WE were nearing the end of a lengthy international flight. Forty-five minutes before landing, the pilot gave us the gloomy news that the airport ahead was fogged in. He said that there were thirty aircraft before us waiting to land and that we would go on to the next scheduled stop three hundred miles away. It was very important to my husband and me to land that afternoon in the right city, as it must have been for scores of others on the flight. I grumpily said to my husband, ``If only he had told us earlier, we could have prayed about it.'' Then I corrected myself. ``We can still pray.'' For the next twenty minutes we prayed vigorously. Certainly others must have been praying too. We thanked God that He was in control. We rejoiced that there could be no obstruction to the smooth operation of everything in His universe. We knew that in the divine reality of creation all God's children are governed by His wisdom, never out of place. We prayed until we felt sure that all was well, that we were under God's jurisdiction alone. Not long after, a surprised voice over the loudspeaker told us that the fog had suddenly cleared, and the way was clear for us to land. We touched down in brilliant sunshine.
Admittedly, this was a small incident. Yet even if the situation is desperate, it is never too late to pray. If we are faced with a chronic illness, if an accident threatens or final exams are only hours away, heartfelt prayer is certain to help.
Who is it that we are praying to? God, who is Spirit, all-knowing, infinite Mind and all-powerful Truth. Nothing is impossible to Him. He is not limited, not restricted by time or circumstances. He is the Father of all, ever present and ever loving. He wisely guides and enfolds all in His tender care. Prayer that embodies an understanding of this is a powerful help.
To Christ Jesus, prayer to his divine Father was as natural as breathing. He turned to God for help even when many times it seemed too late. He once received an urgent summons to cure a young girl who was dying. However, it appeared he had arrived too late, for he was greeted by the wailing of mourners. In this most desperate situation Jesus prayed, and his prayer was answered by the girl's restoration to life.1
Jesus' teaching and healing work were an inspiration to the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, who wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The first chapter in this book is titled ``Prayer.'' She writes: ``Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void.''2
Can anyone pray to God for help? Jesus' teachings show us that we can all pray directly to God. He gave his followers, and us, the Lord's Prayer, and gave instructions about how to pray.3 He also said, ``What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,''4 indicating that we need conviction in order to see the fruition of our prayers.
Prayer involves a resolute turning to our divine Father for help and guidance. It includes a rejoicing and a gratitude to God for His love and tender care. We can pray under any circumstance. There is no situation that doesn't benefit from prayer.
Praying can dissolve worry and fear, opening the way for God's blessings. It's like opening the door of a dark room so that the sunlight streams in, dispelling the darkness.
The wonderful thing about prayer is that it doesn't have to take a long time to see the results. Jesus' prayers brought instantaneous healings. Our prayer to God even at the eleventh hour of our need can bring immediate help, for God does not need the human element of time to express His power. He is supreme now and always. When we have tried to do things our way, and failed, we can pray to God in faith and understanding and find that He is always there to help.
1See Luke 8:41, 42, 49-56. 2Science and Health, p. 2. 3See Matthew 6:5-13. 4Mark 11:24.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1