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The need for persistence in prayer

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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"Lambie" accompanies her owner, a 2-year-old girl, everywhere she goes, and has become required company at bedtime. Every so often, though, it needs a good wash, and on one of these occasions, a very nice donkey sat in for Lambie at naptime. After about 40 minutes, it was obvious that sleep was eluding the little girl. When her mom opened the bedroom door to see what all the singing was about, the little one, holding the donkey on her lap, looked at her mother and declared, "It's not working!" Clearly, the donkey was no substitute for Lambie.

Her declaration, humorous as it is, actually serves as a useful reminder when praying about an issue. How often do we pray and too soon declare, "It's not working"? If we're tempted to allow thought to rob us of the inspiration that prayer brings, we need to turn again to God with increased humility and recognize that it's not what we are doing, but, rather, what God has done that brings a solution.

Christ Jesus, who prayed more effectively than anyone, taught the lesson of persistence when it comes to prayer. He taught this point in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, "Ask, and it shall be given you … knock, and it shall be opened unto you … seek, and ye shall find…" These instructions imply mental striving and stretching.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, also emphasized this need with her students when she wrote: "… self-denial, sincerity, Christianity, and persistence alone win the prize, as they usually do in every department of life" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 462). In fact, as one looks at her life's work and accomplishments, it's a story of persistence.

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