Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
One night a friend called me to pray for her. I said I would. She was in great abdominal pain and afraid to be alone with her three young children. I had just been praying that day about fear. I'd been thinking about a Bible verse that says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10). I'd seen that this verse gives no heed to the particulars of a given problem that causes fear. Instead, it directs us to think of God.
God is ever present, the only presence. He is Life. God is the whole substance of our being, and we can never get outside of His care and love. When we understand that we are in God's presence, we feel cared for. No circumstance, no situation, can separate us from God; sickness, fear, lack, inharmony, confusion, sinful temptations, accidents, pain are not insurmountable.
When we are struggling with fear, there is often a lot of personal concern: "What will I do? How will I do it? Will I be OK?" Getting rid of the fear isn't a matter of talking oneself into feeling OK about things; it is a matter of yielding to God, the One who says, "I AM THAT I AM" (Exodus 3:14). God is forever voicing this assurance to you and me. What's important isn't what the situation is at any given moment, but what God is eternally.
Prayer to be free of fear is really about learning how to get still and listen for God to reveal Himself. It's about feeling the assurance that God controls His entire creation. Each one of us is included in this creation.
I said to my friend that night, "You are not afraid!" This wasn't a mere pep talk or just positive thinking; it involved a spiritual fact. That is, because God is the source of all existence, He defines all and determines that creation is spiritual and good, emanating from Him. As His image and likeness, my friend must be fearless, as God is fearless.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, explains the Science behind the teachings of Christ Jesus-Christian Science. It says: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious-as Life eternally is-can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let Christian Science, instead of corporeal sense, support your understanding of being, and this understanding will supplant error with Truth, replace mortality with immortality, and silence discord with harmony" (p. 495).
As I prayed for my friend that night, I became utterly convinced that, "life harmonious" being all there is, she had no capacity for fearing. I stuck with this conviction. And after I shared some of these thoughts with her, she said, "You're right, I'm not afraid." We had not tried to hash over her problems and come up with human solutions; we had seen that her circumstances were not actually the reason for the fear. I had not tried to talk her out of being afraid; I had seen her as incapable of fear because of her identity in God. My friend felt the pain begin to leave very quickly. Within the hour she was completely free. And the pain never returned.
Fear is not something we "own." It is not something belonging to a person because he or she has such and such a problem. Fear is impersonal, a lie about God and His child. Prayer is a scientific and consistent means of destroying fear. We are never stuck in the variables of circumstance and emotion, bodily sensation or psychological makeup. So long as materiality is what we base our sense of existence on, there will be certain conditions that make it impossible for us to stay on top of our lives, no matter how hard we try to manage fear. But if when we feel fearful we turn to God, we'll find solutions. We'll truly be able to say, "I am not afraid," because we feel God's omnipotence as the very premise of our being.
God is good, the only foundation for existence. He is right now revealing that He is omnipotent and that you are secure in Him.