MARCH 14, 2018
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE
SCIENCE & HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES
BY MARY BAKER EDDY
42:8 …the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.
29:11 … I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as “a very present help in trouble.”
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.
SH 12:2 (to ?), 10
What is this healing prayer?
It is neither Science nor Truth which acts through blind belief, nor is it the human understanding of the divine healing Principle as manifested in Jesus, whose humble prayers were deep and conscientious protests of Truth, — of man’s likeness to God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love.
The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea,—perfect God and perfect man,—as the basis of thought and demonstration.
Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.
The world must grow to the spiritual understanding of prayer.
12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
5:17 Pray without ceasing.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
12:24 … fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
SH 4:3-5, 9, 17-22
What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.
Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.
The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer?”
SH 9:32 (only)
Consistent prayer is the desire to do right.
5 ¶ And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.
The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration.
17:14 … there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, …
5:16 …pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;
14:15 I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also.
Our Master healed the sick, practised Christian healing, and taught the generalities of its divine Principle to his students; but he left no definite rule for demonstrating this Principle of healing and preventing disease. This rule remained to be discovered in Christian Science.
Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.
When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not.
SH 421:15-18 (to 1st .)
Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him.
AND FROM MATTHEW IN THE NEW ENGLISH BIBLE:
6:6 ‘… when you pray, go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is there in the secret place; and your Father who sees what is secret will reward you openly.
8 ‘Your Father knows what your needs are before you ask him.
33 ‘Set your mind on God’s kingdom and his justice before everything else, and all the rest will come to you as well.
19 ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
34 ‘…do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own.’
SH 15:7, 16-22
The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things and rewards according to motives, not according to speech. To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.
In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We must “pray without ceasing.” Such prayer is answered, in so far as we put our desires into practice.
SH 13:6-12, 14-16
If we are not secretly yearning and openly striving for the accomplishment of all we ask, our prayers are “vain repetitions,” such as the heathen use. If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we ask; and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward us openly.
Even if prayer is sincere, God knows our need before we tell Him or our fellow-beings about it.
8:32 … know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
4:19 … my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
3:12 … the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:
21:22 … all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
God is not influenced by man. The ‘divine ear’ is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.
SH 1:11-12 (to ,)
Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, …
Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life.
By George Paul Kemnitz
Christian Science Sentinel
April 15, 1985
There are no formulas or set rituals for prayer in Christian Science. Formulas and outlines are human inventions and are fatal to success in healing. Prayer is individual; it is “God with us” on a one-to-one basis in each individual instance of need. In prayer, we are closeted with infinite Mind, Spirit, working out our own salvation, finding the revelation of infinite Truth. True prayer opens our eyes to see the truth of God and man. It becomes apparent as we pray that man, as the idea of God, infinite Mind, has all that God has, and that this inheritance is supreme.
Long, involved, repetitious prayers can lead to the notion that one needs to plead with the Almighty for help in time of need, whereas the spiritual fact is that God has already provided for our every need and is indeed “not far from every one of us.”7 The only power in words is in the meaning they convey to thought. In praying it is well to use and think only words that we really understand, and to avoid empty, pious expressions. We should endeavor to think and pray in the simplest language. Jesus’ words were always direct, powerful, and effective!
When we see God as He really is and behold man in God’s likeness, we see that there is no time, no place or circumstance, where God’s law is not operating; it alone is law. Having established the truth of being as our own conscious identity, our only true self, we pray with conviction, with expectation. We pray with authority. We are healed!
From the Committee on Publication
Christian Science Sentinel
September 19, 1953
The most valuable ability you can have is the ability to pray. Each one of us has this ability because each one has the ability to think.
No human need is beyond the power of prayer. When we know how to pray, and then do pray, our need is met. Your health, your home, your supply, and your relations with others respond to real prayer. As we read in the Bible (James 5:16), “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
What do we expect to accomplish by praying? In Christian Science, we pray to experience God’s guidance, His tender care, the healing power of His infinite love. We pray to know more of the infinite good which God, divine Love, is constantly giving to His creation. We pray for the spiritual understanding of God and man, and we find that through such prayer our human needs are met.
In Christian Science, we do not ask God to change something. We do not beseech Him to do something He has not already done. We pray to know what already is. We pray to see, to have actual evidence of, what God has already done. We pray to bring our thinking into accord with the truth of God and man. When we do this we experience harmony, for God forever governs in perfect harmony all that He creates.
Who is God that we should seek to have our thought and lives in accord with Him? Christian Science teaches that He is eternal, omnipresent Life, in whom there is no death. He is changeless Truth, in whom is no error, producing and maintaining universal harmony. He is divine Love, in whom is no hate or fear, tenderly loving all that He creates.
Christian Science reveals that God is perfect Mind, the all-knowing, all-acting, and ever-present Mind, the source of all intelligence and all right ideas. He is all-inclusive Spirit, in whom matter and its effects of sin, disease, and death have no place. He is divine Principle, maintaining divine law and order. God is infinite Soul, expressing in His creation spiritual beauty, symmetry, joy, and harmony. God is the One “altogether lovely,” in whom is no discord or evil. Thus we see that God, the one infinite cause and creator, is forever supplying all good.
The purpose of prayer is to become aware of what God has already done for man. We read in the first chapter of Genesis that God made man in His own image and likeness. The true nature of man is to be Godlike. Regardless of material appearances, the real selfhood of everyone expresses God’s qualities. This real man is wholly spiritual and perfect, like his Maker. He is immortal, and abundantly supplied with all he needs. He is healthy, safe, harmonious, and at peace.
“Staying Our Thought on God”
By Alan A. Aylwin
The Christian Science Journal
Isaiah was stating a truth that underlies all genuine spiritual healing when he wrote, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”
However, most of us have discovered that staying thought on Truth is no easy task. The human mind does not take kindly to discipline but tends to dart off on tangents when we attempt to pray. No sooner do we bring it back into the now of spiritual realization than it breaks out again and goes off in another direction.
Does all this sound familiar? It should, because it is a problem that all earnest students must face and overcome if they are to become successful healers.
To corral the unruly human mind and bring it into submission to Truth, one must be willing to take the time, or make the time, to practice holding thought to the divine idea, the saving, healing Christ. This means learning to stay mentally in the eternal now of God’s loving presence, filling thought with the quiet, grateful recognition that at this very moment he is one with the Father in life, mind, substance, and action. Then, if mortal mind’s false stimuli attempt to divert one’s attention and break his communion with divine Love, the only course is to deny the suggestions and patiently bring thought back into unity with Mind. This may need to be done countless times in the course of one’s spiritual education, but the mesmeric diversions become fewer and fewer as one persists in his prayerful work.
Success in healing demands that one learn to develop an inner vision of God’s allness and man’s unity, or oneness, with Him, and then strive steadfastly, unwaveringly, gratefully, to hold thought to this grand fact, denying any mental suggestion that would oppose or contradict it.