I learned how powerful prayer can be

Although I had been raised in Christian Science, it wasn’t until I was in college that it really became my own. An important moment was the first time I experienced healing through my own prayer.

In my sophomore year, I was living on an urban art school campus when a rash developed on my face. I put up with it for a while, but it was irritating and unsightly. One day in the dining hall, a friend expressed alarm, suggesting that it could spread further and limit my vision. His comment was a jolt, spurring me from negligence to action. 

Alone in my dorm room that evening, I turned to God in prayer, doing my best not to focus on the physical condition. As I reached out for inspiration, these words from the Bible came to me: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10). 

This was a clear and simple command, so pertinent to my need at that moment. With the irritation clamoring for my attention, it had been difficult not to touch my face, and I’d been getting up regularly to check my appearance in the mirror down the hall. Now I had a clear directive to do neither, but instead to be still and calmly know that God governed me. 

In that moment, I became still both physically and mentally, and my attention turned completely to God. The irritation, self-consciousness, and fear I had felt were replaced with a feeling of peace, a focus on God instead of me, and a calm trust in Him. At that point, the rash began to recede. My skin returned to normal in a few days and has remained so in the many years since. Through this experience, I learned how direct and powerful turning to God in prayer can be, and I went on to complete a fruitful year at college. 

There is a backstory to this healing. The previous year, I’d had a similar rash on my arm and had called a Christian Science practitioner for metaphysical treatment. I remember her saying, “. . . there is no room for imperfection in perfection,” a statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 424). I believed those words were true, but I didn’t fully understand how they applied to me. The rash eventually cleared up, and I thought no more about it. 

A few months after this, my deepening commitment to Christian Science and recognition of my completeness as God’s expression led me to stop drinking alcohol, something I’d done socially on occasion. This decision brought a natural sense of freedom and poise. It also opened the way for me to join The Mother Church (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston) later that year, a significant step of progress for me. So when the skin condition reappeared the following year, I was morally stronger, more spiritually rooted, and better prepared to pray about it on my own. 

In hindsight, I can appreciate how these important steps grew out of my foundation in Christian Science Sunday School, where I developed a love for the Bible and the teachings of Christian Science. Spiritual growth during my college years paved the way for life blessings and career contributions in the decades that have followed.

I’m continually grateful for my mother’s decision to raise her children in Christian Science and for my father’s consent. I’m indebted to those who have shared spiritual inspiration and healings in Sunday School, in my Christian Science college organization, and in weekly testimony meetings at church. I’m in awe of the Bible’s inspired Word—of the example of Christ Jesus and so many others we read about in the Scriptures. And I’m ever grateful for Mrs. Eddy’s inspired contribution, unlocking the Bible’s spiritual meaning and its present, practical application to every kind of human need.

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