IN simple, everyday incidents we come to see the deceptive nature of what the physical senses often tell us. For instance, while walking along a sidewalk, we may have come to an abrupt halt in order to avoid tripping on a large crack-only to discover that the ``crack'' was a shadow! The material sense of sight conveyed a message, and it was taken in and believed. When facing a difficult situation, whether it appears as illness, poverty, loneliness, we'll benefit from muting the usual channels of information and listening in prayer to the divine Mind, God. This doesn't mean we're ignoring a challenge that clearly needs to be faced, but that we are facing it and looking solely to God for the solution.
To be truly effective, prayer to God must include trust in Him. One reason our prayers sometimes seem fruitless is that our thoughts may be divided between trusting infinite Spirit and trusting materialistic reasoning for our answers.
The fact is, God, good, is more real and powerful than any material condition. We must stand and face the imposition on this basis. The very fact of God's ever-available power supports our prayers.
The First Commandment, ``Thou shalt have no other gods before me,''1 sets the tone for successful prayer. We need to refute the false gods of fear, human opinion, sensory perception. This enables us to take the position of trusting only the supreme intelligence of divine Mind to inform us of what's real and substantial.
In the Christian Science textbook, Mary Baker Eddy2 gives a clear picture of spiritual reality-the genuine reality, the only reality in God's sight. She writes: ``All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love. No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows.''3
This radically different, spiritual viewpoint-the Christ message of God's truth and love-has come to my aid many times. One early spring night I was driving toward home with our infant daughter. Heavy rain became an impenetrable curtain of heavy, wet snow, and the turnpike was barely visible. The windshield wipers stopped working. I was concerned that if I stopped the car to investigate, I would either be hit from behind or be unable to get the car moving again. I stopped dwelling on the trouble and began to pray.
I had been learning through the study of Christian Science that God is all-power and that He cannot cause an evil condition-that, in fact, only His wisdom and intelligence can be in operation. One proof that I understood this was that I felt no fear, and the child never woke from a quiet sleep. I remembered a line from a poem by Mrs. Eddy called ``The Mother's Evening Prayer'': ``His arm encircles me, and mine, and all.''4 This led me to begin quietly singing hymns of gratitude and praise to God. The singing was my way of insisting on our safety in His loving care, and the utter powerlessness of the weather to alter that safety.
It was so comforting to realize this universal presence of divine Love. I knew I could trust it completely. As seeing the highway became impossible, I had no alternative but to pull over to the shoulder of the road, stopping under an overpass. Another motorist pulled in behind me and offered assistance. He corrected the mechanical trouble, and I was able to drive on. From that point, even though for more than two hours the weather didn't change, the trip was as uncomplicated as if I had been driving on a summer day.
Many have been freed from disease, grief, fear, and a host of other difficulties through prayer. No one is compelled to tolerate the imposition of evil. The courage and self-discipline needed to take a fresh perspective and stick to the spiritual facts are derived from our creator.
Like the prophets and apostles in Bible times, we may face difficulties that have no apparent material solutions. But, like Moses, we can discover the power of worshiping but one God-infinite Spirit. This single-minded viewpoint enabled him to demonstrate God's provision for the children of Israel when no resources were humanly apparent. And, of course, we have the works of Christ Jesus as the supreme example of what is possible when we look to the one God for healing.
Take a new look, from a spiritual perspective. You'll be blessed by what you see!
1Exodus 20:3. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 275. 4Poems, p. 4. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalms 119: 18