Today, student loan debt in the United States totals $1.3 trillion. Carrying a large debt can be extremely stressful for young students and recent graduates, so this problem deserves close attention.
It has been my experience that a spiritual understanding of God as the supplier of all good, as taught in Christian Science, brings spiritual clarity to thought that enables a person to pray in a way that can bring healing to all kinds of problems, including debt. Communing with God through prayer gives us a better understanding of the spiritual reality, and enables us to see that the law of God, good, is already in operation.
Christ Jesus said: “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Instead of telling God what one wants or needs, we can trust God knows our need. I’ve found it is effective to quietly, and receptively, listen to the ever-flowing thoughts or angel messages communicated through Christ, the divine Truth that impelled Jesus in his unparalleled healing work. Such humble, prayerful listening to Christ helps one become open to and conscious of our inseparability from God’s omnipotent care.
In the book of John, Jesus tells us that “God is a Spirit” (4:24). God, being Spirit, is wholly spiritual, immortal, and incorporeal, and man is His spiritual creation (see Genesis 1:26, 27). So instead of giving man material things or repairing material conditions, divine Spirit gives us abundantly its spiritual ideas. As our thought is wakened to glimpse the perfection of God’s spiritual universe, practical solutions to the problems we face are revealed. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).
A number of years ago I had the opportunity to rely on prayer to avoid going into debt when I returned to graduate school. I left a comfortable job with the assurance that I would receive a scholarship to cover the majority of my anticipated expenses. But after enrolling at the university and beginning my studies, I was notified that this scholarship would not be available. And several days later, having exhausted my savings, I was broke.
I began to pray about the situation, studying two examples of people’s needs being met in the Bible: Elijah was sustained by a widow during a time of famine (see I Kings 17), and Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (see Matthew 14:15–21). Contemplating these stories, I knew that these accounts of supply meeting demand were not isolated miracles from biblical times, but were grounded in a divine law or Principle that was ever present and ever operative – a spiritual law that all could demonstrate when humbly apprehended and applied to one’s particular situation. Although I couldn’t foresee what would transpire in my own case, I prayed along these lines.
The following Sunday I attended an inspiring service at a Church of Christ, Scientist. There I noticed a citation on the wall that read, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494). This inspired me to feel confident something would be revealed to me, and to affirm that God, divine Love, would meet my legitimate need. As an expression of that confidence, I placed a check for $2 in the collection despite having just $4 left in my checking account.
The following morning I was offered a part-time job at the university press. I was also asked to do some substitute teaching. About two months later I was offered a regular half-time position with flexible hours that allowed me to work around my class schedule. Three years later I completed my doctorate having no debt to repay.
Mrs. Eddy tells us: “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.’ Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’” (Science and Health, pp. 12-13).
Trusting divine Love as the source of all we need, and listening humbly for God’s direction, is a powerful form of prayer that can open up unexpected solutions to financial or any other problems you face.
A version of this article appeared on clarionledger.com.