MOST people would agree that a strong basis of ethics, morals, honesty--a willingness to take responsibility for our actions--leads to happier lives and, in the long run, a better world. But we're not always as certain how to nurture our own fledgling efforts at improving our record of moral responsibility. When we see that our efforts to be more honest in our lives will succeed better as we learn who we already are as God's offspring, we begin to realize that the growth we need is, fundamentally, growth
Spirituality is what we need in order to understand man's genuine nature as the child of God. And prayer is the tool that helps us to turn to the spiritual basis of our lives. Prayer shows us the genuine ability and abundance that God gives to man. It opens the way for us to overcome limitations of education, poverty, environment--whatever would keep us from living in accord with our highest ideals. However, when poverty, hunger, abuse, immorality, confront us in our lives, we may wonder how learning mor e about God will help us or others!
Christ Jesus' life gives us some idea of the impact of a God-centered life. Jesus was not ignorant of things around him. He was well aware of mental illness, those who suffered from crippling injuries, poverty. His response to those who suffered, however, stemmed from his spirituality, his understanding of God. And his habitual turning to God in prayer helped those who sought him out. He proved God's love by healing both the sick and the sinning. And his teachings weren't some idealistic, impractical phi losophy. Obedience to God was the basis of Jesus' life. He knew God and His infinite ability to supply all good. And as we understand God's care for all His creation, we'll be better able to live up to the higher standard of ethics and morality that our own love for and obedience to God requires.
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes simply: "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. Because God, divine Love, good, is ever available, His presence and goodness preclude all lack or doubt. His abundance supplies "every human need. Prayer uncovers and removes our pride, ambition, anger, jealousy--whatever would tempt us to be unjust in our dealings with others.
Spirituality isn't something we can give to someone else--as, for example, we can give food or clothing. But our example of spirituality lived in daily life can certainly move others to desire, seek, and gain such spirituality in their own lives. Many may feel spiritually impoverished, spiritually barren. Yet when we humbly pray to learn more of God and His idea, man, when we yearn for more spirituality in our lives, God Himself will direct us.
In the book of Isaiah we read, "The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. Prayer keeps us on the road to spirituality by dissolving anything that would foster rebellion or a turning away from God's direction. Hearing and doing God's Word bring us the spiritual growth we all need. And as we learn to express our own God-given love, goodwill, and peace we will be more able to show others the healing power of genuine spirituality.
As spiritual understanding becomes ever more fundamental in our experience, we'll find the more we use it, the more we cultivate it, the more we cherish and pray for it, the easier it is to use, to cultivate, to cherish our own innate spirituality. And the easier it is for us to see and encourage others' growing spirituality, as well.