Does it help to pray about examinations?

Tests and examinations, whether in school or on the job, can be challenging. Is there a prayerful way to overcome fear and pressure?

The feeling of pressure heightened as I unwisely wasted precious exam preparation time. Mainly, instead of studying, I was woefully contemplating my difficult situation. I was a third-year law student, carrying a full load of courses, and was about to take the bar exam in one of the few states that permit students to take the exam prior to graduation. I had already been hired by a firm, and my employers were counting on me to pass so I could begin work almost immediately after graduation.

As a student of Christian Science, I knew that I did not have to succumb to the doubts and fears that were tempting me into unproductive thinking. So I began to pray instead of worry. I reasoned that the understanding of God as Mind, which Christian Science teaches, could be as greatly comforting now as it had been when I was facing other examinations. It is reassuring to know that no matter what our circumstances, we can rely on divine Mind's unlimited supply of right ideas. The divine Mind is the only real Mind of each of us. Understanding this does not obviate studious preparation for an exam. Rather, it enables us to face exams confidently and to recall the precisely appropriate facts we need at any given moment.

Sometimes, when we are preparing for an exam, suggestions assail us that the study time we have allotted is not adequate or that we could freeze under pressure or be confronted with an "off the wall" question. We may feel that the outcome of a particular examination will determine our future career. Yet these seeming obstacles need not be stumbling blocks in our path; instead, they can be seen as hurdles of thought that we can surmount as we take up the challenge to grow spiritually. Firm reliance on God's power and trust in His great love for us destroy encumbering fears and propel us to greater spiritual understanding of our relationship to Him as His image and likeness.

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May 18, 1987

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