WHAT IS PRAYER?
At the most basic level, prayer is communing with God. Prayer doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, it’s an individual unfolding for each of us.
In the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy describes prayer as follows:
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 1:1–4
So as we learn in Christian Science, praying has to do with faith, understanding, and love. It is a combination of all three that allows us to pray in a way that brings recognition of God’s care into our lives meeting the present need — whatever that may be — including physical healing.
HOW DO WE PRAY EFFECTIVELY?
In his ministry, Christ Jesus gave the key to praying effectively. As he explained to his disciples,
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
This truth that Jesus was referring to is our unbroken relationship to God as described in the first chapter of Genesis where it states two foundational ideas of Christian Science:
- “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
- “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
We find then that knowing the ‘truth that makes us free’ is knowing ourselves as God knows us and created us — very good — which makes us free from anything unlike God, good. Because we are created in the image and likeness (reflection) of God, who is infinite Spirit, then the clearer our understanding of God, the more we know ourselves and others as God’s image and reflection.
IDEAS FOR GETTING STARTED
- Study the following definitions in the Glossary of Science and Health on p 579: God; Good; Creator; Christ; Jesus; Man; Spirit.
- Read the chapter on Prayer in the beginning of Science and Health.
- Visit a Reading Room. There is an attendant on duty, lots of study resources, and a quiet place to gather your thoughts.
- Read or listen online to testimonies where individuals describe how they pray.
- Attend a Wednesday evening church service to hear firsthand testimonies.