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.

Visiting Friends in the Hospital
August 8, 1977

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