SOMETIMES people who are depending on prayer for healing are very able to participate in their own healing but are reluctant to do so. Perhaps this is because they haven't recognized the relationship between their state of thought and their health. But isn't the condition of their body perhaps telling them of their need for reassuring, calming, strengthening, uplifting thought? And how can they experience this without valuing it and wanting it? Spiritual healing requires us to let go of self-centered, limited, materialistic thinking through prayer and to yield to the infinite power and goodness of God. This power is always present and available to everyone, but it isn't always recognized and accepted and applied effectively. We come to feel the divine influence, not through begging God for healing but through exercising the humility and receptivity that enable us to discern and experience His healing power. And the ability to do this is inherent in everyone. When Christ Jesus healed a man of palsy he said, ``Thy sins be forgiven thee.''1 While the overcoming of sin may be an important factor in healing, this doesn't mean that all disease is traceable to a specific wrong action. Fear may be the primary factor, or perhaps belief in heredity or contagion.
Whatever the supposed cause, the need is to yield in prayer to the one divine Mind, to the pure, fearless, inspirational thoughts that are derived from God and that bring healing. The power that heals isn't the human mind thinking right thoughts instead of wrong thoughts. The healing power is God Himself. As we're receptive to divine Mind, material, personal, brain-oriented thinking with its limitations and routine patterns yields to fresh, expansive thinking that comes from the infinite wisdom of the one Mind. Prayer shows us more of how to reflect this Mind intuitively and express it in everything we do. Then we demonstrate more of our true selfhood--what the Bible describes as God's image and likeness. (See Genesis 1:26.)
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Christian Science classifies thought thus: Right thoughts are reality and power; wrong thoughts are unreality and powerless, possessing the nature of dreams. Good thoughts are potent; evil thoughts are impotent, and they should appear thus. Continuing this category, we learn that sick thoughts are unreality and weakness; while healthy thoughts are reality and strength. My proof of these novel propositions is demonstration, whereby any man can satisfy himself of their verity.''2
I had an early experience that showed me what I had to do to be healed and that satisfied me of the efficacy of this method. I fell down some stone steps and hurt my leg badly. Later, at home, when I opened Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy and read about spiritual causation and its all-embracing, continuous effectiveness, I felt sure that healing would come through my prayer. The next day, though I was still limping, I continued to ponder the meaning of God's being the one true cause whenever my attention was drawn to the problem. That evening I found myself running for a bus quite freely without any pain or stiffness. The next day I played hockey.
Our part in healing isn't just reading and reciting something in a ritualistic way, or trying hard intellectually to think more spiritually. It's quietly lifting thought in prayer above the material sense of things to the acknowledgment of God's presence and power right where we are. Then the thoughts we need come simply and clearly, and we feel their transforming power, mentally and physically.
1Matthew 9:2. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 252. The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. II Chronicles 15:7