A glass of cold water perks you up on a hot day. A timely vacation rejuvenates your outlook. A movie or concert provides a welcome diversion. We're glad to have this kind of refreshment from time to time.
A form of refreshment transcending these is prayer -- restful, deeply enriching communion with God. The answer to our problems -- to loneliness, dissatisfaction, sickness, unemployment, frustration, and the fear that so often underlies these -- can be found through prayer.
Why is prayer effective? Because it brings us more into accord with God's ever-present love, with His boundless goodness, with the joy and satisfaction and strength that come from Him alone. Through Christianly scientific prayer the dead-end, materialistic elements in human thought give way to the refreshing mentally and thereby make us happier and more productive.
To feel freshing experience we can have, though the human mind resists that thought, preferring to find refreshment within its own limited sence of things. While recreation can serve a useful purpose, and may even be the outcome of prayer, we might well spend more time refreshing ourselves with clearer views of God and of our own identity as His image. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, "Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views." n1
n1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 32.
Each of us needs to withdraw from the material sense with their tired, limited view of everything. And we can do this through prayer, which developes our spiritual sense. Through spiritual sense we come to understand God and feel the joy He is always imparting to man.
While material sense may be telling us we're bored or lonely, spiritual sense assures us of our completeness and perpetual satisfaction as offspring of God. While material sense may be telling us that sickness is overwhelming us, spiritual sense conveys the conviction that God is the only power and that our actual and only selfhood, in His image, is totally spiritual, indestructible, well. While material sense may be burdening us with feelings of hopelessness, spiritual sense is opening to our view new possibilities and the certainty that regardless of how bad things appear, they can be corrected through the harmonizing power of God.
This kind of refreshment isn't escapism. It's a potent healing force that enriches human life by bringing into view something of the concord that characterizes God's creation. Spiritual sense reports what's true -- what God, infinite Love, has actually established. He hasn't established disease or hatred or conflict. So these aren't the unbudging realities they seem to be, and we can begin to prove it as we take the time to refresh ourselves in prayer.
How do we do this? Christ Jesus showed us the way in his Sermon on the Mount. He said, "when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." n2
n2 Matthew 6:6.
Through silent prayer we can shut out the commotion of materiality, the fears and frustrations, and listen for God's thoughts. God is omnipresent Love, the one infinite Mind, and His thoughts refresh us with true views of existence, which material sense has temporarily hidden. Our spiritual sense is then awakened, and we know that all is well because God made it that way. We realize that discord is a fleeting deception, even though is would present itself as an immovable force. We do not realize it, we begin to prove it in healing.
So prayer isn't a form of escapism. We're not ignoring reality when we pray.We're beholding reality, the perfect reality that God has created, unseen by the physical senses. We're refreshed with clearer views of our true nature as God's child. This strengthens us, renews our inspiration, guides us in the right path.
Prayer, as Jesus taught it, is refreshing and effective, not boring or futile. Today is a wonderful time to start proving this. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Men ought always to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18:1