Every Christian Scientist realizes the importance of prayer as the holy means whereby he maintains health and happiness, averts temptation, frees himself from anger, confusion, and fatigue. Furthermore, he knows that protective, strengthening, peace-bestowing prayer need not be audible, nor be heard by associates or passers-by. Indeed, he knows that silent prayer —the reaching out to God for spiritual light—is heard by the ever-present, ever-knowing, ever-governing Mind. It is answered in the spiritual realization of the allness and perfection of God and of man's oneness with Him. The instant recognition of the omnipresence and omnipotence of divine Love when discord, danger, or disaster seems to threaten; the calm contemplation of God's goodness and man's perfection when one appears merely to be waiting; the inward word of gratitude for constant blessings—these are effective prayers.

In her priceless chapter on Prayer in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy points out the inadequacies of public, audible prayer and also its attendant moral dangers. On page 15, elucidating Christ Jesus' statement (Matt. 6:6), "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly," she says: "To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error." In our practice and demonstration of Christian Science we learn to pray constantly and silently. The only audible prayer used in our church services is the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual interpretation given in Science and Health (pp. 16, 17).

What of praise and gratitude to God for His unceasing blessings, and what of praise and gratitude for answered prayer? Christian Science opens our eyes to blessings and beauties ever being revealed by Love to its reflection, man. Science teaches us how to claim and enjoy these blessings, how to protect ourselves from what Shakespeare called "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," alias mortal mind. Thus we have not merely frequent but continual occasions for gratitude and praise.

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November 22, 1947

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