I have always prayed for myself. In the Christian Science Sunday School I’ve learned that God loves me and is always with me, and so whenever I haven’t been feeling well or faced other challenges in my life, I’ve always known I could turn to God and be healed.
Once, in elementary school, I had a cold. I stayed home from school and tried praying about it. But I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. I would ask God why I was sick and then ask Him to heal me as soon as possible—as though God had given me the sickness in the first place or knew anything about it. Because I was very young, I still didn’t totally understand how to pray correctly.
After telling my mom how I was addressing the issue, though, she suggested a different approach. She said that instead of thinking of myself as sick, as though the sickness was mine or something physical I had to get rid of, I could think of sickness as a belief or a false suggestion. Since it doesn’t come from God, that was all it could be—a lie that could never actually be true. She explained that as God’s loved child, who is completely spiritual, I could never actually be sick. The only thing going on, always, is God’s supreme and omnipotent love for me.
Since sickness doesn’t come from God, it must be a lie.
My mom also suggested that one way of praying that would help me stay on the right track would be to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy and then to really think about and pray with a passage that stood out to me.
Keeping that in mind, I opened Science and Health and turned to a random page. I ended up on page 391 and my eyes locked on this passage: “When the body is supposed to say, ‘I am sick,’ never plead guilty.”
This idea turned my entire mind-set around. For the first time, instead of feeling like I had to heal or change something, I realized that sickness was an incorrect view of things, and I could deny it based on my understanding of God. This led me to the idea of standing porter at the door of my thoughts, and recognizing that anything that doesn’t belong in my thinking, because it isn’t Godlike or good, could be kicked out immediately. I prayed with that idea before I went to sleep that night.
All of the suggestions of illness that I’d faced the previous day had completely vanished.
The next morning, I noticed a dramatic change. I didn’t feel sick at all and was completely well-rested. All of the suggestions of illness that I’d faced the previous day had completely vanished, and I was left feeling healthy and well.
What I learned from this is that God doesn’t make us sick, tired, hurt, and so on. That’s a misconception. So to pray effectively, we don’t have to ask God to get rid of something, but simply to help us see ourselves the way He does: as already perfect.