Time out for prayer

One resolution I make every New Year is to take more time to pray for myself each day. It's always at the top of my list, but it's the one resolution that can be most challenging to keep—even though I see a wonderful difference in my day when I do. A recent survey I read of how Americans use their time, noted they admit to spending less than ten minutes a day in thought or introspection, and something like three hours watching television. While I haven't been able to put my hands on the survey again, I remember it listed many other distractions that crowd our already busy days.

People put off or resist praying for themselves for many reasons. When a friend of mine was going through some rough times, I asked him if he had ever thought about praying for himself each day. He replied that he felt a bit guilty even thinking about it. There were so many people with bigger problems, he said, that it seemed almost selfish. But I've learned that if we neglect our own spiritual growth and prayerful preparation, for whatever reason, we can never heal disease, or comfort another's broken heart, much less our own.

The founder of this magazine, Mary Baker Eddy, repeatedly advised Christian Scientists to pray for themselves first every day. In one case, she is said to have told a certain Christian Science practitioner and teacher to pray for herself three hours a day. When the practitioner replied that she was too busy to do this, Mrs. Eddy answered that the more she prayed for herself, the less time she would have to spend praying for her patients to heal them. And it goes without saying, this would in turn allow her to help more people, including herself.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

January 30, 2006

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.