PRAYER isn't limited to rigid statements or an invariable formula. And prayer is not reserved only for times of crisis. Prayer is how we learn what God is and how we draw closer to Him. And it's something we can do at any time.
When I pray, I try to really understand the ideas behind the words. I might be saying (or thinking): ``I am God's child. I can't be sick (or tired or sad or poor). There is no evil to invade my being." This isn't just wishful thinking, though. There's a reason that I can honestly declare that I am not sick (or tired), even when the body is showing quite contradictory signs. It's because I'm beginning to understand that God creates man--that's you and me--wholly spiritual. So when I say I, I am striving t o get a clearer view of my genuine identity, which is wholly spiritual.
To do this, of course, I have to learn more of God, who is my creator. Christ Jesus taught that God is a loving Father. This is literally true. God is the Father and Mother of everyone. That is, Deity creates and maintains each of us. And since God is Spirit, His creation must be spiritual. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, makes this point clearly in her book Unity of Good. In a dialogue between Good and Evil, she has Good declare: ``Man, as God's offspring, must be spiri tual, perfect, eternal."
God is totally good. That is why man, the creation of a good, omnipotent creator, must also be completely good. As the Bible says in Genesis: ``God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." Man is a loved idea of God. Each individual inherits all of the characteristics of the divine Parent, including spirituality, eternality, purity, goodness, intelligence. On this basis it is logical and reasonable for us to identify ourselves as God's child, or idea, and to claim the perfect hea lth and freedom that go with that identification.
And since God is omnipresent, there is no room for any other mind or power to think or cause anything. That is the basis for accepting that there literally is no evil to invade your being or mine. Mind, God, can't be invaded or opposed. And evil can have no source or cause, since God is all, the only cause.
As we express Godlike qualities, such as honesty and generosity, we become more conscious that infinite Mind's absolute law of wholeness, indestructibility, and integrity is the only law. This understanding brings any needed adjustments to our experi-ence.
I try to pray each morning. And part of my prayer is establishing in thought my continuing relationship to God. During the day if I'm faced with a challenge, it has become natural for me to turn to God for the assurance that I have never been separated from my Father-Mother's care.
A while ago, for no apparent reason, I was suddenly seized with severe pain in my back. It was very uncomfortable to stand up or sit down. I knew that God never causes or allows pain and that I, as a spiritual creation of God, could not be kept from expressing the ability to move normally. Although I had to move more slowly, I continued with my usual activities while I prayed. I don't recall how long it was exactly, but within a few days, I was back to normal.
As our trust in God's power is put into practice, we find we can meet fearlessly any temptation to believe that evil has power to hurt us. Disease, sin, inharmony, bad habits, poverty--any difficulty--can be challenged on the basis of our understanding that if God, good, did not create something, it has no power or reality. If we understand the spiritual basis on which we can make such a claim and get a grasp of the absolutely good nature of God, we'll see in our lives the evidence of the truth of our af firmations.