In American courts of law, the accused is considered innocent until found otherwise. Only if the prosecution has demonstrated the culpability of the accused can judge or jury pronounce a verdict of "guilty."
In health matters we often assess our environment, eating habits, hereditary factors, and other material circumstances and draw conclusions about our present well-being from these evidences. People often accept guilty verdicts about having not lived healthy lives, either by choice or involuntarily, and find themselves serving "sentences" of sickness.
While the wisdom of "innocent until proven guilty" works well in courts of law, it is not aptly applied in questions of health. There is no legitimate guilty verdict to condemn us to being ill. We always have from God the divine right to declare and prove ourselves innocent of illness, even when all the evidence may point to the logic of the opposite conclusion. This is because the source of the evidence is suspect. The body's condition is typically assessed by the five physical senses. In truth, though, these senses conspire against our awareness of our true nature, which is of God, forever expressive of health and wholeness. This spiritual nature is not perceived through the five senses. Concluding a verdict on the state of our health based on material evidence and human reasoning is like allowing a venerable saint to be convicted on the testimony of felons!
A sound source of evidence concerning the state and status of our well-being is found in understanding that God made us as perfect as He is. Christ Jesus proved this by his many healing works. The Bible says that we are made in the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26), and this presents a fundamental, spiritual truth that is infinitely more accurate than any physical evidence. God declares us eternally innocent.
If we are to perceive how this verdict applies to our daily lives, however, our thoughts must be changed through prayer. Prayer leads us away from a mortal, material viewpoint concerning ourselves and others, to adopt the view that God forever has of His creation. According to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, we should "blot out the images of mortal thought and its beliefs in sickness and sin." This is an activity we have the right to undertake in defense of our own well-being. "Then," the book says, "when thou art delivered to the judgment of Truth, Christ, the judge will say, 'Thou art whole!' " (p. 391). This was written by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Christian Science Church so that anyone could learn the same laws of God by which Jesus healed.
We are whole, now and forever, because this is how God made us. When we pray for ourselves, or others pray for us, on this basis, we can expect a restoration of health, no matter what the physical problem. This health is the evidence of the spiritual fact that our God-given perfection is always true.
One day I became ill. In fact, I became increasingly incapacitated with sickness as the day progressed. I had an important meeting to chair in the evening, and I did start out for it. But as I approached the location, I didn't feel I could go in, let alone conduct a meeting. At that point I went to a public telephone and called a Christian Science practitioner, someone who devotes his or her full time to praying for others according to the teaching of Jesus found in the Bible. She said she would pray for me.
In the short time it took for me to walk to the meeting from that phone, the symptoms I'd been suffering from subsided and the illness lifted completely. When I had previously suffered from similar symptoms, it had taken days, if not longer, for me to recover fully.
Despite the physical evidence, prayer proved that I was free of the sickness-as God's children always are. You, too, are innocent of whatever physical difficulty you may face. You can claim and prove your spiritual perfection, countering all evidence to the contrary.