From negative predictions to spiritual good
A Christian Science perspective: On scientific prayer that heals sickness.
—Sometimes, scientific predictions of dire outcomes, whether they be for our bodies or the environment, cause people and nations to feel helpless. Drought, financial instability, and disease can appear to be inevitable predicaments of human existence.
But do we have to accept these predictions as facts that cannot be changed? If we are talking about only a limited material view of things, then the answer might be “yes,” but I’ve come to see that a spiritual vantage point reveals a different view that brings to light healing outcomes. This vantage point is based on the understanding that God is divine Spirit, the true substance of all.
I have learned over the years, through my study of Christian Science and subsequent proofs of God’s care, that God is supremely good and does not afflict His beloved creation with harsh conditions. Through prayer, I have been able to see more and more that God truly is the divine substance of all being and that we are each completely spiritual. I have been able to understand a little bit more of what Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “The belief that the universe, including man, is governed in general by material laws, but that occasionally Spirit sets aside these laws, – this belief belittles omnipotent wisdom, and gives to matter the precedence over Spirit” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 83).
Mrs. Eddy’s understanding of the superiority of God, Spirit, over matter was based on her deeply inspired study and love of the Bible, and the many accounts of people and nations that experienced far different outcomes than what limited human opinion would have predicted. These were triumphs of Spirit over seemingly inevitable material predicaments. For instance, the Israelites found themselves in a wilderness for many years. God cared for them in the most unusual ways such as consistent provision of food where it logically seemed there would be none, water pouring out of a rock, and a pillar of cloud that led their way (see Exodus chapters 13, 16, and 17). In the New Testament, Christ Jesus and his followers healed cases of sickness and disease, including blindness, deafness, and leprosy. These are just a few examples of what Eddy referred to as “accounts of the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter” (Science and Health, p. 139).
Through a spiritual understanding of the accounts and teachings of the Bible, Eddy proved the practicality of their healing application today. Over many years up through the early 20th century she healed countless cases of sickness deemed incurable and overcame situations of apparently inevitable lack. Thousands of those who have studied Christian Science have also found healing by this entirely spiritual method.
And today, our need for health and healing can still be met through prayerfully knowing that Spirit is the source and substance of all there truly is. I was once given the dire news that I had moderately advanced cervical cancer, according to routine tests administered during one of my pregnancies. When such a prognosis is delivered, there can be an overwhelming fear of the inevitability of disease, decline, and death. Modern medical science often says these are the expected outcomes. But God showed me a different picture of myself and of the situation.
Through prayer and a deepening understanding of my oneness with Spirit, and with help from a Christian Science practitioner, this prognosis of advancing cancer was reversed. After praying in this manner for a few months, there was no cancer found by a cancer specialist (see “Cervical cancer diagnosis reversed,” The Christian Science Journal, October 2013, p. 34).
Some might call that a “miracle,” but I have come to see that this and many other healings I’ve experienced are the effects of realizing that “the triumph of Spirit, Mind, over matter” is based on God’s all-power and ever-presence. Shedding the opposite, limited view of a lesser, material mind revealed God’s view of spiritual creation, resulting in healing. Eddy explains such healing in this way: “The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs” (Science and Health, pp. 124-125).
Through Christianly scientific prayer, we can challenge the inevitability of negative outcomes based on a material sense of things. Watching and praying, we stick with the spiritual reality – with what God sees and knows about each of us as His beloved children. In this way, we open our hearts to God and discover His spiritual goodness.