ONE day while listening to a television discussion on the question of prayer in public schools, I heard one of the speakers say that as long as there were tests in school, there would be prayer in school. As with many remarks made in jest, there was more than a grain of truth in this one, I realized.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who turned to prayer, seeking the help of God. So often in these stories, God proves to be the supreme source of intelligence for men and women. These accounts culminate in the life and works of Christ Jesus, whose practice of prayer began what is known today as Christianity.
The woman who discovered Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was inspired by the prayers of Jesus; after sustaining a life-threatening accident, she read the account of a man whom Jesus healed of palsy (see Matthew 9:2-7). It dawned on her that there was no blind faith involved, but an actual, definite rule that underlay the healings of Jesus. With this inspiration, Mrs. Eddy was healed immediately of serious internal injuries, and restored to better health than she had previously experienced. Then for the next three years she searched the Bible to find the rule of healing, and came to this conclusion, written subsequently in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Our Master healed the sick, practised Christian healing, and taught the generalities of its divine Principle to his students; but he left no definite rule for demonstrating this Principle of healing and preventing disease. This rule remained to be discovered in Christian Science" (p. 147).
After pinpointing the definite rules involved in spiritual healing that God revealed to her, Mrs. Eddy was able to heal as Jesus had. And as she saw the possibility for all men and women to learn these rules, she wrote the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health. It is the complete statement of the rules for Christian healing.
One sentence in the book is this: "The starting-point of divine Science is that God, Spirit, is All-in-all, and that there is no other might nor Mind,-that God is Love, and therefore He is divine Principle" (p. 275). You yourself can proceed from this "starting-point" of spiritual understanding in your prayers.
Realizing that you are the likeness of God, you can find yourself included in the divine omnipresence this statement presents. There is no way for you to be separated from His good by background, inability, geographical location, or human circumstance. Where God is, so are you. Consequently, the right intelligence, the solution to any problem, is with you. We all have access to this same intelligence. Its source is God, divine Mind. No power can withstand God's omnipotence.
I have been able to prove this healing power when faced with challenges that seemed beyond my ability or expertise. Once during an intelligence test for an important position, though I had thoroughly prepared myself for the test, I found my mind suddenly blank. Turning to prayer, I received the answer, "God is my intelligence." And like a light turning on, I was able to read and answer the questions on the test easily. Later I learned that the test was given nationally to college freshmen that year, and that I had scored in the top 2 percent of those taking it.
Since then I have turned to God many times when in need of answers. And they have come, along with a growing assurance that I can count on prayer. Abilities and talents that I was unaware were mine have come to light.
There are many kinds of tests that come to us in our lives. I have been finding that the rules of Christian healing given in the Bible, and explained in Science and Health, are just what we need in order to pass these tests successfully.
And thine ears shall hear
a word behind thee, saying,
This is the way, walk ye in it,
when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30: 21