A spiritual model for giving

Our regional newspaper   runs a series from Thanksgiving to Christmas that identifies a hundred needy families in our metropolitan area. Each day, a few different stories are shared and each family’s need described. The result is a generous outpouring of donations from the community that helps alleviate the poverty and hardship that many families face.

Such efforts can sometimes feel like a drop in the bucket, though, in the face of the ongoing needs of so many for food and other basic resources. How do we begin to meet the need—and how can we best help? Here’s where prayer can play a major role.

Jesus prompted his disciples to be generous in their ministry when he told them, “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). Put simply, prayer has a multiplier effect. It begins with gratitude for God, Love, the infinite source of good, which is universally and abundantly available to all. God imparts to humanity an endless stream of tangible, blessing ideas, right where each one of us is. (Here, “us” doesn’t imply a “giver” praying for “the needy.” Instead, it refers to each child of God, every one conscious of His wholeness.) Prayer opens us up to this goodness, to qualities such as courage, patience, receptivity, unselfishness, creativity, and fearlessness, which enable us to take bold steps in confronting need and lack. These spiritual resources can’t be limited: We naturally recognize that they are available for everyone. Through the study of Christian Science, I’m gaining an understanding that prayer leads to truly effective giving.

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In the Christian Science Bible Lesson
Our guiding light
December 19, 2011

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