For Christians, reliance on prayer for healing is nothing new. It goes back to the time of Christ Jesus and his apostles. Jesus healed the sick without drugs, and he set an example for all, declaring that his method of healing physical disease by spiritual means was not for him alone.
The Bible teaches the importance of looking to the divine consciousness for deliverance from distress. For example, Philippians states, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (2:5), and Romans declares, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" (12:2).
It's possible to get rid of wrong thinking or mentality, and embrace within us the mind "which was also in Christ Jesus." To do this involves recognizing, at least to a degree, that we are spiritual, not material â€“ that we are the children of divine Mind. In this Mind there is not a single negative quality or any superstition or limited belief. The human consciousness is renewed by replacing matter-based beliefs about life and health with a Christ-like consciousness of all good coming from infinite Mind. The Christ is universal, the voice of divine Truth, which is always speaking to us of God's love. As this renewing process goes on, sickness, suffering, and other discordant conditions begin to disappear and give place to healing and salvation.
For over a century, students of Christian Science have been healing through prayer, including some cases deemed incurable by physicians. Christian Science healing in every case is spiritual, resulting from the operation of divine Truth in human consciousness. It involves a shift of thought from the basis of material thinking to divine consciousness, which reveals the universal laws of God, good, always in operation. It is not from the action of one human mind on another, or from human will, hypnotism, or mental suggestion.
Spiritual being is briefly summarized in this passage in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy: "Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual" (p. 468). Since God is Spirit, it follows naturally that His creation or likeness is spiritual and good, not material and sinning or even sick. This follows strictly the Scriptural teaching in Genesis: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.... And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (1:27, 31). Knowing this is true healing prayer, in which we acknowledge God, divine Mind, as the source of intelligence, strength, health, life, and our very existence.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, concluded that a God who possesses infinite wisdom and goodness could not operate through laws that produce both good and evil. She understood that God is only good and governs His children and His universe through spiritual, not material, laws. After a critical injury in 1866, she found comfort and transforming inspiration in the healing works of Jesus, and, as she put it, "...the healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 24). She described that moment of enlightenment: "That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence."
Mrs. Eddy became a prominent Christian healer and teacher. She devoted her life to that mission and founded a Church "designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing" ("Manual of The Mother Church," p. 17). Today, Christian Science healing is practiced throughout the world.