THE district in which I live has not yet changed over to the automatic dial telephone system, and to make a call one has to ask the telephone operator to obtain the required number. One day, sitting at my desk trying in vain to find out why a certain problem did not yield to my metaphysical treatment, I found myself reading these instructions on my desk telephone: "To call operator lift receiver and listen." For a moment I thought how contradictory such an instruction seemed, that in order to call, one had to listen. Then I saw clearly how exactly in line this is with prayer, or treatment, in Christian Science.

In order that one may call upon God and hear His voice, the human consciousness must be lifted to receive the answer to the problem. We must listen for the still small voice of Spirit. When I did this, when I put aside all human argument, even though the argument had seemed to be on the side of Truth, and listened for the quiet, reassuring conviction that God was right where the problem seemed to be, the solution appeared, naturally and harmoniously. Divine Love had answered my listening call.

Jesus gave clear instructions as to the effective method of prayer in his powerful Sermon on the Mount, and this teaching is to be found in the sixth chapter of Matthew (verses 5-13). He implied that when we pray we must do so in the secret closet of our own consciousness, and he contrasted this with the erroneous praying of those who "think that they shall be heard for their much speaking" (verse 7).

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December 14, 1957

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