WHEN you turn to God in prayer, do you expect Him to hear you? Does God answer prayer? Do some people have what it takes,while others are left out in the cold? Although sin can make it seem more difficult to hear God's voice, even that can't keep prayer-- especially prayer that yearns to be free of sin--from being effective. A sincere desire to hear and obey God will bring results. We don't need to be better than someone else to pray. Education, status, income, position--these have nothing to do with prayer. It isn't eloquence that makes prayer effective.
If you've ever wondered--as I have--whether you were equal to addressing a challenge through prayer, it's comforting to know that there is a scientific law underlying prayer. This law was the foundation of Christ Jesus' healing works. It was this law that Jesus taught to his disciples, enabling them to heal as he did. And it is this law that is explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. In this book she writes of Jesus: ``He did the will of the Father. He healed sickness in defiance of what is called material law, but in accordance with God's law, the law of Mind'' (p. 168).
This divine law doesn't vary. It isn't more effective for some than for others or more true at one time than another. And we don't need to be especially ``worthy'' to call on it. We do need to see that it is law that we're relying on and that it applies to us as much as to anyone else.
All right, so what is this law of God? It's the law of good. God made all and He made it good. He is all-power and maintains each one of us in a state of spiritual perfection. God's law assures us that discord is without authority or power because God, good, is omnipotent. The Apostle Paul declared in his letter to the Romans, ``I delight in the law of God after the inward man'' (7:22). What Christ Jesus taught and Paul saw was that this inward man is actually spiritual; it is the only identity any of us has. They understood that by seeing man as God had created him, as spiritual, we can deny the apparent reality of disease, lack, suffering, and death--and make our denial stick.
The realization that law is the foundation of prayer came to me one day when I was experiencing severe pain. I was praying, but became fearful that my prayers wouldn't be good enough to heal such a difficult situation. I didn't feel I had enough understanding or that I was as good at praying as some other people were. At that point I realized that God really is good and all-powerful and that this is just as true for me as it is for anyone else. I didn't need some sort of degree in advanced praying before the law underlying prayer would work for me. The pain receded. I have to admit I was a little amazed, and found the pain returning a little later. But, convinced that what I had understood was true, I remained sure that I had just as much right to expect healing as anyone else. The pain left, this time for good. This wasn't miraculous. It didn't happen because I had done anything extraordinary. It was the natural result of perceiving God's law and how it applied to me.
This law applies to you too. If you'd like to learn more about this law and how to apply it, the Bible and Science and Health are a good place to start. The first chapter of Science and Health is called ``Prayer,'' and it explains how to pray with healing results. Thousands of people have been healed through the study of this book and the application of its teachings. It can heal you.