IT was spiritual promptness that allowed Jesus to stop the funeral procession and restore the woman's son to life. This story, found in the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, has always impressed me. The power Christ Jesus expressed, and the courage and trust in God that he had, enabled him to raise the dead in the presence of many people--at a very public time.
Recently I learned that promptness really implies more than just being ``on time." It also refers to being ready and quick to act as the situation demands. Isn't this what Christ Jesus did when he stopped the pallbearers and said, ``Young man, I say unto thee, Arise?" And the man was restored to life.
Because this newfound understanding of promptness has impressed me so, I've been praying to express it more in my own life. I've been striving to really be prayerfully ready to respond to any circumstance, no matter how unexpected it may be.
I still have a way to go! But I've been finding how important it is to be ready to pray. Prayer not only heals but also prevents difficulties. Prayer demonstrates man's oneness with God. Whatever God is, man reflects. This doesn't mean that man is God, but rather that he is Godlike, made in God's image, in His similitude. Thus man, our genuine selfhood, acts in accord with God and is ready, quick to respond to any need.
Recently, one of our children fell and hit her head. Instead of bouncing back to her feet she began to cry and was very upset. I took her in my arms to comfort her. I spoke to her of her God-given perfection, which had never left her. I reminded her that God protects His children and that she could never be out of His care.
But the more I talked to her, the more I began to wonder if she really understood me. Doubt and fear set in, and I wondered what was going to help her. Then two thoughts came that reassured me. The first was from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by the Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy. It was: ``Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple verities that will make them happy and good." In the next paragraph she continues: ``Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right." This helped me because I realized that it was natural for her to love and respond to good, to love God and His messages.
The second thought that came was the fact that what I was doing was expressing the spiritual promptness that I had been praying to see more of in my experience. At that very moment I was praying as the situation demanded--to know and feel the healing power and presence of God. I knew that this spiritual promptness was a blessing to me and to our child. Immediately she settled down and climbed from my lap perfectly healed.
The Bible counsels us in II Timothy: ``Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season." Praying to be spiritually ready to heal, and to prevent, inharmonious experiences prepares us to meet the challenges we face. Turning to God and striving to follow His commands give us the spiritual strength and courage we need to stand up to whatever is erroneous and correct it. We may feel that we're far from ready to express spiritual promptness. Yet, we can begin by acknowledging that God is in control of ma n. The more we're ready to respond to inharmonious conditions by turning promptly to God, the better we'll be at handling them. Christ Jesus raised the dead through his spiritual confidence that God is All. We can base our responses on an understanding of the allness of God. This begins with prayer, and we can practice praying with immediacy.