THE practice of primitive Christianity was, and is, a grass-roots movement of ordinary people doing remarkable things through the healing power of prayer. Christ Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was a carpenter. His first disciples were fishermen. The men and women who followed his teachings came from many races and nations, and many occupations. They were united through prayer, and healed through prayer.
Today, ordinary people around the world are praying and healing through prayer. They are normal folk doing remarkable things without public acclaim because they love and trust God. Are you one of these people who are trying to follow Christ Jesus? You can be!
Mary Baker Eddy discovered the Science underlying Jesus' teachings and his marvelous healing works. She wrote a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that sheds new light on the Bible and on how prayer brings healing. The first chapter in the book, ``Prayer,'' opens by turning us immediately to God: ``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'' (p. 1). Christ Jesus' efforts make plain that God, divine Love, is the healing power. ``I can of mine own self do nothing,'' he said in John's Gospel (5:30). And elsewhere in John he plainly told us, ``The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works'' (14:10).
What makes Jesus' example of God-empowered healing a truly ``grass-roots'' movement is the simple fact that you and I are children of the same Father. God, divine Spirit, created us in His image; we are wholly spiritual. When we pray with the spirit of God's love in our hearts as Jesus prayed, we too are able to heal through understanding God.
The grass-roots movement of healing prayer, started by Jesus, brings us freedom from materiality--freedom from sin, from disease, from death. When we join as freedom fighters, we don't fight with weapons of destruction. We save people by helping to bring to light a more abundant sense of life in God, who is Life. The ``action'' takes place in our own individual thinking as we bring to ourselves and the world the freedom that comes from a renewed understanding and love of God in our hearts.
As we tackle the task of cleansing ourselves of ungodly elements such as envy, revenge, self-righteousness, self-justification, and ignorance of our true nature, it can seem at times like a battle. But we needn't be discouraged. The task, truly, is a joyous one. And it is one that God's love enables us to accomplish. The purpose of this spiritual warfare is to let our God-given nature shine through.
But what if we don't feel adequate to the task? There's a story told in the Old Testament about a woman who considered herself poverty-stricken and helpless. She was a widow. Her two sons were being taken into slavery to pay off a debt. She spoke to the prophet Elisha about the situation. His response was to ask her what she had in the house.
When she told him she had nothing except a pot of oil, Elisha told her to borrow all the empty containers she could from her neighbors and to pour the oil into the empty vessels. She did this and all the containers were filled. Elisha then told her to sell the oil and pay her debt. The woman used what she had. Her trust in God and in Elisha enabled her to obey the instructions that provided what she needed.
A verse from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 359) always reassures me of the effectiveness of trusting God. It reads:
Trust the Eternal when the
When joys of daylight seem
so like a dream;
God the unchanging pities like
Trust on and wait, the daystar
yet shall gleam.
As you and I trust God, and pray with the spirit of God's love in our hearts, we take part in the greatest healing movement the world has ever known.The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.