Recent surveys vary, but most agree that almost 95 percent of Americans do, in some way, have faith in God. How important is our faith to us? How much do we rely on it?
I had an experience that taught me a lesson in faith. I'd had many healings through prayer, including physical healings. So, when I found I was struggling with a sudden paralyzing pain, I chose prayer for healing. But I was afraid that perhaps I didn't know enough about God to help myself. And I knew I needed help right then.
Just at that moment, a calming thought came to me: "Where is your faith? The faith you have is enough to help you." I began to look deep inside my consciousness, to understand just where my faith rested. This quest to reach the bedrock of reliance and trust in God was expressed in thoughts that almost could not be described by words. I found a deep inner conviction of God's presence and power that I knew could never be shaken. I began relying on it, putting all my trust and conviction in the power and willingness of God to resuscitate and heal all His dearly loved children.
When we feel like we're being buffeted by a storm, we can get to the deep, inner calm of trusting God with all our hearts. Our help rests in what we know or learn of Him. The Bible expresses this thought clearly: "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" (Isa. 41:10). Sometimes this knowing may be nothing more than an unshakable conviction that "God is." If that is all we know, it will be enough for us as we recognize that God is the source of all that is good. It will be enough for us as we realize that this good God is all around us, includes us, and is a law governing us. Out of His love for us, God meets all our needs. His will for His children is good. Prayer brings us into conscious awareness of God's grace, which is always present. When we have faith in the effectiveness of this powerful grace, we experience healing.
Jesus Christ had unwavering faith that his prayer to God was always able to bring healing and regeneration. He said: "I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. It is his will that I should not lose even one of all that he has given me, but raise them all up on the last day. For it is my Father's will that everyone who looks upon the Son and puts his faith in him shall possess eternal life" (John 6:38-40, "The New English Bible").
What a wonderful thought, that God's will of good for His children is eternal life, which might be thought of not only as immortality but as life that expresses the qualities of God. Qualities like His perfect, harmonious control; His love (seen through His grace); His might. And this eternal life doesn't include anything that is unlike Him, such as sickness, pain, suffering. Eternal life must be Godlike in every way. The promise Jesus made concerning faith in God and His healing power gives us the assurance that we can express the qualities of God, and find regeneration in our lives through the prayer of faith. You and I can trustingly have the faith in God that is effective to heal.
When I put my trust steadfastly in God in that time of illness, I did find healing. Within about three hours of the onset of the condition, I was free of pain, and about an hour after that I felt able to move around freely again. I got up and resumed my normal activities.
"Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by Mary Baker Eddy, offers invaluable insights on the prayer of faith; it contains the complete statement of Christian Science. The first chapter of this book is titled "Prayer." It begins with the words "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, - a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love" (Pg. 1).
When faith is rooted in spiritual understanding and unselfed love, we are living in God's eternal kingdom of grace. And we experience healing!
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at www.tfccs.com.