Praying Consistently

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Perhaps the thing we do best is the thing we do most consistently. For example, do you ever wonder how famous musicians and athletes become so skilled? It's not just because of talent. Usually, it's the result of consistent practice.

This applies to all of us, no matter what we do. The more consistently we practice at our interests and our jobs, the better we are at them. I've heard it said that great musicians like Mozart and Beethoven didn't sit around waiting for the inspiration of their concertos and symphonies to come to them. Rather, they sat down and composed and revised and edited, whether they felt like it or not, until the work was finished.

Consistency. My dictionary says it involves conforming to a regular pattern or style. Consistency isn't just a human method of accomplishing things. It has a deeper basis than mere mechanical repetition. And I would say consistency is best utilized in prayer. Why prayer? Because more than anything else, prayer brings us into communion with God and conforms our thoughts to Him.

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Consistent prayer helps us to understand that we, God's children, are living in unity with Him. It makes us great "pray-ers." And results-good results-are then seen in daily experience. There isn't anything that prayer can't touch and heal, including disease. Where other methods of healing are mostly aimed at physical effects, prayer reforms human thought and experience through spiritual power. The more consistent we are about praying, the more we feel the good effects of our prayers.

Mary Baker Eddy, who studied the teachings of Christ Jesus, found that prayer for oneself is beneficial and healing. To those who study Christian Science-the laws of God that she discovered-Mrs. Eddy said: "One thing I have greatly desired, and again earnestly request, namely, that Christian Scientists, here and elsewhere, pray daily for themselves; not verbally, nor on bended knee, but mentally, meekly, and importunately. When a hungry heart petitions the divine Father-Mother God for bread, it is not given a stone,-but more grace, obedience, and love. If this heart, humble and trustful, faithfully asks divine Love to feed it with the bread of heaven, health, holiness, it will be conformed to a fitness to receive the answer to its desire . . . " (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 127).

Now, that request was made of Christian Scientists, but prayer is not limited to them. Everyone can pray daily for himself or herself "mentally, meekly, and importunately." Doing this, we express the grace, obedience, and love needed to help and heal ourselves and others. In this way we are fitted to receive spiritual answers to our problems. We find ourselves conformed to God. If you are searching for a deeper understanding of God, you'll find that prayer helps your progress. The more consistently you pray, the more ably you handle life's ebb and flow.

Keeping thought focused on the truth of God involves a spiritual yearning to have Him guide our thoughts. It is a trustful leaning on Him, a looking to Him in time of need. Doing this inevitably improves our lives, whether our progress seems slow or fast. "Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can 'run, and not be weary; . . . walk, and not faint,' who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement" (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 254).

Watching for God in our daily prayer, we find Him in our daily experience. This watching is a searching for the good that God always provides. Sin, sickness, lack, and the like cross our paths daily, in various ways. But consistent prayer keeps us from accepting anything evil as ordained by God (it never is), and thus helps us to eliminate it from human experience. Learning that God is the only power, and that evil has no power at all, is what keeps our lives in harmony.

When faced with frustration or trouble we can, through ongoing prayerful effort, say, "I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved" (Acts 2:25). Through prayer, God is always "before our face."

We cannot be barred from our God-given right to commune with the Almighty. Praying consistently, we'll find that we, too, accomplish great things.

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