Ebola: a prayerful response

A Christian Science perspective

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With reports of the spread of various contagious diseases, it’s obvious immediate help is needed.

In praying about world health conditions, I’ve found it important to fully free my thought from fear. I start with divine Love, which is God, because, as the Bible says, “[P]erfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18). And I’ve found that as I’m more conscious of divine Love as all power and always present in spite of the physical sense of things, fear lessens.

It is heartening to know that Christ Jesus “cured many of their infirmities and plagues” (Luke 7:21), healing “all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23). From Naaman’s healing centuries earlier of leprosy (see II Kings 5:1-14) to Jesus’ healing the 10 lepers (Luke 17:12-19), the Psalmist’s assurance that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1) has proved to be true.

The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered there are laws of God to explain these healings recorded in the Bible and which underlie Jesus’ teachings. Understanding that such healings demonstrate God’s universal law of love allows me to acknowledge spiritual reality, in which all is God, Spirit, and His expression, man, and in this way pray more effectively. Knowing that God’s will for His creation is good enables me to reject images of disease and reports of the assumed inevitability of approaching symptoms.

I do that by praying to replace in my own thought the physical images of disease with the spiritual recognition of man as made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit. Because like produces like, the Godlike, spiritual individuality of each of us manifests the health, wholeness, and immortality of God. Through conscientious prayer we can all do what the Apostle Paul explained: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

Knowing that helped me when I had severe symptoms of pneumonia. Although expectant of God’s healing power, I struggled mightily until I read this passage by Mrs. Eddy: “ ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!’ expresses the helplessness of a blind faith; whereas the injunction, ‘Believe ... and thou shalt be saved!’ demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 23). Confiding all to God at that moment, I felt a quiet confidence in divine Love’s all-power and presence, and was suddenly well. I rose from bed, ate a normal meal for the first time in days, and was back to work the next day.

There is a need for each of us to help humanity by praying to lessen disease and suffering. May all who read this respond in brotherly love by affirming man’s God-given freedom from discord and disease, knowing God’s power to destroy what has never been part of God or His creation.

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