Prayer for a newborn

My husband and I are very grateful to have had home births for our three children, all of which were wonderful experiences. Immediately after the birth of our first child, however, there was a problem with the baby’s breathing. The midwife noticed that the baby’s respiration rate was double—at times triple—the rate expected in a newborn. 

The midwife was concerned the baby might have a lung infection. She said that if the baby had been born in a hospital, then the baby would have been examined and monitored closely. She asked us to watch the baby through the night and said if the breathing rate didn’t improve by morning, we should go to the hospital to have the baby checked.

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My husband and I told her that we’d like to have Christian Science treatment for the baby, and she honored our choice. We called the Christian Science practitioner who had been praying and working with us throughout the pregnancy and asked him to work on this problem specifically. He agreed to do so and directed us to a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal which reads:

In atmosphere of Love divine,
   We live, and move, and breathe;
Though mortal eyes may see it not,
   ’Tis sense that would deceive.
(No. 144, adapt. © CSBD)

I stayed up all night, holding the baby in my arms, reading that hymn many times and singing it to the baby. I sought to truly understand the meaning of each line. By morning, I realized that the healing wasn’t about trying to correct a discordant material condition, but rather it was about destroying a false claim of mortal, material sense, which was trying to convince me this child wasn’t created perfect by God. As the perfect child of God, he lived, and moved, and had his being in the atmosphere of divine Love, which is always harmonious. I saw that I didn’t need to pray to try to correct a physical condition that was real, but to destroy a lie about the baby’s true state of being.

Overnight, the baby’s breathing rate improved, but it was still somewhat elevated. The midwife visited in the morning and observed otherwise normal newborn behavior, and no longer expressed urgency about taking the baby to the hospital. However, we all agreed it was important to witness complete healing, to demonstrate fully the baby’s perfect spiritual nature. My husband and I were encouraged by the progress. So we decided to have a second Christian Science treatment and continue praying ourselves.  

During prayer, the thought came to me that I needed to let go of a personal sense of responsibility about the baby’s existence—I needed to know that I wasn’t solely in charge of the baby’s well-being. God was the child’s true creator, and God’s nature as the ever-present, all-good Father-Mother of us all ensures that He looks after each of His children. This little baby wasn’t left out of that care, and neither was I. The practitioner supported my efforts to let go of this false sense of personal responsibility. The next morning, the baby’s breathing rate was completely normal.  

Since this healing occurred, there has never been any return or suggestion of a breathing problem. Nearly eight years later, the child continues to be healthy, happy, vocal, and active, and anyone who has heard him would say he definitely has a strong set of lungs! I’m so grateful for the tender love and spiritual truth the Christian Science hymns express, and for the reliable and quick healing power of Christian Science.

Alexandra Salomon Ziesler 
Park City, Utah, US

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