Prayer that heals

A WOMAN I know said that she often wondered when she was growing up and plagued with so many physical ailments, ``Why doesn't God hear my prayers?'' She was very religious and would plead for deliverance from her suffering. But healing still seemed elusive. God does answer prayer. But perhaps our prayers need to embody less fearful pleading and more understanding trust in His care for man.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ```The prayer of faith shall save the sick,' says the Scripture. What is this healing prayer? A mere request that God will heal the sick has no power to gain more of the divine presence than is always at hand.'' And she continues further along, referring to God as divine Truth and Love, ``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.''1

Christ Jesus' assurance ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free''2 takes on new meaning for the person who begins the study of Christian Science. He begins to see that an understanding of God makes free because the fact is that everyone's real selfhood is God's likeness, therefore eternally free, spiritually whole and safe at this moment. The spiritual laws underlying the Master's words and deeds, their changeless Principle, become clearer to the individual who gains some practical understanding of the Christ-power that Jesus expressed so fully. And this imbues his prayers for himself and others with power and efficacy.

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The law of God is available for everyone to learn and benefit from. When the spiritual truth of God and man is specifically brought to bear on a particular trouble through prayer and purified living, healing takes place. Whether the difficulty is of long duration or is acute, something of the spiritual harmony of man in God's likeness inevitably comes to light.

The spiritual concept of man is basic to the teachings of Christian Science, and this is why adherents of this Science find it essential to pray from the Biblical standpoint that man is made in God's own image.3 Accepting the premise that God is perfect Spirit, as the Bible teaches, they realize that the creations of Spirit can only be spiritual, perfect. And this is the reality of man's being, despite appearances to the contrary. It must be, because God couldn't have created man subject to discord and destruction.

In the measure that we express our true nature as this spiritual likeness, we are following the example of Jesus, who healed sin, disease, and all discord through spiritual means alone. Mrs. Eddy writes: ``The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus' time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.''4

The last one hundred pages of Science and Health are devoted to healings that resulted from studying this book. Among those wonderful experiences are healings of cataract, rheumatism, cancer, consumption, deafness, kidney disease, stomach trouble, and astigmatism. Christian Science has lifted countless thousands out of painful physical conditions.

Jesus promised us, ``Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.''5 Humbly striving to follow the Master's teachings through an absolute faith in God and a growing discernment of the true nature of man as His perfect likeness, we can begin to fulfill that promise and find healing.

1Science and Health, p. 12. 2John 8:32. 3See Genesis 1:27. 4Science and Health, p. xi. 5John 14:12. Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I Corinthians 14:15 30-{et

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