`CAN I reasonably expect an answer to my prayer? Am I good enough to deserve God's help?'' Whatever the form of the question, Christian Science unequivocally answers that we are already good enough to pray. The Bible says, for example, ``This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.''1 The appearing of this divine light and goodness in human experience is as natural as the shining of the sun. So someone who turns wholeheartedly toward God in prayer begins to understand God as infinitely good and to see that an honest response to God's being is what empowers prayer.
Through spiritual revelation, reason, and proof, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, saw the great importance of accepting God's total goodness as a full and present reality. And she found that when you come to this spiritual idea freshly and are willing to fight to have it as primary in your life, a world more like that of the early Christians begins to open up. There is Christian healing of disease and sin, for example. There is more spiritual joy and the welling up of greater capacities for love.
This is a different point of view from that meted out by the majority of society's communicators. Yet at times when conventional sense doesn't offer any hope, people are often willing to think in new ways. Many have found a startling practicality in accepting God as God. Then through their prayer -- their acknowledgment of God -- they are able to see something new. The universe and man truly perceived and understood, Christian Science teaches, literally belong to God.
Because this Christianly scientific fact is always there to be discerned, anyone at any point can turn from the life he or she has been leading and reach out toward the Christ, or Truth, and so feel the touch of Christ forgiving and embracing.
But doesn't Christian Science require that people progress spiritually and stop sinning? Yes, it does, because it is thoroughly Christian, and Christianity requires spiritualization of our lives. But what this growing and regeneration is all about is coming to know the reality of one's own wholly good individual spiritual being as the expression, or image, of God, good. In fact, regeneration really can't take place solely on the basis of finding one's human faults. But discerning, even if faintly, our genuinely good individuality, already in existence, is inspiring and activating.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy writes, ``Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?''2 This question standing alone would be enough to make an honest heart sink. But it doesn't stand alone. It is supported and surrounded all through Science and Health by the Christianly scientific explanation of supreme good, which is God.
Jesus' warning ``There is none good but one, that is, God''3 should make us think twice about trying to perfect an essentially mortal conception of ourselves in order that we can then be able to pray. Who, after all, could be sufficiently good humanly to deserve the perfection of divine good? Yet because God is infinitely good, He isn't withholding any of it from man at any point. For this reason we are always good enough to pray.
1I John 1:5. 2Science and Health, p. 496. 3Matthew 19:17.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the November 6 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.