As a follower of Christ Jesus, who glorified God in all that he taught and proved of God’s healing power, I love to let the glorification of God be my hallmark, motivation, and lens for prayer. This helps me remember that God’s work is complete and that it’s entirely good—the spiritual reality of existence right now. Therefore, I am not trying, through prayer, to change something or make God change some material circumstance. Rather, I’m striving to see more clearly the truth of perfect God and His perfect expression through opening my thought to the power of Christ, God’s healing message. Through the Christ-power my thought is renewed—to a degree transformed—and this change of thought is expressed outwardly in healing.
When we experience healing through prayer in Christian Science, whether of the body, a relationship, or some other circumstance, in a sense the only thing that has actually changed is our thought; the healing is a result of this change. Our thought has been freed from the false belief that some phase of evil is solid reality, liberated through a spiritual perception of what is actually happening—uninterrupted good. There is never any change in the woman and man of God’s creating—our true identity. Through the saving power of Christ, Truth, prayer helps reveal that God’s creation has always been whole and perfect. Healing is the revealing of what was always spiritually true.
In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans he speaks of “the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world” (1:20). If we are willing to base our thought on glorifying and loving God, and start our prayers with what’s true “from the creation of the world”—the timeless, eternal reality that God made entirely good—we will see outward evidence of God’s power and the whole, intact nature of His creation. Mary Baker Eddy, whose book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures illumines the Scriptures and shows their immediacy and practicality, writes in that book, “God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect” (p. 470).
These passages, and many others in the Bible and Eddy’s writings, indicate the strong foundation we are building on when we start our prayer with the glorification of God as the only creator and on an acknowledgment of His totally good, unflawed nature. Since this infinitely good divine presence is expressed in goodness, it follows that nothing about that expression needs to change. It is our thought that needs changing through the spiritual light of Christ. Then we see evidence of those “invisible things” that Paul wrote about, appearing in our lives.
Several months ago I went on a run. Quickly my knees started to ache, and I was experiencing a fair amount of pain. Yet instead of trying to tackle this issue by praying about a hurt knee, I felt a strong, loving impulsion to simply glorify God. So as I ran, I began praying with these declarations, and even voicing them out loud: “God is real, God is here, God is good, and I am His expression, the outcome of His existence.”
This wasn’t just a kind of positive thinking. These were declarations of spiritual truth that served to open my thought to the divine power that heals. I also took time to acknowledge the many blessings I had been experiencing in my life and, in general, kept the glory and goodness of God uppermost in my thought. Halfway through my run, I became aware that my knees were not hurting anymore, and I ran with complete freedom from then on, continuing to glorify God.
Instead of trying to alter matter in my prayer—starting with a false sense of God’s creation and endeavoring to fix it up—I stayed with the primal spiritual facts of God and God’s work. This prayer served to nullify the error, and the prayer naturally resulted in healing.
Such healing, which is possible for each one of us, does not involve a particular formula. But if we start our prayer with the correct premise, the needed change will take place in the right way, just as a flower opens naturally. The temptation may arise to check on how things are going by consulting the five physical senses, but that would have us deviate from the spiritual premise of spiritual perfection that underlies effective prayer.
We can humbly trust, and be firm in our understanding, that because our thought is yielding to Truth, healing is taking place—because perfection is the actual and only reality of being. In this way we’ll be glorifying God.
With great joy we can embrace in our prayers the spirit of these words from the Bible’s book of Jude: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (1:24, 25).
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