It has become fairly commonplace to hear reports about flu and colds this time of year. We've almost come to expect it. What may be a bit unexpected, not to mention hopeful, is hearing reports of how prayer has often been found to make a powerful difference in removing the symptoms of flu.
Christian Science takes the idea of healing through prayer seriously, and it's remarkable how much evidence of healing has been recorded in sister publications of The Christian Science Monitor. Even in the earliest days of the Christian Science Sentinel, during one of the world's most serious flu epidemics there were reports like this one from a man in Alabama, who wrote, “I was given up by two physicians, who said I would live only a few hours. A Christian Science practitioner was called, and in a few days I had a complete healing” (see “During the so-called influenza epidemic in 1918, I was...”). Today, we see many recent healings of the same ailment, for example in The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel (see "Distance no obstacle to healing" and "The worship that brings healing," respectively).
I find these accounts of humanity's need for healing being met not only encouraging but also very credible, since I've experienced the same kind of healing myself. Turning to God brought quick relief to me when suffering with flu symptoms several years ago. In my study of Christian Science, I had learned that as God’s offspring, we all have God-given freedom – freedom from anything unlike God, good – and this allowed me to assert my spiritual dominion with confidence. When I became conscious of my inseparable relationship to God and of His unchangeable goodness, I was healed. And I’ve not had the flu or respiratory suffering since.
The Psalmist explained, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” (Psalms 103:2-4).
Christ Jesus showed God’s power to heal throughout his ministry by healing countless ills and diseases. He expected his followers to also heal through the power of God, Spirit. Peter was one disciple who followed Jesus’ example. The Bible recounts an instance of Peter’s healings: “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one” (Acts 5:16).
Such healing prayer is not mystical, nor available only to a select few. The Science of Christ discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, reveals the natural link between health and a right understanding of man’s relation to God, Spirit. Referring to this, she said, “It is only by acknowledging the supremacy of Spirit, which annuls the claims of matter, that mortals can lay off mortality and find the indissoluble spiritual link which establishes man forever in the divine likeness, inseparable from his creator” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 491).
Man, as God’s image, or expression, can no more be separated from Spirit than a ray of sunshine can be separated from the sun. Spirit is man’s life-giving power. And because God is infinite and supreme, as the Scriptures declare, there can’t be anything opposed to His harmony.
Understanding Spirit’s supremacy, and man as His image and likeness, lessens fear. It gives us confidence to contradict the physical senses with what is spiritually true of God’s creation – that He gave us dominion over all, including sickness and sin.
The law of God that maintains our health and brings healing is available to one and all, at all times and under all circumstances. Knowing such immediate power is universal, we can begin to help ourselves and others overcome suffering and contagion by calling on divine help through our prayers.