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Don't worry--pray!

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WORRYING doesn't solve problems. In fact, it often seems to solidify them to the point that we feel helpless to solve them. Worry can prevent us from taking intelligent action. But knowing that is only the first step. When we're challenged, we need to be healed of worry and of the ills associated with it. There's no better answer than to turn to the one infinite, all-knowing divine Mind, God. This Mind is the ultimate and only genuine source of good. The practicality of turning to God has been shown repeatedly through the ages. When the children of Israel were confronted with a desperate need for food and water, Moses, their leader, didn't fear. Though the situation seemed bleak, he turned to God for the answer, and the Israelites were provided for amply.1 Centuries later, the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas were imprisoned for their Christian teaching. They didn't wring their hands or shake the prison bars; they ``prayed, and sang praises unto God.'' 2 As a result, not only did an earthquake shake the prison so severely that the doors were opened, but the prison keeper and his family became Christians. The confidence of Moses, Paul, and other Bible figures was based on their faithfulness to the First Commandment, ``Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'' 3 We, too, can cultivate this faithfulness and the spiritual power that accompanies it. To do so means that we attribute power to nothing but God--not to fear, people, circumstances, or conditions. Faithfulness to the First Commandment requires spiritual toughness, but our persistence pays off. In our efforts to obey this command from God, we may need to watch our thought carefully and ceaselessly to be sure we are maintaining the position that all power belongs to God. Sticking to this spiritual fact with conviction will seem more natural the more we do it. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power.'' 4 The author of this revolutionary book proved these words in her life. She discovered, through her own healing of the effects of a serious fall, that she could trust God to provide health at the very time that material theories and practices failed. Mrs. Eddy went on to heal, teach, write, lecture, and found the worldwide Church of Christ, Scientist. She founded this newspaper in her eighty-eighth year. Worry wasn't a part of these accomplishments, but complete confidence in God was. In a passage describing a healing response to accidents, she says, ``Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be.'' 5 In our own family, health has been preserved and restored, funds for education have been provided, relationship problems solved, through trusting in ``the su periority of spiritual over physical power.'' When fear has threatened to overcome this trust, we've learned the value of holding fast to our rights as children of God. Can we, ultimately, avoid placing our whole confidence in divine Spirit? To trust the one God is not only to defeat fear and discord in a genuine, lasting way, but to work out our salvation in accord with Jesus' teachings. We've found great comfort and a calming influence in a deeper look into the life and teachings of Christ Jesus. He taught that we are to seek the kingdom of God first, and our needs will be supplied. ``Take no thought,'' he instructed (or, ``don't worry,'' according to J. B. Phillips' translation), ``saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'' 6 Worry and fear are not from God, so they are unnatural to His offspring. The truly practical approach to our challenges is to shut down the mental yammering of materialistic plotting and planning, and to listen for the spiritual messages that direct us to resolutions. Honest prayer to God is answered. So don't worry--turn your thought away from fearful rumination and trust God deeply, understandingly, wholeheartedly. 1 See Exodus, chaps. 16 and 17. 2 Acts 16:25. 3 Exodus 20:3. 4 Science and Health, p. 131. 5 Ibid., p. 397. 6 Matthew 6:31-33.


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