No one-absolutely no one-is any closer to God than you are. Why? Because you're God's loved child. And so am I. So are all of us. Christ Jesus, the Son of God, once said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). You can't get any closer to God than being "one" with Him. And each of God's children is one with Him.
So when you want to pray to God, to commune with Him, you don't have to go anywhere special. God's already there with you. You don't need a go-between to tell you what He's saying or to tell Him what you're saying. You only need to open your heart and listen for God's healing thoughts, for His perfect direction. Then God's total goodness and gentleness will start to renew your life with fresh promise and joy.
But what happens if you're having trouble praying? What if you can't hear God? Maybe you feel distracted by what a friend of mine calls "noisy thoughts," thoughts saying you're all alone and can't find God. Or that no one loves you. Or that you're trapped in a hopeless situation like desperate poverty, illness, or abuse.
Well, then, this might be a situation in which you would want to ask someone to pray with you. Calling on a Christian sister or brother to pray with you-that's what you're really doing when you ask a Christian Science practitioner to help you. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, which is the law of God, underlying the life and works of Jesus, wrote: "If students do not readily heal themselves, they should early call an experienced Christian Scientist to aid them. If they are unwilling to do this for themselves, they need only to know that error cannot produce this unnatural reluctance" (p. 420). You can find this in Mrs. Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science.
When you ask for help, you and the practitioner will both actively participate in learning more about your real identity as the lovable and absolutely spiritual child of God. You'll both understand the absurdity, the utter unreality, of any circumstance that says this isn't true of you. And you'll praise God together as you watch the signs of healing arrive.
Practitioners don't ask a lot of questions. They don't try to talk you, or will you, into feeling better about things. Nor do they psychoanalyze you or try to figure out what's wrong with you. Instead, they turn, and help you turn, to the Bible and Science and Health to understand what's true about you; what's real about you; what God knows about you. A practitioner prays to understand, to really know, that the things you're disturbed about add up to one big zero as far as God is concerned. God is too all-powerful and all-good to allow an opposite that could hurt you or stain you. In a word, God created you flawless and spiritual. And He keeps you that way!
The result of prayer with a practitioner is that the Christ-the evidence of Truth right with the two of you as you pray-transforms your view of yourself in a holy way. And in turn this heals mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually.
Sometimes your prayer with a practitioner may heal you of something you didn't even realize needed healing. A woman I know was healed of a total physical breakdown and at the same time discovered she was cleansed of deep, simmering anger and frustration that she had never mentioned to the practitioner or to anybody, and that she had hardly admitted to herself. Everybody in the family noticed her new peace and equilibrium, even before she did. She was healed, and she gradually realized she wasn't capable of feeling that anger anymore.
Of course, each healing-whether it's with the help of a practitioner or the result of praying alone with God-reaches way beyond the issues you've been praying about. It strengthens you so that you can help other people around the world live and practice the Science of Christianity.
Prayer teaches you, healing by healing, just how close you are to God-just how much He loves you and all His children. When you understand that, you'll discover that you can bring quick and blessed relief to people who are frightened or lonely or in pain. You'll discover that you, too, are a Christian healer.