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From the Editors

What daily prayer can do for us

From the September 15, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

People pray for different reasons. Some of us pray as an act of devotion. Some of us pray because we are seeking help from God. In the Bible, St. Paul gives us an important reason to pray. He says, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Conforming to the worldly, material sense of life does not help us understand God. In fact, it tends to hide God’s true nature, because God is Spirit, which is not discerned materially. But the spiritual transformation we gain through prayer opens up higher, more spiritual views of God and what He has created. Praying daily brings spiritual progress on a daily basis. And with it come greater happiness, health, and confidence in the trustworthiness of good.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes of prayer: “It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is” (No and Yes, p. 39).

Who of us hasn’t at times wanted to feel closer to God or to know that God loves us? Perhaps we have felt burdened by problems stemming from a material sense of who we are—problems of heredity, sickness, a physical or emotional makeup, unhappiness, lack, or possibly fears about our future. How encouraging to know that each day we have the opportunity to rebel against these impositions by praying to know God better and ourselves better.

God’s will for us does not include limitation, sorrow, or disease. God’s will is indicated from the very beginning of the Bible in the first chapter of Genesis, which gives an account of Spirit’s eternal creation. We cannot read that chapter without being impressed with the repeated assurance, “And God saw that it was good.” And finally there is the emphatic declaration, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (verse 31).

Each day, we can reach out to omnipotent Truth for the specific truths that heal.

We can daily turn to God and pray to see more clearly that we are not the product of soulless matter. We are instead the offspring of our loving Father-Mother, divine Love. The will of our Father-Mother is continuously to bless us. Love bestows its own goodness on us by forever expressing that goodness in us. Our real selfhood, which is the image of Spirit, expresses Spirit’s harmony. Inheriting disease is a spiritual impossibility, because our divine inheritance is the substance of Spirit, which is eternally fresh and new and incapable of disease.

Father-Mother Soul identifies and individualizes us. Soul lovingly outlines who we are, expressing in each of us the beauty of holiness and the perfection of being, including unique form, outline, and the intelligent capacities of Soul. Our true life, which is the likeness of divine Life, is held safely in immortality. Our life is filled with joy, activity, and unending purpose. In the allness of Life, what lies ahead is not a shaky path through uncertain circumstances, but divine Love’s perpetual unfoldment of good, forever taking place now.

Through daily prayer for ourselves, this reality of our being becomes more apparent to us on a daily basis. Our spiritual identity has always been who we really are, but the understanding gained through prayer parts the veil of materiality sufficiently to give us wonderful glimpses of what God has created us to be, glimpses that destroy fear and bring healing. 

At times prayer is a quiet listening for spiritual ideas from divine Love, which comfort and heal. At times it is a vigorous defense of who and what we really are—a strong reaching out to take hold of spiritual reality. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures Mrs. Eddy writes: “If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (p. 21).

We are not on our own in this work, because God’s love supports our spiritual progress. The Christ and Holy Ghost are continuously present, working to bring the spiritual uplift we need. Christ, or Truth, speaks to our waiting thought, revealing our spiritual perfection. The Holy Ghost, divine Science, operates to renew, strengthen, and free us. It is God’s loving law being fulfilled in us.

In the Bible it is clear that Christ Jesus prayed often, sometimes getting away from the crowds and even his disciples in order to pray. Taking time in our own quiet corner is important for us as well. Each day, we can reach out to omnipotent Truth for the specific truths that heal. We can learn more of ever-present Love, which “casteth out fear” (I John 4:18). And we can understand with increasing thoroughness the wholeness of our God-given being.

Daily prayer for ourselves is an opportunity we all have. From it flows our ability to pray for others and even for the world, because of the spiritual strengthening it brings. Such unselfed service and devotion to Truth are greatly needed, and they bring unending blessings.

David C. Kennedy, Editor

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