There may be times when any one of us feels lonely. But loneliness is never a permanent state of being. Through the grace of God, everyone is entitled to find a reason for hope and a way out of loneliness.
Christian Science reveals God's true nature. It teaches what many people intuitively feel – that God is what a psalm declares Him to be: "a very present help in trouble" (46:1).
God communicates with each of His children, and I pray most effectively when I listen to what God is revealing to me, rather than telling Him my problems. After all, Jesus said, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:8). A prayer of listening directs one in ways that are helpful and lead to greater good.
As a spiritual approach to finding answers to life's problems, the listening kind of prayer differs from other approaches to problem-solving that rely on human knowledge. A prayerful method relies on divine inspiration and revelation – and on discerning the divine laws of God and how they operate in our lives. The infinite intelligence of God, Mind, is the source of all true understanding. Above all human knowledge and expertise are the laws of divine Principle, which are able to meet every human need.
Loneliness is not so much a condition of physical isolation as it is a state of thought. Since loneliness is mental, we need to treat it mentally. Prayer directly impacts thought. It uplifts a person's mental state, allowing him or her to rise above limited perceptions. This elevation of thought can reveal a wholly different perspective on life, which leads to a new way of thinking. Prayer causes old views to yield to new understanding, and healing happens.
Many circumstances can lead to loneliness, and we believe that the situation must change for loneliness to disappear. But Christian Science shows that the only change that's needed is in one's thought. By relying on prayer, we can gain God's wisdom and discern what we need to know at a given moment. As Mary Baker Eddy explained in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares" (p. 574).
The change of thought that heals loneliness is not positive thinking – exchanging bleak thoughts for happy ones. Christianly scientific prayer goes to the core of who we are and what we believe, shifting thought from limited perceptions to spiritual conclusions, represented by the following spiritual facts:
•God is ever present; therefore, man is never alone.
•God created man in His image; therefore, man is the full manifestation of all worthiness, fulfillment, and happiness.
•The child of God is never for an instant separated from the divine source of good.
•In reality, there has never been a reason to feel lonely, but there is always a reason to hope and to partake of the abundance of God's love.
For instance, a soldier may feel lonely serving in a distant land, and his or her family and friends can feel alone at home. But separation is a human concept based on physical limitations of time and space. Prayer can lift thought above this concept to perceiving the spiritual fact – that divine Love knows no boundaries. In infinite Spirit, there can be no separation of the created from the Creator or between all sons and daughters in God's universe. Prayer moves thought from a human basis of physical separation to a divine standpoint of spiritual union and eternal oneness.
Jesus made it clear that we are one with God – the only reliable source of all good and fulfillment – never cut off from Love.
Learning that we are alone with God and His ideas, with the All-in-all, is the ultimate fulfilling of life. Once we're on this path, and learn something of its demands and rewards, there is no doubt that life will be satisfying and joyful.
Adapted from the Christian Science Sentinel.