Has there been a time when you desperately needed to know what to do, and just the right thought has come? You may have recognized it as inspiration from God, divine Mind, the source of all intelligence. God is constantly imparting His pure thoughts to all His offspring, and our job is to listen for His messages.
In the rush of daily living we need to take time to be quiet and make a conscious effort to hear what God is saying to us. Sometimes as the result of prayer we may get a fresh, unexpected thought to take a particular course of action; at other times His message may come as a Bible verse or a line from a well-known hymn. This is God speaking to us, and we find the help we need when we recognize this and obey Him.
In the Bible we read, ''Be still, and know that I am God.'' n1 How do we become still? Through prayer. And we pray, we commune with God, by shutting out fear and other elements of materialistic thinking, and listening for His healing , guiding thoughts. When we turn with all our heart and soul and mind to God for help, we become confident of His ability to take care of the whole situation.
n1 Psalms 46:10.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, we can read accounts of protection that resulted from hearing and obeying God's direction. Noah listened and built an ark, thereby protecting himself and his family from the flood. Abraham listened and realized he did not need to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Moses listened and was given the Ten Commandments, which today and always will be a chart for right living and acting.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God as consciously as man talks with man.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p. 308.
The New Testament records the supreme example of Christ Jesus, our Way-shower , who continually turned to God in prayer for His unfailing guidance. And the Master's accomplishments are unparalleled.
When I was a child I thought how wonderful it would be if God would talk to me. This desire to feel God's direction was later fulfilled when I became more interested in the Bible through the study of Christian Science. I became accustomed to praying, listening, and obeying.
I remember a time when I owned an old house that always needed repairs. I was working in the garden one day when the thought came very clearly, ''If you really want to sell, now is the time to do it.'' This thought came several times. I recognized this as divine direction. The next day I put the house on the market, and in five days it was sold. I had no idea where I was going, but I trusted that guidance would come. In an unexpected way, it came about that within a month I purchased a plot of land, and plans were drawn up for a new home.
As the building progressed, I had many decisions to make, and each step was taken prayerfully. This proved to be a happy and satisfying time. I lived in the new home for eight years until employment took me to another part of the country.
Sometimes listening to God isn't easy. We're besieged by a clamor of fearful thoughts about our own affairs or world events. We hear reports of unemployment, illness, accidents, wars, and so forth, which all deny that God is in control. Our physical senses insist that evil is an unbudging reality. Yet over and over again in the Bible we read assurances such as ''I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.'' n3
n3 Isaiah 45:5.
Do we, then, ignore evil? No. But we realize through our understanding of God's infinitude that negative situations are not giving us the true view of the universe any more than our senses are reporting the truth when they tell us the earth is stationary and the sun moving from East to West.
Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health: ''To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.'' n4
n4 Science and Health, p. 15.
When we listen to and seek to know God, we do discern His guidance. Through such prayer we come to see that the man and universe of God's creating are spiritual and wholly good. And as we continue to purify our thought, day by day, we realize more clearly than ever that our actual identity, and that of all mankind, is inseparable from God, safe in His care. DAILY BIBLE VERSE I will hear what God the Lord will speak. Psalms 85:85:5. 4 Science and Health, p. 15.