'Hardwired' for love, not anger

When I was in high school, I started attending a Christian Science Sunday School. While I did not understand everything discussed in class, I did get the sense that Christian Scientists expect to connect with God in a tangible way when they pray. I wanted to experience that sense of God’s presence when I prayed. So I read the first chapter in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, titled “Prayer,” several times. I liked the very first line in the chapter because it spoke of prayer reforming and healing us: “The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God,—a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love” (p. 1). I thought these ideas were worthy goals—faith based on a spiritual understanding of God and love not rooted in one’s own interests.

As I studied this chapter, I was helped to understand that prayer had less to do with asking God to bless me, and more to do with understanding that God, by His very nature, blesses all. I was encouraged to consider that prayer had more to do with watching my inner thoughts and less to do with the self-justification that may come from long, wordy, audible prayers. Finally, I saw that prayer is rooted in an earnest desire to be good and culminates in striving to express goodness.

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