SOMETIMES when we are ill or are having other difficulties, we may feel very alone. Things or people that we have relied on in the past are not available, or no one seems to understand how we feel. At moments like this, I find that turning to prayer can do much to open a pathway to healing--whether of the physical body or of other conditions that are troubling me. Certainly prayer was the resource that Christ Jesus turned to time and again in his wonderful ministry to mankind. He proved that prayer heals
physical disorders and also leads us out of other troubles. The Master promised that each of us could turn to God as he did--and that we could expect results.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was so conscious of the value of prayer that she devotes a whole chapter to it in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. And her opening statement in that chapter is filled with hope for everyone. She 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, an unselfed love."
This understanding of God is what informed the life of Christ Jesus, and its power is available to us too. Jesus provided a wonderful illustration of our relationship to God when he gave his followers the Lord's Prayer, which begins ``our Father and is built on the expectation that God provides all good to His children. It specifically says, ``Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
As we recognize ourselves to be the children of one divine Father, God, and live accordingly, these promises and others we find in the Bible do come true. We see the fulfillment of God's promises as we begin to understand that we are in fact fully spiritual. This means we all ultimately discover that, in truth, we are not material entities subject to birth and decay.
In actual fact, each of us is meant to express spiritual qualities such as intelligence, love, purity, goodness, because we are the offspring of a God who knows and does only good. Then, to gain the benefit of His promises, we need to strive to be good.
Sometimes, of course, we have done all we can to be good, and yet our problems persist. This is where we need to understand more fully that we aren't material mortals trying to be good. Our authentic nature is spiritual and good--and cannot include any earthbound element such as fear or anger. A growing love for our spirituality and an intelligent reliance on prayer can actually bring physical healing into our lives. For example, I once dislocated my shoulder. It was quite painful, and as I prayed for he aling I felt very sure that God would help me. When this didn't happen promptly, I prayed to gain a deeper understanding of my true nature and unbreakable relationship to God.
I suddenly realized that I had been thinking of myself as a material entity who would somehow be touched by Spirit, God, and made well. In fact, I actually needed to realize that I am a fully spiritual idea of God who is never outside of His care! The moment I did this, I was fully released from concern about the shoulder. Almost simultaneously, the dislocation was gone.
Prayer that acknowledges our true spirituality and genuine efforts to live in this way will help us in relationships, marriages, work, academic studies, and any other aspect of human life. This is possible because prayer, as Christ Jesus taught it, places no limitations on God's goodness or His mercy. This divine love for man--for you and for me--is present right now and is available to all of us. If you are in need of help or of healing, you can gain it by turning to God--to ``our Father--for guidance a nd for love. Persist in this prayer, and you will find your way.