WE all try to stand up for what we believe in and do what we believe is right to do. But what can we do if we seem to be the only one standing for a particular ideal, or solution? How can we know that we really are right? And when we are, how can we gain the courage needed to go forward?
Deep, sincere, heartfelt prayer can be the basis of our strength and guidance. Prayer relinquishes all power to God, good. It acknowledges His control over our lives. And it is what enables us to obey God's will, even if our decisions are not understood by those around us. This prayerful willingness to follow God's direction, no matter what, gives us the courage to do what is right, even if that includes abandoning what we think for what God is telling us. Willingness to hear God's voice, willingness to do whatever it takes to conform to His will, is strength to us as we humbly learn to follow His commands.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures what the teacher of Christian Science must convey to students. She writes: ``The teacher must make clear to students the Science of healing, especially its ethics,--that all is Mind, and that the Scientist must conform to God's requirements." The ethics of Christian Science begin with God. God, Mind, is omniscience. He guides and governs His child, or idea.
When I was in college I learned how important it is to be obedient to God. I had been unhappy with my professors and colleagues. Instead of praying to heal the situation, as I should have, I decided to attend another college. I told a friend about my decision. Even though she tried to discourage me from this course of action, I went ahead with my decision. The day before I left, my friend said to me, ``Keep praying! And if it comes to you through your prayers that this is the wrong thing to do, even if y ou're on the plane, get off and go home."
I thought her comment was odd. But I assured her I would keep praying. As it turned out, once I got to the college it became evident that it was not the place to finish my degree. Humbled, I began to pray for God's will to be done. I yearned to follow His commands and to free myself from the self-will, self-righteousness, self-determination, that had been governing so many of my choices up to that point. I returned to my former college, and through consecrated prayer to listen to God and to conform to Hi s will, the discordant situations were healed.
Christ Jesus consistently listened for God's commands. His life conformed to God's will totally. His every thought and action was based upon direction from God. Jesus once asked a lawyer how he interpreted the Commandments. The Bible tells us in Luke's Gospel that the lawyer replied by citing from Judaic law: ``Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." This needs to be the core of our desire to listen to and follow God's
unerring direction. Through love for God, and a willingness to fill our heart with His commands, to conform to His will, we can stand alone with Him and be God-directed, God-governed, in all we do.
Conforming our will to God's may not always be the easiest step we take, but it will be the most advantageous for all in the long run. Prayerfully turning to God for direction, humbly listening for His guidance, conscientiously following His direction, will advance us toward a life aligned with Him. When we pray to hear and follow God's will, our prayer is answered.