'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.

One night I had an opportunity to put what I was learning about prayer into practice. My sister and I had always shared a room, but I felt I’d had enough of sharing. I asked my parents for my own quarters, but wasn’t given that option. My sister and I had been feuding about our routines. She loved to get up extra early to fix her hair, and the noise woke me earlier than I liked. I loved to read in bed before sleeping, and the light kept her awake longer than she liked. We each felt the other was being selfish and inconsiderate.

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

You're 'linked in' to God
June 16, 2014

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.