Prayer and struggle

What is "the good fight"? How can we find the spiritual strength to rejoice in this Christian warfare?

In our earnest spiritual efforts to succeed in a chosen career, to maintain harmony in relationships, and to turn steadfastly to divine Spirit for healing, we sometimes encounter discouragement. The temptation can be a very subtle apathy, disguised as feelings of tiredness or exhaustion, or it may be more obvious— the inclination just to give up in the face of difficulty. But the truth that man's relationship to God is indestructible overcomes the impulse to yield to discouragement.

This became apparent to me when a series of mounting problems overflowed into almost every area of my life. It seemed that the more I turned to God in prayer, the worse things became. There were growths, infections, pain, troubled relationships, symptoms of heart disease, and an alarming growing pressure in my head. At this point the impulse just to give up and die seemed overwhelming. In my extremity, God revealed the powerlessness of discouragement and apathy and gave me a new view of the struggle to be good, which is often a part of our efforts to grow in grace.

Wrestling with the thought of giving up, I had earnestly prayed for guidance to be free from the struggle. I thought of it as the result of an impurity in my prayer. I was embarrassed that I, a student of Christian Science, could be struggling in prayer. Where had the calm confidence and the speaking with authority gone? Could I really demonstrate, in this case, the rule of healing in Christian Science? As the doubts built up, I prayed more earnestly.

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February 2, 1987

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