Is it possible to be benefited ourselves when praying for others?
Yes. If such prayer is motivated by genuine compassion and love, it will inevitably bring blessings and healing to us as well. “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, contains this wonderful teaching: “The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good” (p. 518).
I will never forget the way the truth of this statement was illustrated to me one Saturday, when I was battling flu symptoms that were getting increasingly worse despite the fact that I had been praying about the condition for several days.
I love to turn to God for healing of problems of any kind, and I’m grateful to have seen consistent, reliable, and beautiful healing from this prayer in Christian Science. I’ve been healed of sickness, found employment, and seen broken relationships mended. Beyond these practical benefits, I particularly cherish the feeling of God’s love for me that comes when I turn to Him in prayer.
Every one of us can feel this wonderful love. The Bible teaches that God is Love and teaches of His unchanging care and love for all His children.
Christian Science explains that this loving God is entirely good. Science and Health states, “The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death” (p. 140). God nurtures and cares for us and meets our every need. And recognizing the spiritual fact of God’s infinite goodness and power brings healing.
Having prayed on and off about this problem with no apparent results, on this particular Saturday morning I took a pillow and comforter out to the living room and put them on the couch, planning on staying there all day. I intended to sleep on and off, as I carried on as many of my business activities as I could by telephone and computer. It looked as if it would be a day of barely getting by.
But a turning point came when I did something at lunchtime that I love to do over meals: pray for our community, our state, and the world. I did not pray for myself or do any other work – I spent the whole lunch praying for the community and the world. My prayers included affirming that God and His goodness and love are present everywhere to guard, guide, and lift hate, envy, doubt, and fear. That because God is also the divine Mind, He is the source of infinite intelligence, expressed in all of us, including those in government.
These are spiritual truths I have seen proved in my own life and which I love to apply more broadly, as well. I was very inspired by these prayers that day.
I had not thought of my ailment even once during lunch, but had been completely absorbed in my prayers. When I got up from lunch, I realized to my great surprise that all the symptoms, including weakness and weariness, had disappeared. I was completely well! And I felt rejuvenated and joyful.
I put the comforter and pillow away, confident that this healing was complete. And so it proved to be.
This healing reminded me of something Mary Baker Eddy once wrote in a letter to congregants of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston: “Learn to forget what you should not remember viz. self, and live for the good you do” (L05043, Mary Baker Eddy to Septimus J. Hanna, January 15, 1895, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library).
In fact, the “grip” of illness had been broken in my thought when I turned away from inward and self-centered thinking and instead let my thought be filled with the Love that is God, and with love for my fellow men and women. As I recognized and established in my own thought that the reign and government of God, eternal good, is truly present and active in our community, our state, and the world, this government became apparent in my own thought and life, bringing complete freedom from the illness.
What a grand opportunity we each have to be a healing influence in our communities and the world, and in the process bring great blessings into our own lives.
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