THERE was nothing terrible going on. But I was weighed down with uncomfortable concerns. I was a prisoner of unhappy thoughts. A discordant family relationship had sprung up. I felt burdened by old age. Things were becoming so complex in the world around me. Now and then I felt drastically separated from God.
There was a need to pray-that much I knew. I started with "God is . . . ." It occurred to me that that would be a good basis for my prayer-it would keep me focused on God and on spiritual truth.
I had learned from studying Christian Science to know God as Spirit, the only substance; the Principle and joy of my life; the reason for my existence. I knew that, with God as my guide, I could never be in jeopardy. I needed to be grateful for all the good He was giving me. It might not occur to someone to think and pray in this fashion, but all my life I had been a Christian Scientist, and had learned that starting my prayer this way involved a sound concept. Wanting to comprehend spiritual reality, not confusion, I knew I must listen carefully to the voice of God.
The one Mind that is God is ever guiding us. Our human happiness and peace are found secure in this fact. The paramount need of all of us, and our real achievements, lie in overcoming the difficulties of anger, confusion, aging, or any other evil force. Whether these appear inconsequential, massive, worldwide, or illusive, they are not beyond help. There is no way anything can limit the infinite power of God to overcome each and every one of them, no matter how devastating they appear to have grown.
Throughout the Bible there are assurances of God's help. We read in Psalms: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there" (139:7, 8). The model for all Christians, Christ Jesus, gave example after example of the power that lies in knowing God as Love.
My prayer assured me that I was in the presence of good; of the one God. And my prayer moved on. It became for me proof that quiet communion with God gives us mastery over the most dismaying difficulty. In prayer we see that what is evil is not of God, and that it has no power. Prayer also shows that, far from burdens, each day is actually filled with blessings. We cannot be separated from God and are always in His presence. How necessary it is to feel our needs are being met in prayer-that the vexations of family disorder, of world complexity, and certainly of the decline associated with being a senior citizen, are diminishing and disappearing.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote the textbook of the denomination, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The book says, "Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way" (p. 326). That Father is God. This prayer of mine was opening my way, for it was based on a firm understanding that God is our only source.
A friend once shared a thought that impressed me greatly. It was that I could back off from evil thoughts. This is what I deeply needed-a rejection of the evil thoughts that were clamoring away. I prayed to be able not only to back off from every miserable thought I had been entertaining, but to cast it out as powerless.
And so I prayed. I accepted a perfect God and His perfect, harmonious spiritual creation. I endeavored steadfastly to realize the great power behind prayer. First the obstacles of my despondent thinking began clearing away. Then the troubled family relationship became normal, and I really did begin to see myself as the very expression of God, in whom evil had no place. I found myself in the midst of solutions, and I was at peace.
For thus saith the Lord God,
the Holy One of Israel; In
returning and rest shall
ye be saved; in quietness
and in confidence shall
be your strength.