The Preparation of Prayer
Bringing a spiritual perspective to world events and daily life.
There's a lot to be said for turning to God when you first wake in the morning. I've learned from experience that when I take the time to do this, the rest of my day goes a whole lot better. Turning to God helps me to feel His goodness with me, before the day hits. I am better prepared to handle whatever comes up. And more than just handle it, my turning to God helps me prevent problems from coming up in the first place. Perhaps the reason people turn to God is that they find that His presence, power, and government bring comfort, protection, and guidance.
Morning prayers may be petitions to God or the remembering of spiritual facts that one has learned. Or, they could just be moments of gratitude for God's love for us. Whatever form they take, prayers benefit the "pray-er." They benefit him or her because turning wholeheartedly to God brings solutions.
Prayer that asks God for protection or guidance or wisdom leads one's thought right to Him, when something suddenly appears frightening. God is ever present. Prayer establishes in our thoughts the facts of God's power and dominion. This clear spiritual understanding improves human events. It gives to God our trust, and we feel His guidance. We then find that we avoid the pitfalls of the day, or are brought out of them.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It begins with this sentence: "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings" (p. vii). Each day brings you the readiness and availability of God. Each day you can turn to Him and rely on Him to bring healing. This is because the human thought that goes to God and follows His direction naturally loses fear and receives practical ideas. It's possible to yield to God many times throughout the day. Moments of turning humbly to Him keep anyone on the path to good. Our very lives can be lives of prayer.
A student of Mrs. Eddy's once quoted her as saying, "The first thing I do in the morning when I awake is to declare I shall have no other mind before divine Mind, and become fully conscious of this, and adhere to it throughout the entire day; then the evil cannot touch me" (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, p. 173).
Here's an example of the preparation of prayer. A friend of mine was constantly disturbed by the aggression of another person, who often attacked him verbally. My friend began to loathe even being in the presence of this other person. But one day as my friend was praying, he began to sense just how God loves us so much that none of us can ever be outside of His directing. None of God's children can be victims -- or victimizers. My friend held to this. He prayed every morning and throughout the day for many months. Finally the fear, anger, and dread he felt toward the other man dissolved. He had learned that he was shielded from evil -- divinely protected and directed. And he had learned that the other person was under the same divine care. My friend was so sure of this that he was no longer disturbed by the verbal attacks. He learned to pray before each contact with the other person. And he learned that as God's image this man was always governed by God. His daily prayer kept him spiritually prepared, and his days brought peace and harmony. The other man hadn't needed to change in order for my friend to find peace; my friend's concept of him was what needed improvement.
Christ Jesus sought God through his prayers and actions. His prayers revealed to him what to do and how to heal. The life of Jesus demonstrated that an understanding of God is what brings forth healing and peace. Prayer deepens understanding. Even in the midst of screaming crowds, Jesus was able to pass through without harm. He gave us the Lord's Prayer, which shows his approach to turning to God.
If your prayerful preparation for the day includes a willingness to turn to God for guidance and for assurance, then the small and large problems of day-to-day life will not captivate or dominate you. You'll be prepared to solve them all with the truth you understand.
You can find other articles that discuss prayer in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.