Where we can pray

One morning a few years ago I was at my daughter's school, visiting her kindergarten teacher. Children were busy with various activities around the room , when one little girl came over and politely interrupted our conversation. ''Excuse me, but I don't feel very good. My head hurts and my stomach feels bad, '' she said.

''Oh,'' the teacher responded, ''I'm sorry to hear that. What do you think would be the best thing to do?''

''Praym!'' the little girl said earnestly. It was clear there was conviction behind her statement.

''Do you think we ought to call your mother and have her take you home?'' the teacher asked. ''I think I can pray my way out of feeling sick,'' the little girl replied.

The teacher seemed a little bit surprised, but respected the child's desire. ''Well, where are you going to pray?'' ''Oh, right here. I could go over to the book corner, I guess. Don't worry. I know what I'm doing.''

She shuffled off in the direction of the book corner. The teacher and I resumed our conversation. An hour later, after completing some other school business, I encountered the same teacher in the lunchroom. She pointed to our little friend, who was happily eating lunch with her friends. ''Apparently she does know how to pray,'' the teacher commented.

For all of us, there isn't a remedy closer at hand than prayer. It doesn't matter where we are or what's going on. We can instantly and privately turn to God. Our thought is ours, and this is where we pray. And because God is infinite good, maintaining His creation in perfect harmony, He does answer, through divine law, our humble yearning to see more of that harmony.

Christ Jesus taught his followers, ''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.'' n1

n1 Matthew 6:6.

Because this is essentially how the little girl prayed, we don't know anything about the content of her prayer. We probably wouldn't have been aware that she was praying at all, unless she had told us of her intention. She didn't need anyone's permission to silently turn to God.

People may be praying around you, and you may not always be aware of it. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out, ''Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind.'' n2 I've encouraged my children to remember this, and to know that they can pray at school or wherever they are.

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 1.

My daughter shared with me an experience she had at school. There was a disruption on the playground. Serious fighting had broken out. My daughter was frightened and wanted to do something to stop the fighting, but she couldn't see what she could do, and there weren't any teachers on the playground at that moment as there usually were. ''I just started praying!'' she said. ''I'd been thinking, 'Have these kids lost their minds?' Then I remembered the Bible words 'We have the mind of Christ.' n3 I knew that God is the Mind which created the whole universe, including all of us. That's got to mean that the thoughts God gives all of us are good, not mad or out of control.''

n3 I Corinthians 2:6.

Soon the fight broke up, she said, and everyone went back into the building. But there was a test coming up right away. My daughter said that she felt upset about the fighting, and thought her classmates must be upset too, and that this would cause them all to do poorly on the test. ''But I prayed again,'' she said, ''to really know with all my heart that 'we have the mind of Christ.' And I think it went pretty well.''

Her prayer had been silent. No one knew she was praying; but it helped her, and she was convinced that to some degree it helped the general atmosphere.

Mrs. Eddy writes: ''The 'divine ear' is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.'' n4

n4 Science and Health, p. 7

This is an assurance we can trust. We have the complete freedom to pray wherever we are. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord will receive my prayer. Psalms 6:9

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