Elements of Prayer
The Apostle Paul must have glimpsed and felt the Love that is God when he wrote, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life. . . nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able too separate us from the love of God."n1 Through prayer, we too can feel God's love.
n1 Romans 8:38, 39.
Prayer doesn't necessarily take place with words. To commune with God doesn't mean to simply repeat a collection of familiar petitions or statements. Effective prayer takes place more through thought and action than through speech. Often, in fact, the simply felt need to pray the motive itself can be more powerful than any words we might say. In this sense, prayer is a yearning attitude. It is an unselfish desire for the right thing to happen in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Such prayer partakes of the nature of Christ Jesus' beatitude, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."n2
n2 Matthew 5:6
Through Christian Science we come to find that there is no condition or situation outside God's ability to heal and save us. This is true because of what God is and because of what we truly are. God is infinite, all-powerful Spirit, as the Bible clearly teaches. Therefore, we're not, in reality, temporary physical organisms separated from our creator, but eternal spiritual beings His children created and sustained by pure, immortal Love. The prayer that faithfully yields to this living truth is the prayer that heals us and fulfills our longing for love and peace. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, "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, and unselfed love."n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 1.
Prayer is a deep, heartfelt love for goodness, extending beyond simple talk. It is also a dawning realization that God, Spirit, is absolute good; that man is His perfect likeness--spiritual, not material-and that therefore whatever in our lives seems to be unlike good, be it pain, hatred, or greed, is not lasting or true. It's a lie that must disappear as we realize that God, divine Love,l is the only genuine force and presence.
Christ Jesus illustrated the spirit by which we find an answer to prayer in a parable about a man who stood outside his friend's house at midnight pleading for some loaves of bread to give to another friend who was traveling through. The friend to whom the request was made was already in bed, but he got up to give him the bread. Jesus explained, "Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth."n4
n4 Luke 11:8.
The importunity Jesus spoke of in this parable is an important element of prayer. The man's request was persistent. He didn't stroll over to his friend's house with a casual request. He felt a real need. And he received the loaves, "as many as he needeth."
The teachings of Christ Jesus are powerful and relevant. Through prayer we can prove this, vigorously claiming that as loved chikdren of supreme Love, God, we deserve to be -and are -whole and free. The honest conviction, spiritual basis, and tireless thrust of our prayer come from God Himself. It is He who enables us to meet, cut through, and dissolve the resistance to goodness in our lives. As Mrs. Eddy movingly writes, "Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void."n5
n5 Science and Health, p. 2.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24