IF we have a vague concept of God, or no particular concept of God at all, prayer probably would seem pointless. Or if our concept of God is that He is a magnified version of a human, it isn't surprising that we also see ourselves as essentially physical, trapped in material circumstances. With that sort of perspective, we wouldn't see how drawing closer to God could rescue us. If we go no further than what physical eyesight and material senses report, limited is how everything seems to be.Commenting on a tendency to think of God simply in human terms, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Mortal man has made a covenant with his eyes to belittle Deity with human conceptions. In league with material sense, mortals take limited views of all things. But then she concludes, "That God is corporeal or material, no man should affirm. Yet sometimes when we look around and listen to what the world is saying, God and spirituality may seem rather remote and altogether irrelevant. An age of sophisticated technology may suggest that trust in God isn't rational. This belittling, condescending attitude toward God would blithely try to explain away Christ Jesus' healing works. And it would try to dismiss the healings of the early Christian Church and of contemporary Christians as well. Jesus' healing and teaching were neither mythological nor supernatural. Just the opposite. The Christ, or Truth, which he was demonstrating, was in fact breaking through mankind's false, mythological concepts of Deity with the eternal facts of being. Jesus was proving that God isn't far-off and inaccessible but is real and present and that God governs His spiritual creation--including His idea, man--through unchangeable spiritual laws. "Our Master taught no mere theory, doctrine, or belief, Science and H ealth explains. "It was the divine Principle of all real being which he taught and practised. His proof of Christianity was no form or system of religion and worship, but Christian Science, working out the harmony of Life and Love. Christian Science shows us that God, divine Principle, is not at all vague but is real and present--in the words of the Psalmist, "a very present help in trouble. So prayer isn't just some vain begging or a blind recitation designed to pacify an unpredictable God! Prayer becomes a powerful, trustful turning to our creator with an understanding faith in His omnipotence. Divine Love doesn't need to be urged to control and govern its creation justly and benevolently. God is our unfailing Parent, who never f orsakes even one of His loved offspring. Wouldn't it belittle God to think that omnipotent Love has no way to care tenderly for our needs, and no law to maintain our harmony and health? Increasingly, we come to see that our ability to feel and experience divine help is directly linked to our developing obedience to God's laws. If, for instance, we'd like to see our health under divine authority, we'd need to be just as eager that our thoughts and actions correspond with moral and spiritual law. And this is natural for us, because we're made in the likeness of Spirit, God, as we read in the Bible. As we get a stronger grasp of God's infallible, all-powerful laws, an unshakable conviction in God's allness settles upon us, and healing results. Powerful evidence of Christian healing keeps accumulating. And it's more and more obvious that nothing can diminish God.
This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the March 25 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.