At one time I had the desire to become a member of a...

At one time I had the desire to become a member of a Christian Science branch church, in order to give back something of what I was gaining from my study of Christian Science. A long-standing smoking habit prevented this. The harder I tried to overcome smoking, the more severe seemed to be the hold nicotine had on me. I felt doomed to smoke, yet these words kept coming to me as I prayed: "Desire is prayer." I kept returning to the passage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy that contains those words: "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." While I wanted to trust God with my desires, I agonized over this addiction.

I kept on reading Science and Health and praying for right desire. I read, "Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth, 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." More than anything else, I wanted "to know and do the will of God." Therefore I asked for help from a Christian Science practitioner. Patiently and lovingly he assured me that addiction to cigarettes is no part of God's man. He suggested I could stop wrestling with the problem, because one day the belief in the habit would simply leave me; it would be replaced with something higher, something more spiritual; he reminded me to be patient and helped me to see God's love for me. He also said, "Don't worry. God isn't finished with you yet!"

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April 19, 1993
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