Prayer about age-related issue brings freedom

Originally published with a different title in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column November 15, 2022.

I am past what is commonly called retirement age, and several years ago I noticed I was having mental conversations with myself that began something like this: “I wonder how much longer I will be able to hike these steep trails.” Or, “I hope I will be able to continue taking care of my yard.”

Christian Science teaches that we can challenge the limiting notion of an expected decline of strength and vigor. So I turned to the Bible and to the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, to gain some spiritual insights on this.

The Bible is full of examples of people overcoming limiting claims of age. Abraham and Sarah conceived and bore Isaac in very advanced years. Moses was eighty when he confronted Pharaoh in order to free the children of Israel. And the writer of Job encourages an expectancy of health, not decay: “Thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning” (11:17). 

Science and Health offers this encouraging insight: “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (p. 258). “Forever developing,” “broadening,” “rising higher and higher.” This is our continuing identity—not mortals subject to inevitable decay but God’s spiritual offspring, reflecting His forever-unfolding goodness.

As I prayed with these and other ideas, the negative mental conversations dramatically decreased.

A few months later, I began to have trouble with my right knee. I had not injured myself, but it was becoming painful to walk or to bend the knee. I could not sit cross-legged on the sofa, which is my preferred position when relaxing. It seemed to be a condition associated with age.

The insights I’d been gaining from my prayers prior to this situation gave me confidence to replace thoughts of pain and limited mobility with spiritual facts about our true nature as spiritual, not material. I was able to continue with normal activities, including going for walks in the hills behind my house—not by willing my way through them, but through prayer, rejecting the thought that anything could interfere with the freedom and strength we reflect as God’s spiritual ideas.

One morning about a year later, as I was walking up one of the steeper hills, I noticed that my knee was less painful. I remember thinking, “Well, my prayers must finally be working, because my knee is feeling better!” Then it was as if I heard a voice saying, “Pam, are you really going to let your knee tell you if your prayers are working?”

The question stopped me in my tracks. Was I letting my knee tell me how I was, or was I turning to God to learn about the state of my well-being? 

Science and Health says, “To be immortal, we must forsake the mortal sense of things, turn from the lie of false belief to Truth, and gather the facts of being from the divine Mind” (p. 370). Truth and Mind are Bible-based synonyms for God, and right then on that hill, I determined that I was going to gather the facts about my being only from God. My very brief mental conversation went like this: “No, knee, I am not well because you tell me I am well. I am well because God has made me well—now and always. And I know it!”

That was the very last time I even thought about my knee. I realized it had stopped being a problem perhaps a week or two later, when I found myself sitting cross-legged on the sofa. This healing occurred over two years ago. I have taken many strenuous hikes in the mountains and done many strenuous chores outside since that time without a speck of discomfort.

We have a divine right to challenge thoughts based on human beliefs instead of the spiritual facts of being. It’s from God, not matter, that we discern the state of our true being as spiritual and whole—a healing perspective. We can take to heart this instruction in Science and Health: “Mortals must look beyond fading, finite forms, if they would gain the true sense of things. Where shall the gaze rest but in the unsearchable realm of Mind?” (p. 264).

Pamela McKnight
Glen Arbor, Michigan, US

Testimony of Healing
Warts on knee gone
May 15, 2023

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