Praying With Authority
IF I were to ask the police department what it intended to do to enforce the law of gravity, the question would be absurd, since the law of gravity isn't enforced in that way. A pile driver, for example, is lifted with the confidence that its weight, in response to gravity, will cause it to fall, pounding the piling deeper with each stroke. It can never decide not to fall. Its function doesn't depend on a wordy appeal from its operator.Human experience doesn't usually seem so dependably obedient to law, however. Things sometimes seem chancy even when we're trying to do what's right. Is there a way to bring more order and harmony into our lives? Yes! Many people pray, and in so doing we are appealing to God for the order and harmony we yearn for. Such prayer is answered because there is order, ultimate order, and this order can be established in our lives as we recognize its spiritual source. And to the degree that we acknowledge that this God-established order is in operation, and that God controls man's being, which is entirely spiritual, our prayer gains authority --not from us but from God. In Matthew, we are told that when Christ Jesus completed the Sermon on the Mount, the people were astonished, "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And yet John records that Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. Was not then the authority on which Jesus acted and healed not his own but that of God, of divine Truth? Effective prayer does not ask God to change things to please one human's desires. Of such attempts to manipulate prayer, James writes, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Instead prayer enables us to understand God and His spiritual creation more fully. In praying, we ask that the light of divine Truth clarify and correct our view of things according to Truth's design and authority. We do not have to arbitrate personally what is right in any situation. Truth will do that well enough when appealed to in understanding prayer, because God, Truth, originates the genuine, spiritual nature of things. This prayer enables us to know man as spiritual, as God's image and expression, held in God's love, maintained by God's design. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense, exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the divine consciousness. Then man will recognize his God-given dominion and being. It is this divine consciousness that is looked for in prayer. Prayer is the recognition of God's authority in every situation. It aligns our thought with God's law, allowing us in some measure to pray with authority--not our own but God's. And prayer turns us from the chanciness of day-to-day life to the reliable, caring, and supporting action of divine Love, God, which truly governs man's entire existence. The more we come to know that man's real being operates in harmony with God, the more our prayer expresses God's authority, enforcing itself naturally and inevitably. The Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine, contains more articles about God's power to heal.