Prayer that is more than “just praying”

News stories suggest that prayer is not enough to stop violence and bring peace to a troubled world. But writing off prayer as ineffectual seems based on stereotypes and uninformed about the depths of transformation brought about by prayer. The third of the Ten Commandments in the Bible tells us that we are not to take the name of the Lord in vain (see Exodus 20:7). Could that mean we are not to pray in vain—without expecting progress and results? 

Prayer cannot be either just wishing for things to go our way or accepting discord and suffering as God’s way. Throughout the Bible, we learn that God is Love, the rock, our refuge—the all-knowing, ever-active power. Prayer is communion with infinite Love, and it transforms consciousness, molding and elevating our motives, expectations, and actions to become more selfless and effective and instilling more love for our neighbors in our hearts. 

Consider prayer as desire, as Mary Baker Eddy, Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains in the chapter “Prayer” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Our deepest desires are heard by God as our whole heart is lifted into harmony with the law of God, good. This desire blends with what Science and Health describes as the “calm, strong currents of true spirituality,” which root out the issues of violence—the false sense that claims evil is more powerful than good. The book explains, “The calm, strong currents of true spirituality, the manifestations of which are health, purity, and self-immolation, must deepen human experience, until the beliefs of material existence are seen to be a bald imposition, and sin, disease, and death give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s spiritual, perfect man” (p. 99).

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What does it mean to manifest good?
October 16, 2023

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