Pain and numbness gone
One winter evening, I felt a pain in my stomach. As the night progressed, the pain increased; then I started to feel pain in my arm, and one side of my face began to go numb. I had begun praying when I first felt the stomach pain, but these other concerns made me wonder what was going on. I started to mentally list things I’d heard of that this could be, but I quickly realized that this was more harmful than helpful. I needed to pray. So, as I often do when I’m not sure where to begin, I started praying the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9-13).
When I came to the words “Thy will be done,” I realized this was a wonderful affirmation, and it became to me a line to hold. If God’s will is done, then there is no other influence or message I need to look to in order to see what is happening. In the Bible, we have this beautiful declaration that the divine will is entirely good: “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). And the psalmists, prophets, and Christ Jesus consistently describe God as good.
This declaration of God’s will being done was comforting because it was an assurance that only good could be happening as the natural activity of our all-good God. Because God’s will is done, my bodily state must actually be included in—and protected by—that will. And since what the physical senses were reporting about my health and well-being denied these spiritual facts, their report had to be inaccurate. I resolved to not let material sensation inform my prayers, but to start from the perspective that God’s all-good will is, in fact, already done.
This fresh devotion to God completely replaced the fear I’d been feeling and gave my prayers a clear and straightforward direction. I did not pray “Thy will be done” as some sort of mantra, expecting to gain healing through repetition of words. Instead, this statement was a starting point from which I could think and pray with greater freedom and genuine interest in understanding what it means that God’s will is done.
My prayer was supported by the spiritual sense of the Lord’s Prayer, which Mary Baker Eddy gives in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. For the line “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” she writes, “Enable us to know,—as in heaven, so on earth,—God is omnipotent, supreme” (p. 17). I realized that it is my right to know and feel God’s omnipotence and that this right cannot be taken away from me. I was not appealing to God’s law to make the pain stop; I was honoring God’s law by looking to it alone for my status.
I prayed in this committed manner for several hours, and by the time I went to bed, the pain was completely gone. I was so happy. Certainly I was glad to feel normal again, but my real joy stemmed from the fact that I’d learned more about this instruction about God in Science and Health: “His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation” (p. 3). There has been no return of those symptoms.
God’s work is the action of His will, and the will of divine Love is neither material nor inclusive of chance or discord. God’s will is purposeful, fully indicative of perfect good, and fully done. Healing, then, is not the setting aside of natural law in order to make the pray-er happy; healing is the revealing of what God has already done and of the spiritual fact that He has decreed only good for His creation.
Maryland Heights, Missouri, US