Let Love do the work

Effective prayer requires effort on our part. But it also involves yielding to God and a simple trust in Him.

When I was a little girl, I would sometimes help my mother with her housecleaning. Once, I remember, we needed to remove an accumulation of greasy dirt behind the refrigerator. I set about to scour the area vigorously, but Mother stopped me. She showed me how to apply detergent to the whole surface. "Now wait," she said, "and let the soap do the work." Soon, what had been a thick coating of dirt had softened and dissolved. After a very few minutes I found I could easily wipe it away.

I recalled that incident several years ago when I asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer. I had discovered a lump in my breast, and efforts to pray for myself had not dispelled the fear that gripped my thought. The practitioner was a longtime friend and knew that I was both diligent and systematic in my prayers, trustful of the power, presence, and unfailing love of God, and that I endeavored to live in accord with my prayers.

As a student of Christian Science, I had learned—and had proved in my own experience—that God is wholly good and that His truth is always close at hand. I knew myself to be His child, in reality His idea and expression, including all those qualities that reflect Him. I knew, moreover, that since God is Spirit, as His child, I must be spiritual—hence, harmonious and complete, never limited and never defined by material conditions. Having this spiritual and harmonious identity as God's child, I could never be separated from Him. Though at that moment I was struggling with fear, deep down I was sure of this spiritual truth, too. As the practitioner agreed to pray for me, he said reassuringly, "Now, let Love do the work."

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Satisfying the longing heart
January 13, 1992

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