The power of prayer to heal

Today’s contributor, who was having ongoing breathing difficulties due to allergies, shares how she was healed as a deeper sense of Christianity brought a new perspective of her real identity.

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Some years ago, as I was listening to an inspirational talk, I marveled at an account the speaker shared of his complete recovery from a serious car accident through relying entirely on prayer. The seemingly miraculous account reminded me of Christ Jesus’ healings in the Bible, which I had learned about as a child in Protestant Sunday School but frankly had not thought about since.

I wanted to know more about how this healing was possible. The speaker was a Christian Scientist, so I began attending the Wednesday testimony meetings at the local Christian Science Society. Here I heard the members joyously share how they had been healed of a range of difficulties by relying solely on the spiritual laws of God.

Inspired by this, I began to study Christian Science. Gradually I learned that spiritual healing was the natural outcome of understanding that God, Spirit, is the very source of our existence and that each of us, as God’s spiritual child, reflects and expresses the infinite goodness that constitutes God’s being.

One analogy that helped me understand this radical line of spiritual reasoning is that of the inseparability of the sun from its rays. I saw that just as the sun pours forth light as rays, God expresses His attributes – beauty, harmony, holiness, etc. – in His offspring, man (a generic term that includes woman, too).

This statement in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy further clarified the idea of our inseparability from our creator: “As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being” (p. 361). I loved this so much that I put it to song and sang it as a prayer throughout my day.

The more I acknowledged the spiritual fact of my oneness with God, the more harmony I experienced in my daily affairs. For instance, up to this point, I’d had extreme breathing difficulties owing to an allergy. Medical tests had identified pollen from the geranium flower as the cause for the difficulty. I wasn’t specifically seeking healing for this difficulty, nor had I even entirely grasped that healing of this particular condition could truly be possible. But my yearning to know more fully the presence and power of God, good, resulted in experiencing more of that goodness in my daily life, and over time my breathing became normal.

In fact, I actually forgot about the problem until some time later, after I’d moved to Canada and met and married a dear man who loved growing geraniums. He wintered them and then nurtured them into bloom the following summer. One summer, my mother came for a visit, and with great surprise she asked me, “What are you doing with geraniums in the house?” I burst into laughter, realizing what a complete healing I had experienced.

Reflecting on this experience, I now know that my prayer to feel God’s goodness governing my life was answered as I accepted that my true identity was, and is, the God-derived expression of God’s spiritual qualities, rather than just a mortal, material being. Humble prayer opens the door for our thought to become more spiritual, that is, to express our oneness with God, and in the process, our human experience improves, including our health!

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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