Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Keeping Your Hand in God's ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Keeping Your Hand in God's ; A Christian Science Perspective on Daily Life

Article excerpt

On a family vacation some years ago, my brother, Ed, and I took his 2-year-old son out on a lake in a rowboat. Peter stood between Ed's legs with his hands on the oars as Ed rowed. After a while, Peter bellowed one of those 2-year-old commands: "I do it myself, Daddy." Ed let go, and Peter slapped the oars up and down on the water. As we proceeded to go nowhere, he gleefully exclaimed, "I do it all by myself!"

I smile at that scene when I think about why people pray. At times we may imagine we can command life's boat by ourselves. But as the awareness grows that we're going nowhere fast, prayer becomes a welcome friend. And daily prayer is a way of keeping your hand in God's.

I believe the best care we can take for our health and peace of mind is prayer that acknowledges our oneness with God. My daily prayer is to know God as the great and only Life and Mind - my Life and Mind. I pray to understand that I am not a personal ego separate from God, but an individual identity flowing from the divine Life like a stream from an inexhaustible fountain. I pray to know God as the pure, good, and eternal nature of myself and everyone.

One issue I'm paying more attention to is confronting thoughts that cause me to resist praying for my own well-being. Here are three specific forms of resistance I've often had to face, and some ideas from Christian Science that help me break through them:

1. Believing prayer has to change bad conditions or prevent them from happening. To believe this is stressful and makes me want to avoid or give up on prayer. So I remind myself that the reason I pray is to see the good that's already true and present. In divine Science, or spiritual reality, God is the infinite Spirit that manifests itself in a universe of spiritual and good identities. Material life isn't another fallen reality, but only a misconception of the one spiritual reality. Prayer lifts thought above physical perceptions to the truth of perfect being.

A psalm in the Bible describes the goal of prayer simply: "All I want is to see you [God] as you are" (Ps. …

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