Prayer that is answered

There are a lot of needy and even desperate people in this world who are reaching out to God for help with sincere hearts. They may be unemployed or hungry, lonely or ill, and they are often afraid. Some of them are finding answers from God. But many others who are just as sincere may not be getting answers. As a result, they may get angry and even believe they have proved there is no God. Or they may wonder, more meekly, if they're turning to Him in the right way. The Apostle James writes, ''Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.'' n1

n1 James 4:3.

To be sure we are praying to God aright and not amiss, we need more than honest and sincere faith. We have to have some correct understanding of God and His laws, just as we have to understand the laws of mathematics correctly in order to prove them.

Christ Jesus taught that God is good. Indeed, he said, ''There is none good but one, that is, God.'' n2 God creates only good and knows only good. He creates man in His perfect likeness, and since God is Spirit, man's actual nature is completely spiritual, not material. Man, as God has created him, is indestructible, untouched by evil. To God and to His perfect man, there is no lack, no sickness, no fear - though the very opposite appears true to a mortal, physical sense of life. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ''To infinite, ever-present Love, all is Love, and there is no error, no sin, sickness, nor death.'' n3

n2 Mark 10:18

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 567.

Certainly human problems can seem very, very real, even immovable. But as we yield to the comforting spiritual truths of God and man, we will come to see God , infinite Love, as the only reality. And we will understand how to pray better and how God answers prayer. We will progress beyond asking God for the particular thing we think we need. Instead, we will pray to Him for more spiritual understanding, for peace, for love. And as a result of our better understanding of His ever-present care, we'll experience that care in tangible, appropriate ways that meet our current needs.

When people in Christ Jesus' day asked him how they could do the works of God , too, he turned them back to the pure spiritual understanding of God and man that was the foundation of his works, as solid footings are the foundation of a house. The people tended to focus on his works, or healing. He knew they needed to focus on his work, his life and teaching, and the healings would naturally follow. ''This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent,'' n 4 Jesus said.

n4 John 6:29.

To hold our thought, through prayer, to the Christly truths that Jesus taught , is to experience the kingdom of heaven, which he said is within us and is the main thing we should be seeking. This kind of prayer makes us better, more Godlike, and it's the only way for us on earth to glorify God in heaven. Through such prayer we are deeply, spiritually satisfied, and our human needs are abundantly met too.

God has not gone away. He is as much ''our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble'' n5 now as He was when the Psalmist wrote those words and when Christ Jesus so tenderly proved them. We just have to turn to Him in the right way. God is Love, and Love is infinite in its care. When we seek God first rather than more or better things, we find Him. We come to love Him more. This is what we most need, and it cares, in turn, for every daily requirement.

n5 Psalms 46:1.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. 1 Corinthians 14:15

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