What Do You Do–Just Pray?

From time to time I talk with businessmen, students, and church groups about Christian Science. The questions that follow these talks are always interesting, because they stress the concerns people may have about Science. One question that is usually asked is, "When you are sick, what do you do—just pray?" To many people, prayer seems to be a very uncertain and nebulous tool for handling sickness. They do not see prayer as an effective method of treatment for anything they consider serious. When by sorrow or sickness or deep stress, many people do try to pray. But when they do, they may find themselves on unfamiliar ground. Prayer to them may be just a wavering hope and faith. They may feel they are petitioning a remote and unreal God or paying lip service to the age-old custom of seeking divine assistance when there seems to be nothing else to do. Should it be any surprise that such prayer is often futile and ineffective?

A purpose of prayer is to bring about an awareness of the allness of Spirit, God, and the absolute nothingness of matter. This awareness is basic to Christian Science healing. As we begin to understand that matter is not real, we can at least start to see that it does not control our happiness or well-being. We can begin to see that we are spiritual ideas under the protection and guidance of a God who is Love and Spirit. And as we do this, we find the relief we are seeking; we find ourselves making progress in the right direction.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy states, "The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind." Science and Health, p. 162; Although our being, our very existence, would seem to be the result of material processes and subject to material limitations, we can start right now to see that such is not the case. Through careful study of the Bible and the writings of Mrs. Eddy, we begin to see what is true of God and man. As we see our true being in a more spiritual light, inharmony will be less a part of our lives.

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Visiting Friends in the Hospital
August 8, 1977

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