“God with me” was my prayer
Taking moments to really feel God’s presence each morning, and sometimes at other difficult times during the day, became a lifeline.
I would sit in a quiet place, often in my bedroom, and take in a sweet sense of God’s tender, powerful presence with me. Things had turned upside down in my life overnight, and there were times when I was having trouble breathing because of how anxious I felt.
Although I had learned in Christian Science that I am God’s reflection—made in the image and likeness of God, spiritual and pure—during this time when I was struggling, the reflection concept didn’t feel like enough. I yearned to feel Father-Mother God’s presence right by my side, guiding me. I wasn’t feeling the close “at-one-ment,” or oneness, with God that Christ Jesus taught when he defined his relation to God by saying, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
So, taking moments to really feel God’s presence each morning, and sometimes at other difficult times during the day, became a lifeline. As I affirmed silently that God was right with me, divine Life’s loveliness and strength began to fill me up. As I felt this awareness, I was at peace and ready to pray for my family and the future ahead. Taking a moment to deeply connect with a sense of Emmanuel, which in the Gospel of Matthew is translated as “God with us” (1:23), made my prayers more steady, specific, and inspired.
Explaining to his disciples his relation to God, ever-present Spirit, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God isn’t something “over there” that we are striving to get to; it dwells “within” (see Luke 17:21), throughout our being. Also referred to as the kingdom of heaven, it is defined by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, as “the reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 590).
There is no distance between God and me.
Having always loved this perspective on the kingdom of heaven, I began to think about what it meant to have the spirit of God dwelling within me. I understood that it meant that harmony is a permanent part of my being, not something brought on by a person or a circumstance. The kingdom of God within me means that I have the benefit of the leadership of an all-powerful, divine Mind that is constantly alert, always right. It means that my essence, my being, resides in a spiritual atmosphere where matter plays no part and Soul, God, fills me with goodness.
This isn’t to say that God, omnipotent and omnipresent Life, is dwelling inside me, but rather that there is no distance between God and me, the manifestation of God. There is no separation. The Bible explains about God, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Science and Health describes this scriptural statement of oneness with God in this way: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (p. 361). God is the one source, but man includes the same properties and moves right along with God, “reflecting goodness and power” (p. 515).
God is Spirit, the substance, or essence, of man’s being. A droplet in the ocean can’t be made of brick while the ocean is made of water. Impossible. Having God—Life, Truth, and Love—right with us, one with us, we are always satisfied, safe, and loved. Our life and strength can’t be diminished or our abilities weakened if we are the same substance and essence as God, who is eternal Life. This peaceful, wise, and good presence dwells with us and governs our every action, our every breath. We won’t ever be alone in making a decision, in caring for ourselves, or in managing the inevitable changes that daily life seems to bring.
Having God right with us, one with us, we are always satisfied, safe, and loved.
In the Bible’s book of Romans, Paul helps us see how empowering it is to have the spirit of God with us. In chapter 8 he writes, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (verse 11).
That same God who raised Christ Jesus from the dead, who parted the sea for Moses, is here with each of us and gives to our lives the same peace and power that divine Spirit has eternally brought to mankind. During the time when I had been feeling so alone and afraid, a friend pointed out this passage from the same chapter: “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verses 38, 39).
Although I had read those verses many times, I now took a deeper look. There is such confident strength in this passage, a certainty that there is no possibility of us being without our all-loving Father-Mother God. There is no place, no situation, no law or power or condition that will ever cause us to be without God’s divine presence, our source of strength, love, and life.
Within a few months, this addition of “God with me” to my prayers had brought such stability to my days that I no longer felt anxious or alone, and all shortness of breath was gone. Life felt filled with spiritual goodness, despite the difficult challenges and changes I had experienced. And “God with me” continues to be the first breath of my prayer every day. God is eternally with me, and you, and everyone. Amen.