Not just trust. Childlike trust. That’s what Jesus encouraged his followers to foster in themselves in order to experience the presence and power of God. He said, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:17).
When a little child has a deep confidence in someone, trust and reliance become solid, even unshakable. So tenderly, Christ Jesus compared a child’s natural trust in a loving adult to the way anyone can develop an innocent and wise trust in God. This happens as we begin to know God, to know more about whom we’re trusting. God is ever-present, all-enveloping Love. Even the tiniest glimpse of God’s loving nature begins to engender confidence—and step by step, as we come to understand God more clearly, our trust in Him grows.
As a parent and child walk along together holding hands, the child will yield to the parent’s changes of direction. Along these lines, what happens when prayer actually becomes a yielding to the divine Parent who is God—whose wisdom never changes, but guides us in His way? This earnest approach to prayer means devotedly making space in thought to acknowledge the authority and all-pervading nature of God, divine Love. It involves cultivating a willing, humble outlook, a readiness to become aware of the presence and goodness of God.
It’s encouraging how countless individuals through history have proven that childlike trust—and the yielding to God that naturally follows it—is exceedingly effective, healing prayer. The life of the woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, illustrates well this trustful yielding. And in her primary work, the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the word yield and its derivatives appear 59 times. Here’s a favorite statement of mine: “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (p. 162).
You can discover for yourself how yielding thought to the present harmony of God, who is divine Mind, brings confidence to prayer. This requires a commitment to think spiritually, rather than materially—to acknowledge infinite Spirit as the only substance and power. When your thoughts are yielding to God, you discover how an elevated, spiritual perspective can transform your quality of life.
The divine Parent’s will for you is never evil or suffering.
What is a good way to become more practiced at prayerfully trusting and yielding to God? To begin with, I have found that yielding to the spiritual harmony that is always present goes hand in hand with truly loving God. It means loving my divine Parent so much—embracing God’s goodness and allness without reserve—that fears and resentments end up naturally melting. You can feel Jesus’ trust in and love for God shining in his words “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). As you follow Jesus’ example, why not love God’s will for yourself, too? The divine Parent’s will for you is never evil or suffering; it always includes pure spirituality, goodness, and perpetual wholeness.
A good, clear example of prayerful trusting and yielding can be seen in the Bible’s book of Job. After much suffering, in Job’s conversations with his friends about his plight, he’d been arguing against their harsh opinion that God was punishing him for his sins. Finally, he turned away from their accusations, surrendered to God, and affirmed, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” The Bible then relates, “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:2, 10).
Isn’t it encouraging—and beautiful, really—to see what happened when Job softened his thought, shifting away from himself and his own plight, and yielded to expressing unselfed love, a spiritually pure love for God and a willingness to accept God’s authority? From then on, he was a completely new person, knowing he was abundantly blessed. The benefits of trusting and yielding like that are life-changing. Suffering begins to melt as one truly loves and makes space in thought for Mind’s authority, omni-action, and loving ever-presence.
One other way we can take heart from learning of Job’s journey is that we can be assured that the chaos of what appears to trouble or threaten will serve as a steppingstone to help us advance and recognize the allness of the immortal Love that is God. Science and Health assures us, “Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea” (pp. 323–324).
Today is a new day, and a good day to begin experimenting with how childlike trust naturally causes you to yield to God’s all-encompassing wisdom and goodness. This is powerful prayer, and it’s delightful to see how it heals, cleanses, and transforms.