His mighty ways
Why healing through prayer is to be expected.
It dawned on me a while back how much of an oddsmaker the human mind tends to be! Constantly weighing the probabilities and whispering in our ear, it insists, "Come on, how likely do you think that is?" The question may come up in relation to anything from getting through a traffic jam to expecting a quick recovery from an illness.
The reestablishment of Christian healing as practiced in Christian Science didn't come about by looking at the evidence of material conditions and calculating whether there was likelihood of healing by prayer. Instead, it was a new and very different way to think spiritually – a new consciousness – that had such powerful effect.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, wrote, "To attempt the calculation of His mighty ways, from the evidence before the material senses, is fatuous. It is like commencing with the minus sign, to learn the principle of positive mathematics" ("Unity of Good," p. 10). Also, looking at Jesus' explanation of his own ministry, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge" (John 5:30), we can see the larger implication that a new consciousness isn't just human reasoning, but is given of God.
Several years ago a Christian Science practitioner told me of a medical prognosis regarding her dad, and she asked for spiritual support for herself in dealing with the situation. Her father wasn't a Christian Scientist but had previously experienced healing through her prayers. In fact, she had healed her dad and another member of her family of the same disease in different forms.
This time, though, her dad saw the physicians' pronouncement to be conclusive. He wasn't expected to live much more than six months. The physicians allowed him to go on a long trip with his daughter to a granddaughter's wedding only because they felt it would be his last excursion.
When his daughter called during the trip, it was clear that conditions were serious. I felt the only secure place where we could stand was on the Rock of Christ, Truth – the spiritual fact that God and man are inseparable and that God loves each of us. A strong conviction and peace came into our conversation that told me the medical prediction was not the only possible outcome. With this peace came the perception that the time for this woman and her father to be alone together was offering a needed spiritual sanctuary, the opportunity for Christ, Truth, to be seen and evidenced. The practitioner kept praying and her father kept improving.
After they returned from the wedding, and the father went for another checkup, he was told by the physicians that they had very good and wholly "inexplicable" news. He no longer had any sign of disease in his body, but it wasn't the result of any medical treatment the patient had been given, but. This man has continued to lead an extremely busy and vigorous life ever since.
If God, Spirit, is All-in-all and the sense of material existence is mistaken – as it is – then healings are not unlikely. They have nothing to do with odds, but are the outcome of divine Principle, Love.
One could say that the discovery of the Science of Christ is a refinding of "God's mighty ways," a revolutionizing of human thought about what we can know and why we can know it. In the Old Testament, Job, at the point of being delivered from a series of terrible troubles, says of God, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee" (Job 42:5).
To find God as one's own Mind brings us into a different place – a place where thought is not only clearer and more at peace, but where solutions and remarkable rightness naturally appear. God's knowing displaces self-evidently mistaken impressions of ourselves and our circumstances.
This shift in thinking was the pivotal step for Job. It is for us, as well.