Prayer is not "doing nothing"

According to the Bible account given in the book of John, See John 4:46-53 . a nobleman's son was sick at Capernaum and "at the point of death." The nobleman urged Christ Jesus to "come down ere my child die." The Master's answer was "Go thy way; thy son liveth."

What is remarkable to me is that the nobleman did not say to Jesus, How do you know? You haven't done anything for him, or diagnosed his problem, or administered a potion to him!" Instead the Bible records that "the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way."

"The man believed." I saw that the inspirational significance of the Hebrew word for believe could appropriately be applied to this text. As Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health: "The Hebrew verb to believe means also to be firm or to be constant. This certainly applies to Truth and Love understood and practised." Science and Health, pp. 23–24. Therefore, when the man "believed," he did more than just accept Jesus' words with blind faith. He must have firmly held, without a doubt or fear, with all his heart and mind that what Jesus said was true. This firm faith opened the way for Jesus' understanding of God as Truth, with a capital T, to destroy the nobleman's fear and heal his son.

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Is condemnation right or wrong?
September 8, 1986

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