Big prayers plug us in to progress

Over the years, some of my most effective prayers have had one simple thing in common: They’ve included my neighbors. And not just next-door neighbors. They’ve included far-off global neighbors, many of whom I’ve met by reading The Christian Science Monitor.

I’ve come to think of prayers that include our neighbors as “big” prayers. They’re focused on much more than “me” or “mine.” They’re about “our” and “us.” And isn’t that what prayers should be about? After all, Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to pray, “My Father …. Give me … my daily bread” (see Matthew 6:9–13). He said prayer is about “Our Father …. give us.”

Mary Baker Eddy agreed: “The test of all prayer,” she wrote, “lies in the answer to these questions,” the first of which is: “Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking?” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 9). Apparently, an essential test of whether our prayers will succeed is this: They have to include our neighbors.

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Surfing with Spirit
June 2, 2014

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