Prayer takes the fear out of school exams

Each of us has a God-given ability to express intelligence, focus, calm, and integrity even in situations that seem intimidating, as a student experienced when it was time to take a high-stakes national exam.

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In my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the completion of high school involves taking a national exam that tests students on all the concepts they’ve learned. The exam can seem intimidating, and at my school it was made even more so by seniors who had already graduated and were in the habit of scaring us by saying that success on the exam was based on luck, rather than on how we studied and answered the questions.

However, I had so much trust in God that I rejected all that was said about the exam and assured my parents that I would do well on it. What comforted me was the thought that this was an opportunity to put into practice what I had learned in the Christian Science Sunday School.

I considered the definition of “God” in the Glossary of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy: “The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence” (p. 587). This helped me see that God is infinite, so we all have a solid connection to Him, and we all express His qualities.

While I was in high school, besides studying, I spent time reciting and singing Mrs. Eddy’s poem titled “Love” (No. 32 in the “Christian Science Hymnal”). I acknowledged that those who made up the exam, the teachers, the judges, and the students were all governed by God, divine Mind. God is always righteous, and He is taking care of us. It was thanks to the infinitude of Mind’s intelligence that the exam writers were able to put together the exam, and we students were able to express that same intelligence when it came time to give an answer. We all reflect the divine omniscience; we are all the very likeness of Him who knows all.

In Sunday School we were taught that God’s help is always present, so I prayed steadfastly not to forget this spiritual truth and not to be influenced by what others were saying. While I was taking the tests for the exam, I stayed calm and focused, knowing God was guiding me and the other people in my exam room, as well as those who were taking the exam all over the country.

I finished my tests with joy, and now it was time to wait for the results. I did not stop praying, but continued affirming that my fellow students and I were the image of the All-in-all, so we had no need to fear. It is natural for God’s children to always be in their right place, because man is governed by God – not by test scores. I knew that regardless of the outcome of the exam, God was always guiding and caring for us.

On the Sunday before the results were to be published, rumors were everywhere that the students in our province had the worst test scores in the country. A young man came to tell us that in our exam room only five out of the 16 had passed and that the other 11, including me, had failed. He demanded a sum of money to help us pass. But staying firm and confident in God, I soon felt a comforting conviction that I had passed the exam.

When I finally got the news that I had indeed passed with a high score, I thanked God. And my joy was very great to discover that in the room where I took the exam, everyone else had passed too. This was proof to me that all power belongs to God, and that everything is possible to God.

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez ici.

Adapted from an article published on the website of The Herald of Christian Science, French Edition, Jan. 6, 2020.

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