The Power of Prayer

[Original article in German]

Mrs. Eddy opens the first chapter in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," on Prayer, with the words, "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." Right prayer heals both sickness and sin. If we wish to express the glorious truth of being or demonstrate it for others, we must pray without ceasing. What does it mean to pray unceasingly? Some people may believe that in order to pray availingly one must repeat many wordy prayers either silently or audibly. Unceasing prayer in fact is an absolute faith or knowing that all good things are possible to God. Our thought must turn neither to the right nor to the left, but persist in the narrow way we have entered in Christ Jesus' name. This narrow way leads to the recognition of man's true spiritual unity with God. To the right and to the left in broad roads lie materialism, sin, egotism. If we digress mentally ever so little from the narrow way of selfless love to turn into the broad road of egotism, or if we turn from the narrow way of spiritual understanding into the broad street of materialism, we have interrupted our prayer. Therefore, the power of prayer lies in trust, fortitude, and persistence, in faith in divine Love, which is ever present and demonstrable by all God's children. The power of prayer is available to all as they walk with glad hearts in the straight and narrow way of spiritual understanding.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." These are the words of Christ Jesus, who demonstrated the power of prayer in his healing works. His confidence in prayer consisted in an unconditional knowing of his Father's ever present love. In a few instances his prayer, as recorded, was shown in but a few words of gratitude to his Father-Mother God. Even before the truth became manifest he gave thanks to God, and in this trusting gratitude he proved the power of prayer.

Christ Jesus also said, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you." Likewise all error will fall into oblivion when through faith and understanding we prove the power of prayer. The foundation and strength of prayer lie in the constant knowing of God's omnipotence and love, and in the understanding of our own and others' relationship to Him. If we are thus prepared to turn from materiality and to walk in the narrow way of understanding; if we strive for purity of heart and endeavor to see all our fellow men as God's children, then the power of prayer will be proved by us in the works that will accompany our prayers.

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Church Membership
May 20, 1933

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