Patience—a key part of prayer

Some months ago, a large bony lump developed on the back of my wrist. I began to pray for healing of the condition, but I also found myself running down a list of possible causes for it. As my fears increased, however, I soon saw that instead of trying to figure out exactly what was wrong, I needed to tackle the problem as having a mental cause and not a physical one. I could see that this was what St. Paul meant in part when he said, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:3–5). Eventually I gave up trying to determine if the lump was the result of a dietary problem—a possible excess of calcium—or a fall from a previous bicycle accident, or something else altogether. I prayed instead to discern that my identity was spiritual—from God—and that the wrist condition was not part of this identity. God could never be deformed or create deformity in me. He maintains perfection throughout His creation. I saw that though it was uncomfortable and unsightly, the condition could be corrected by understanding the spiritual facts. Through prayer, I was getting a clearer perception of the need to change a mental misconception, rather than a physical reality.

But after about a month or so, with still little sign of progress, I thought, "Well, this concerns bones." And I began to read something I recalled in Science and Health that mentions the surgical treatment of bones. Here I was particularly drawn to the discussion of healing bone conditions "through mental surgery alone" (p. 402).

After considering this for several moments, I decided that since the discomfort was not overwhelming and my wrist still worked, I would persist in praying and be patient. I remembered how Christian Science had taught me that patience is active—as a spiritual quality, it's not merely tolerating or ignoring a difficulty. Instead it involves actively trusting that God is all-powerful, despite how much human conditions may indicate otherwise. Praying patiently means cultivating a consistent, continuing expectation of good. In that light, patience is an element of faith, a bridge to spiritual understanding and healing. I clearly saw that I needed to stick to this path.

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Testimony of Healing
Healed of depression
May 24, 2004

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