If stress, anxiety, or lack of time is a part of your day, is there anything you can do to change this?
Yes, you can turn to God in prayer. Prayer can start with gratitude for the fact that God is in control of your day. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a book by Mary Baker Eddy that has sold millions of copies, devotes an entire chapter to the topic of prayer. It asks, "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech" (p. 3). So, living each day by being grateful, actively grateful, to God is an important aspect of prayer.
Thanking God for each blessing we have helps eliminate anxiety and stress. If our heart is truly full of gratitude, there can be no room for worry. One of the most wonderful truths we can be grateful for is the fact that we are God's own children. Genesis says we are made in God's image and likeness (1:26). That must mean that we are spiritual because the Bible says God is Spirit (John 4:24). We cannot be spiritual and at the same time be struggling, stressed-out mortals.
God's love is with us each moment of every day. As God's children, we reflect all that God is. God is intelligence, and therefore we have and can express intelligence from Him. God is Love, so we have and can express love, patience, and thoughtfulness. In a real way, our expression of Godlike qualities is a form of prayer; it affirms what is true of God and also what is true of each of us as His sons and daughters. Studying the topic of prayer in Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, has given me a fuller understanding of God and of my relation to Him. This enables me to live my day honoring God.
From reading the Bible we can see how Christ Jesus lived in active prayer, which was accompanied by healing. He did not give in to the limitations of time or stress. In the book of John you can read how Jesus received word from the sisters of a man named Lazarus that their brother, whom Jesus loved, was sick (see 11:1-44). They wanted Jesus to come heal him.
Jesus did not leave for two days. Why was that? Because Jesus knew that "this sickness [was] not unto death, but for the glory of God" (verse 4). Apparently Jesus did not allow thoughts of stress or pressure into his consciousness. He showed that God's love, which heals, is the only presence at every moment. When Jesus did arrive, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Yet Jesus gave gratitude to God: "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always" (verses 41, 42). Following this prayer of gratitude, Jesus raised Lazarus from death.
What happens as we turn to God in gratitude and trust that He is governing our day-even in situations so much more humble than those Jesus faced at that tomb? Impatience will be replaced with patience; fear will be replaced with calmness; confusion will be replaced with intelligent decisionmaking.
One day I wrote a note thanking a travel agent who had been extremely helpful to me. I stated how grateful I was for her patience, calmness, and consideration. Her reaction was wonderful! She said that the note was staying on her desk permanently, to help her if her day got stressful. I realized that the note actually was stating a fundamental fact I had learned-that those spiritual qualities constituted her true nature as God's child. She was accepting as a help in her life the truth that she was patient, calm, and considerate, all of which was true of her as God's expression.
You can begin living each day honoring God, with the calm assurance and gratitude that He is in control. "The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace" (Science and Health, p. 506). You can find this to be true each day because God is with you each day!