`SLOW down; you're going too fast,'' I had to keep telling myself. It seemed that my life was getting out of control. Having too many things to do and not, I thought, enough time to do them, was causing me to feel heavily pressured and stressed. Something had to change. I tried reworking my daily schedule in an attempt to get more done in less time. It didn't help. My problem was not one of efficiency but of priorities. On days when I had made prayer my number one priority, I noticed that my schedule of other activities always proceeded more smoothly. I began to see a definite relationship between how productive my days were and how much time I was spending in prayer.
From my study of the Bible I knew that God was my Life, and that He made His creation good, orderly, and peaceful. As His child, I had the ability to express these qualities in my everyday life, regardless of how many demands were being made upon me. But in order to manifest these qualities more consistently, I needed to listen to God more, to pray rather than just do things. Not that there's anything wrong with action, but prayer is a God-inspired activity.
I thought about how Christ Jesus managed his daily schedule. He certainly was very busy and accomplished many great works. Yet I doubt that he allowed himself to become rushed or hurried by the current of events. His concern was always to do His Father's will, and he always prayed first before taking any action, no matter how pressing the immediate situation seemed to be.
To illustrate, when Jesus was told of Lazarus's illness, he made no immediate outward change. In fact, two days passed before Jesus went to where Lazarus was. Jesus arrived at Bethany, the home of Lazarus, four days after Lazarus had died. At this point it appeared that Jesus hadn't taken action soon enough. But Jesus had responded to the call for help through prayer, and this was sufficient.
The book of John records that when Jesus was told of Lazarus's illness, he told those around him, ``This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.'' This certainty of God's power enabled him to raise Lazarus from the dead, allowing all to see the healing power of Christ over death.
When we are confronted with a pressing problem, we too can turn to God and pray before deciding what to do. God always has a healing answer, but we need to listen to Him in order to hear and be obedient to it.
As I began to pray more, instead of just going through my day doing things, life became much better. All my job responsibilities were met, and my work was more enjoyable because my prayers were revealing to me a new and inspired way of living -- putting God first. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in an article called ``Improve Your Time'' in Miscellaneous Writings, ``Rushing around smartly is no proof of accomplishing much.''
When prayer becomes the number one priority in our daily schedule, we can expect our day to be more harmonious, peaceful, and spiritually productive. Prayer never keeps us from doing other things that need to be done, but it does help us overcome the tendency to get caught up in unnecessary rushing.
The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.