HOW effective can a very brief prayer made while walking through a doorway be? Very! As I found when such a prayer helped me accept a new opportunity in my work.
Here's what happened. I had been typing legal transcripts in my home for about a month when one day I went to the court reporting service as usual to turn in my work. This time, however, as I went through the doorway, I found myself praying. The prayer went something like this: Father, if there is a need for a special talent I have, I'd like to fill that need. This prayer, asking God to match me with work I could do beyond what I was already doing, was spontaneous. It even surprised me.
When I got inside, the woman in charge showed me a larger shorthand book than I had ever seen, filled with someone else's shorthand notes. One of our state courts needed approximately 3,000 pages transcribed, and the reporter who had taken the notes was unable to do the work. Transcribing someone else's shorthand is never easy, but this was truly a daunting task! If it had not been for that doorway prayer, I probably would have said no. I had just barely learned the form for the transcripts, and this wou ld mean producing the work of an official reporter except for taking the original notes in court. I was personally overwhelmed at the thought. But that quick prayer to God gave me the courage to accept the task.
I was comforted by a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal that assures us we do not work alone. The hymn begins:
'Tis God the Spirit leads
In paths before unknown;
The work to be performed is ours,
The strength is all His own.
Then came the hard part--actually completing the work. The need for God's help was evident in many ways, but I viewed the job as an opportunity to see how God's love would provide everything necessary to complete the assignment. I knew that God, divine Mind, was able to supply me, as His creation, with the intelligence, insight, discernment, and wisdom the task required. It was a joy to see how God provided the many different answers I needed as I was doing this work. I was grateful to realize that in G od's all-inclusiveness there truly never was a lack or need, that in His entire creation all good is forever supplied. And it was.
As I sat with the shorthand books in hand, I felt a special warmth. I was happily confident that I could rely on God for help. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out in Unity of Good: "Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. Studying the notes or working at the typewriter, I felt the intelligence of Mind as an ever-present help to rely on at each stage of the project. There were challenges, but I felt definite assurance that I could do what was needed. The completed project was received with much appreciation.
Christ Jesus said, as we read in Mark's Gospel, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. No matter what we need, we can pray with the assurance that God is both able and willing to answer.
Every answered prayer strengthens our spiritual conviction. We recognize more and more what we intuitively feel when we pray--that our answer is there. The presence and continuity of good, acknowledged in each prayer to God, are spiritual facts that enable us to open thought to the ideas that are already present to meet the need.