It can be tempting to see prayer as a potentially futile exercise, a wishful technique or set of hopeful words to try to get through some difficult situation or manage pain – but not necessarily something that leads to practical results. Yet many, including me, have found that prayer can indeed bring tangible healing. Last month, a news article caught my eye when it asked: “Can science explain the reason why people get healed after being prayed for?” The story reported how researchers from Vrije University in Amsterdam are “looking into the science behind healings that occur after prayer.”
Often research into science and prayer relates to how mental states reduce stress or produce other physical changes with positive health effects. But more than 140 years ago, a woman named Mary Baker Eddy dedicated her life to looking deeply into what she believed must be a spiritual law behind the healing works of Christ Jesus. Her inspired search of the Bible culminated in her discovery of what she termed Christian Science, and she published her findings in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” a book that continues to show how we can indeed find healing solutions through scientific prayer.
Wait ... scientific prayer? Yes – prayer based on the spiritual truth of God’s infinite goodness and its expression in all creation. Such prayer enables us to trust that despite the surface appearance that there is only physical cause and effect, the love that God has for each of us is spiritual fact and primal cause.
I was able to apply this divine Science in my prayers for myself when I discovered an abnormal growth on my body. Its location suggested this could be a serious condition. However, as I turned to God in prayer, I felt assured that since there is one almighty God, one supreme good cause, then this condition, although it seemed frightening, simply couldn’t be true about who I really was as God’s good spiritual creation.
My daily prayers became the application of this spiritual truth. I saw more clearly that no matter how serious a problem looks, it doesn’t change the fact of God’s love for us or our loveliness to God. Divine Love doesn’t create or know us as suffering, pained, conflicted mortals, but rather as immortal ideas of its goodness.
From this spiritual viewpoint I began to gain a clearer view of the actual unreality of the not-good growth in light of the reality of good, and the unhelpfulness of any speculation about it. My desire to better feel my inherent wholeness was answered as I saw more fully the truth about my true identity and relation to God as Love’s perfect, spiritual expression. In a very short time, the growth simply dissolved, and hasn’t returned.
On the basis of this central truth of God’s allness, many have found that prayer becomes reliably effective. It lifts thought to a higher standpoint that’s in accord with what God is, knows, and does. Praying from this spiritually scientific standpoint, one starts to find more healing, harmony, and right answers to problems of all kinds.