Q: I pray about stuff but then it doesn’t really do much. How can I get Christian Science to work for me?
A: I hear you! One time I was feeling really frustrated because my prayers just didn’t seem to be effective. I asked God to show me what I needed to know. Right on the heels of that question, I “happened” to pick up the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson and one passage stood out to me. It seemed lit up in neon, emphasized in bold, with italics thrown in, too—so I couldn’t possibly miss it. It was a passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures where Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause,—wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory” (p. 323).
That was one of those “getting hit over the head” moments. It was obvious that the way I’d been praying didn’t even come close to the instruction she gives in those two sentences.
I saw from Mrs. Eddy’s statement that I needed to behold, or look at, “the infinite tasks of truth.” So right then and there, I did. I thought of all the things truth does. It corrects; it frees us; it strengthens us. The list goes on.
Then came maybe the most important words of all: “we pause,—wait on God.” Whoa. “Pause” means stop. Stop what? My mental chatter.
Bingo. All of a sudden I saw what I was doing wrong. I was very busy fervently telling God what was what, what should be, what wasn’t right, and, yes, how I wanted things to be.
When I stopped my mental chatter and listened, I heard God talking to me, sharing beautiful things about my relationship to divine Love.
But now, I stopped all that and listened. What a concept! When I did, I actually heard God talking to me, sharing beautiful things about my life and my relationship to divine Love. It was a wow!
After that, the actions mentioned in the rest of that passage happened effortlessly. Ideas flowed until I actually felt that “boundless thought walks enraptured,” and I experienced a feeling of the lid coming off my thinking. God was tangible and real and very special in a brand new way.
Incidentally, on that same afternoon, I had to drive about six hours to get home. That whole drive, I reveled in the inspiration I’d gained, and when I got home, I realized that a nasty rash on my hands had totally cleared up without my even thinking about it. (The rash had been a persistent annoyance for about a week and my previous prayers hadn’t made a dent in it.)
That single experience changed forever the way I prayed. It was clear to me afterward that prayer wasn’t a way of manipulating things to get something fixed. Instead, prayer was allowing my thought to come into line with the infinite. In the years since this defining moment, I’ve found that when I stop trying to make Christian Science “work,” and rather turn my thought and open my heart to God, inspiration flows—and healing, or a shift in thought, or whatever needs to be better, just happens naturally.
It has been—and still is—truly an adventure in discovering how amazing God is and how His love and care are available to all of us, anywhere, at any time.
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