The very first time I was taken to church, I was still a little boy. "Where is God?" the Sunday School teacher asked. The rest of the children were silent, so I pointed to the sky and answered, "Up there."
I think at that moment my own search for God began. Since then I've learned that, yes, God is "up there." But He is also present everywhere else, and with each of us.
God is intelligent, loving all-presence. Not a concept formed of superstition, but the infinite, good Mind - the one intelligence, which is Love. Divine Love truly is gentle and constant because it is the only power.
Once, another Sunday School teacher asked a class: "How can you be sure God is always with you? What if you were stranded on an island out in the middle of the ocean - how would you know that God was there?"
"Because I would be there!" one student answered.
God and His creation must be one, inseparable, because God fills all space. This gentle potency, divine Love, cherishes us, its spiritual creation. There is no space between us and God. And we can surely know God's presence through His qualities - through the expression of good here and now. Order, dominion, purity, kindness, beauty, affection, are some readily recognizable aspects of God.
A humanlike God, sitting in judgment from high in the clouds, would certainly be out of reach. And perhaps even knowing God as infinite Love might sometimes seem difficult. But you probably have at some point in your life felt God's presence. Maybe you recognized He was guiding you, or felt His protection.
Praying in stillness, listening with expectancy for God, reveals divine Love. As we consistently watch and listen in this way, we inevitably discover more of God's nature. God is a bright, obvious power of good, revealed when we aren't dragged down by materialistic, dull thinking, and are willing to look beyond materiality.
The Bible records an important statement that Jesus once made about praying to know God's nature: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt. 5:6).
God will reveal Himself to us in exactly the way we can understand. His message is the Truth, or Christ. According to the textbook of Christian Science, "Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh, - to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 316).
Not too long ago I was asked to do a series of speeches over four days. The night before I was to leave on a plane for the first speech, I came down with what looked to be some kind of flu. The next morning I was worse, and was afraid everyone would have trouble understanding me that afternoon.
Even though I was coughing and sniffling, I was praying, too. Praying to prove the power of God over the flesh. I listened for the intelligence of divine Mind. What I heard, though, was on the subject of God, not me: "God is always perfect. God could not have the flu. God couldn't believe in sickness." I reasoned from there. "If I am the spiritual image of God, then God would first have to be sick for me to be the image of sickness." Well, I went out onto the stage healed, and from beginning to end my speech was clear and effortless. I so enjoyed feeling the presence and power of Spirit.
Then that same evening some people took me out to eat. I was glad it was an early dinner because I wanted to catch up on some sleep! But in the middle of the night, I found myself sick again. Not from flu, but from food poisoning. A full healing of this came much more quickly; my prayer simply acknowledged, gratefully, the presence of God with me, and the fact that I was God's image, free and perfect. (By the way, the rest of the speeches went without a hitch.)
Prayer - and the healing that comes with it - end an anxious search for God. Instead, we actually know God and feel His presence. Healing is a natural consequence of understanding God and expressing His qualities.