Taking God seriously

Prayer works best when we're in earnest.

I RECALL a discussion about God that took place while a friend and I walked home from school one day. I can't remember whether my friend was playing devil's advocate or having genuine doubts, or both, but she challenged my belief in God. What I do remember clearly is the inner conviction I felt that God was present. Back then my conviction was not necessarily based on anything I could point to. It was an intuition. Yet when I began studying the Bible, along with the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, there were, to me, unmistakable proofs of God's presence and power, in spite of my having to overcome doubts about my ability to gain the proofs. I was learning that taking God seriously requires effort. It starts with prayer, which leads us to understand God not only as true but as ever-present Truth itself. "Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth," I read in Science and Health, "nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life."

Even though I had grown up relying on conventional medicine and depending on medical advice to maintain health, I think I may have always felt that taking God seriously—really seriously—would involve depending on Him for health. The rub, as I saw it, was in being able to do this, and finding it a natural thing to do. So when I started studying Christian Science I thought a lot about God's will in relation to my well-being. I became more comfortable with the idea of spiritual healing as I began to understand that health and wholeness were God's will for me and everyone, since God (the loving Father whom Christ Jesus knew as infinite Spirit) views each of us as His offspring, partaking of His own harmony and wholeness.

Grateful for rebukes? It is possible
August 12, 1991

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