The school year was almost over, and I was so excited about summer vacation. As the last five weeks of school approached, though, I started to get a sore throat. I wasn’t too scared at first, because I had gotten sore throats in the past and they would always go away pretty quickly. But this time, it hurt a lot more and it didn’t go away.
When the weekend came around, and I still wasn’t feeling well, I thought that I could pray about the sore throat instead of just riding it out. I’ve learned about prayer in the Christian Science Sunday School and how it can bring healing, so I was confident that this was a good approach.
When I’m in pain or going through something challenging, I often turn to the Bible for help on how to pray or ideas to get me started. I really like this passage: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10, New International Version). I liked the idea that nothing could stop me from doing any “good works,” including any end-of-the-year work.
I thought that I could pray about the sore throat instead of just riding it out.
I kept thinking about this idea, but I still felt sick on Monday. So after lunch, I went back to my dorm room early. I lay down on my bed and tried to focus on the fact that we are God’s masterpiece—His perfect image. An image of God, who is good, can’t include pain, because pain isn’t good. An image of God, who is divine Life, can’t include sickness, because sickness isn’t part of Life. However, no matter how much I tried to keep my thoughts on this idea, it felt like the pain kept striking back harder.
But then, right in the middle of my struggle, I heard a voice say, “Listen!”
I gave the spiritual ideas I’d been praying with my full attention and let them speak to me to a point where I knew they were true.
I thought that was weird, because it sounded so clear, but nobody was in my room.
Then I heard it again: “Listen!”
I figured I must be hearing God, so I got very quiet and told Him that I was listening. Then I had the thought that I needed to really listen to myself. So instead of just telling myself these spiritual ideas, I decided to actually listen to myself and understand what I was saying. I gave the spiritual ideas I’d been praying with my full attention and let them speak to me to a point where I knew they were true.
After that, I fell asleep. Later, when I woke up, the pain in my throat was gone. It had completely disappeared.
It was helpful to learn that prayer isn’t about telling ourselves spiritual facts, but about understanding and accepting those facts as true. God helps us do this.