefs by letting in the light of the understanding of God's allness and power. A little more persistence will sometimes turn threatened failure into glorious victory.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Man, the Image of God
October 4, 1930

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.