THERE are people who are real givers! But sometime even the most unselfish giver can feel a little used up. Is there anything we can do when this happens to us? There certainly is! We can turn to prayer for spiritual refreshment.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "God rests in action. Imparting has not impoverished, can never impoverish, the divine Mind. No exhaustion follows the action of this Mind, according to the apprehension of divine Science. The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work. Because man reflects God, divine Mind, he also reflects God-derived strength, wisdom, and courage.
God is the source of all action, and His creation, man, is never exhausted by spiritual activity. Prayerfully understanding that man--our genuine identity--is spiritual helps us to see that we can never run out of the spiritual strength we need to do good.
This makes it natural for us to want to be useful. And when we're obedient to God's direction, this usefulness is expressed in "holy work --in activity that benefits mankind but can never wear us out. Such activity is supported by prayer, which provides the peace, rest, and spiritual impetus our efforts need in order to be fruitful.
Scientific prayer refreshes thought and redeems lives. Such lively, active prayer acknowledges God as man's source. It couldn't possibly be burdensome, time-consuming, or tiresome-- and neither could any giving that's based on it. When we understand that God is the fount, or primal source, of man's ability to serve and bless, we begin to see what spiritual vigor this gives to our efforts. After all, it would be impossible for omnipresent, omnipotent God to run down! Spiritual refreshment, then, is based on a deeper understanding of God. And prayer guides us toward a more spiritual perception of God as the infinite source of strength, wisdom, and joy.
Praying to see how to help others enlightens our understanding and keeps giving from being a burden. We may be called upon by many to give, and when we draw on the spiritual resources we gain through prayer, we can give generously and without fear of being worn out or impoverished as a result. Man, reflecting God, never tires, because God is the source of man's generosity and ability to give. It is only if we believe that our good is somehow self-made that fatigue, failure, weariness, set in. In prayer, the understanding we gain of man's innate spiritual strength and his God-given wisdom to know how and when to help others gives us a spiritual foundation that can't be depleted.
So it's important to remember to pray for ourselves as we help others. And the same prayer that renews our own strength, ability, and tranquillity helps others as well. As we keep ourselves refreshed, we will be ready to help humanity, our family, our business associates--ready to give whenever we're called on for help.
Our Master, Christ Jesus, kept himself spiritually refreshed at all times. Often he even withdrew to commune quietly with God. His prayers strengthened him and enabled him to return to the multitudes to bring more of the healing that was so needed.
Today the world spends plenty of time coming and going. In our busy lives, taking time for spiritual refreshment enables us to be more productive by enabling us to respond with spiritual vigor to the demands made on us.
We can say with the Psalmist, "I have set the Lord always before me . . . . Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope, because prayer is giving us the spiritual refreshment that is unfailing.