I have heard a saying that God is quick to hear prayer but takes His time to answer. Yet I have found that God's answer to prayer is quick, and comes in the form of right ideas-ideas involving faith, courage, love, wisdom, and many more. Our understanding of these spiritual ideas is proof that we have accepted God's answer to our prayer. These ideas are always here, because God is eternally present.
One of the enemies these ideas can destroy is fear. The Bible asserts that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1). So in our lives, when fears for ourselves, our children, or our countries seem to be overwhelming, we can remember that God is Love-is that "very present help." Fear is not of God's creating because it is totally the opposite of Him. God never made a fearful person or a dangerous universe. Now and forever, all that He created is safe and secure.
Any one of the five physical senses may insistently represent us as vulnerable, as living in a world of fearsome conflict. But in fact, almost 2000 years ago, St. Paul knew what was true when he said, "In him [God] we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
The destruction of fear and its effects-healing-is no miracle, and is possible because the spiritual truths found in the Scriptures have power. They prove that there is no reality in fear, or in any kind of evil. And understanding the reasons for these spiritual truths improves situations in our lives; knowing the facts of God destroys fear, prevents accident, heals injury, and brings peace.
God is the only reality. Divine Love is the only reality. The understanding of this, rather than a mere recital of Bible statements, is what stops fear and brings about healing. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, never feared; even in the midst of a raging storm at sea, his trust was firmly in God's power, and this stilled the storm and the waves (see Mark 4:36-41). The example of Jesus implies that you and I can follow in his way.
One day my son was helping me deliver flowers. He accidentally knocked his face against a steel shop front on the way, and he bled profusely. As a Christian Scientist, I knew right then that God is Love, the true healer, ever present to dispel fear and through this to heal injury. My urgent challenge, besides attending to my son, was to stop fearful thoughts about the injury without delay, by understanding the spiritual fact that this child was God's child and thus invulnerable.
While taking the boy back to the flower shop, I prayed silently. I sought to feel God's presence, instead of a fearsome condition. I chose not to obey fear, but to have faith in God. "There is no fear in love," the Bible says; "but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love" (I John 4:18). Calmly I asked everyone not to fear, which would only frighten the child and impede healing. Although there was no opportunity to explain the Christian Science healing method to the worried shop owner, I was able to pray until our fear subsided. As I steadfastly trusted God's help, the boy's crying and bleeding stopped. I washed the wound, and we carried on our work.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, says this: "When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, 'I am hurt!' Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real.
"Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be" (p. 397).
The next day the boy was healed-completely. A day later I brought my son back with me, and everyone saw that he had been quickly healed without use of medication. There was much awe expressed by people who had expected dire results. By that healing, now it was easier for me to show that prayer is Christian and is scientific-that it does heal quickly and completely, when fear is destroyed.