Effective Prayer

[Original article in German]

IT is a fair assumption that most people have learned to pray in their childhood. Others perhaps not until later, when they were constrained by depression which was almost unbearable; for then the longing for freedom is more intense! The extent to which prayers are effectual depends on the earnestness, the humility, of the one who prays; and, not least, on his correct concept of God, the inexhaustible source from which flow the blessings that we need, and that are ours by divine right.

When prayers are not answered, the passage in James may be applicable: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." The request, "Father, give me, give me," does not express the right concept of prayer. "God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less than bestow all good, since He is unchanging wisdom and Love," as Mary Baker Eddy expresses it on page 2 of her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." His creation is spiritual and perfect. If our prayer is not to fall short of its goal, we must, first of all, understand the nature of God, infinite good. If, for example, in sickness or pain we ask Him to make us well, this shows that we do not understand that God is supreme, the universal creator, the source of all being, for we are asking for something which He has already done, and which stands forever.

Unity of the Christian Science periodicals
March 11, 1939

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