Not long ago I had the happy task of redecorating a part of my home. I selected a vibrant color that I particularly like and set out to find wallpaper and carpet.
My first few hours of searching through wallpaper catalogs were interesting and enjoyable. But as the hours stretched into days and the days into a week, the fun was rapidly turning into boredom and downright frustration! If the color was right, the pattern was wrong.
Finally, I brought my efforts to a screeching halt and sat down to reassess my approach. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with it--on the surface. I had started out happily, expectantly, patiently. But I had overlooked one all-important element--prayer. I had not silenced my excitement long enough to listen quietly for God's direction.
It may sound a bit strange to seek God's help in selecting wallpaper and carpet, an insignificant problem in comparison to world difficulties. But I had learned that we can turn to Him for every aspect of our daily living from the grand, overall scheme of our life right down to its smallest detail.
So I started to pray. The thought came to go back to a store in which I had already spent several hours. I was certain I had exhausted their entire inventory, so I hesitated to follow this directing. But it seemed foolish to pray if I wasn't going to accept the answer, so I followed through. I had no more than walked through the door when my eye was struck by exactly what I had been looking for. There was the perfect paper! The color, design, and outline that I had been looking for were all there. The paper had just arrived at the store and was on sale for a fraction of what I had expected to pay!
That evening I found the carpet. And the remainder of the project was completed with the same ease and precision.
While decorating a room is not a job of earthshaking proportions, the spiritual laws I drew upon are most certainly applicable to global problems and are the essence of their solution. Prayer brings us into accord with these divine laws. Yet we might be tempted to feel that prayer must play standby to the myriad items in our busy daily schedules. But if we allow human busyness to crowd out prayer, we might find that our best efforts fall far short of the desired end. On the other hand, thought attuned to God through prayer brings out the very best in daily living. Hence, Christ Jesus admonished, ''Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.''n1
n1 Matthew 6:33.
The Christian metaphysician has come to see that prayer is not a petition to a super being off somewhere apart from the rest of us. Nor is it a ritual performed at times of desperation or dire need that somehow sets aside physical laws and their punitive effects.
In its deepest sense, prayer is communion with divine Mind, with God, who is Love itself. This is a simple description, but the implications are profound and far-reaching. Such prayer is regenerative and healing. Through it we perceive the perfect spiritual reality of creation established by God. This perception naturally alters our outlook and our actions. And it heals. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it."n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 2.
Amidst the complexities of contemporary living, we need the vision and insight that only prayer can give. To start a new day without prayer is like starting on a trip to an unfamiliar location without a road map. We may spend much time retracing our steps and seeking directions.
Yet, if we're not alert, it's all too easy to succumb to the subtle argument, ''I have to get up so early now, to take time to pray in the morning would mean I'd lose even more sleep!'' Or, ''Where could I possibly fit prayer into my already jam-packed schedule?'' But remembering the value of those precious moments spent in quiet communion with God, we'll see the fallacy of such thinking. We'll start our days with clear spiritual vision. It's hard even to begin to measure the time and energy saved, and the harmony achieved, when our day is shaped by prayer! DAILY BIBLE VERSE Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17