Christian Science: Prayer Made Practical
Leonard T. Carney, C.S.B., of Beverly Hills, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Mankind, today, is in search of that which will solve the perplexing problems of life. The average man is seeking for a simpler, happier way of existence. Find a man who is truly happy, and you usually have one who is healthy and sufficiently supplied.
Man's Great Need
The normal individual wants less of that which confuses him, interferes with his rightful course, and thwarts his just endeavors. Let him have less worry and he will have more confidence, less fear, and he will have more love, less earthliness, and he will have more heavenliness. So the great need of today is for the elimination of that which interferes with the continuity of harmonious living, for a fuller sense of life and its joys. Would you think a business executive unwise who wants to eliminate waste, lost motion, defects, and antiquated ways of doing things by supplanting them with more expeditious methods, which would simplify the work and render it more beneficial? Is it not equally wise to seek a scientific knowledge of your own life, to learn how to overcome waste of energy, loss of power, ill-health, diminishing happiness, and how to supplant them with joy, health, peace, and progress? Christian Science supplies this great need of mankind.
Mrs. Eddy's Mission
Because Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, saw the urgent need of the sick and sinning, she longed to save them from their misery. Here, my friends, you have the animus, the transcendent determination, the life-purpose, of a woman who knew the bitterness, harshness, suffering, pain, and poverty of mortal existence as few gentlewomen have been forced to know it — to whom at times all doors were closed. It was through this dark experience, working, watching, praying to be shown how she might be delivered from a life of physical suffering, that she made the great spiritual discovery now known as Christian Science. It was through the sacred pages of the Bible, illumined by spiritual revelation, that in 1866 she experienced an instantaneous healing which resulted in a permanent cure of that which the doctors had pronounced incurable. From that time on, through long years of consecrated service to God and to healing mankind such as has not been equaled since the time of Jesus, this lone woman left for all ages an impress of spirituality that causes unnumbered hosts to rise up and call her blessed.
The Bible, the Textbook, and Its Author
It is sometimes said that Christian Scientists place their textbook above the Bible, but this is not so. They are obedient to what is given in the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, where it is written (p. 497): "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life."
The truths of Christian Science do not originate in the book, Science and Health. They find their expression there but their origin is in God. Truth is as old as God. The purpose of the textbook is to show how practical and applicable are the truths of the Bible, how the sick are healed, the sinning reformed, the sorrowing comforted. It explains many seeming incongruities that have long puzzled Bible students. The textbook exalts the Bible as no other book has done, and students of Christian Science study the Bible, the authorized King James Version, as they have never studied it before. They also realize the importance of owning and studying the Christian Science textbook in connection with the Bible and freely advise this course to others.
I once found myself lost in a mountain glade, in a forest of the Northwest. I did not know how I had entered the enclosure of entangled growth, so dense that not a path into it or out of it was to be seen, not an index visible. As I circled round and round, faster and faster with my fears of the approaching night and the unknown filling my thought, I suddenly stopped and began to realize the presence and power of God, His directing intelligence available then and there, as I had lately learned it from Mrs. Eddy's writings. As fear departed, I felt a peace and confidence that all was well. Then appeared to view the indefinite path through which I had entered the tanglewood, and in due course I was safe at the hotel. In her writings, Mary Baker Eddy has plainly marked the pathway out of the maze of material living for all to understand and utilize. To her we acknowledge full debt for transformation of our lives from what they were to what they are, and will be.
The message of Christ-healing came from God, and the woman who heard it became the messenger, commissioned and equipped by God to bring this divine message to the present age. We receive this message through her writings. Her hand held the pen but God gave her the words. Thus is fulfilled the forecast of John of Patmos who saw two witnesses to the Truth who should evidence it throughout all time. Those two witnesses are Christ Jesus and Christian Science, or God's law made available to humanity. We do not deify the personality of Mrs. Eddy; she would be the first to rebuke this; but we do accord to her, her rightful place in Christian history.
The Place of Prayer
As in the time of Jesus, so in Christian Science, the means of healing is through the understanding and power of true prayer. It is notable that the first chapter of our textbook deals with this topic. Prayer is the opening of the mental door through which you and I may have communion or audience with God. If all the prayers uttered this very moment by those in need should conjoin in a mighty anthem, it would reverberate around the world. Men on rafts in the middle of the ocean, in planes above the earth, in the fox holes of the shifting battle, mingle their prayers with those of their loved ones at home (for there is no separation in divine Mind), and God answers these heartfelt prayers with deliverance.
What Is God?
Where is God? If we look to the senses, that which we see or hear or feel, do we find God? Does He dwell in the earth, the tree, the stone? Does He inhabit a house of wood or a body of flesh? Job cried, "Oh that I knew where I might find him I that I might come even to his seat!"
Paul recognized the nature of Deity when he spoke of Him as "all in all" (I Cor. 15:28). From this we perceive that there is nothing outside of God, no wisdom, no intelligence, no presence, no power, no being. He is all-inclusive, all-embracing, all-encircling, all-enveloping. Christian Science clearly defines God without reservation, for it is not to an unknown God that prayer is uttered. God is defined in the textbook (p. 587) as "The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence."
At the time of Moses, I AM was a name for Deity, meaning "He is; He who exists;" the living, self-existent, self-expressing, self-sufficient God, the One who was and is and ever shall be. The word Principle indicates that from which all things proceed, the source, cause, and origin, the creator of all things. The name Mind means all-inclusive intelligence, of which there is but one, no more than one. Soul means infinite individuality, identity, oneness, which is reflected in man and the spiritual universe. Spirit implies omnipresent substance without an iota of matter. Life is eternal, limitless self-existence. Truth is that which is real and immortal; it is that which is, as opposed to that which is not. Love is the name of the tender, loving Father-Mother God to whom all our real needs are known and by whom they are supplied. As you see, these seven synonyms refer only to one God; however they each have their own office, in order to bring out the oneness, completeness, and allness of God.
Man in Science
Man is defined in the Christian Science textbook (p. 591) as follows: "The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind." Man is included within and encompassed in Mind as idea, not matter. Without man, God would be incomplete; and man, without God, could not exist. Hence when we say God is all, we mean God and man, God and His manifestation. It naturally follows that man is not God any more than a ray of light is the sun.
An exalted sense of man is as necessary as an exalted sense of God. A perfectly good God and a deplorably evil man is anomalous. A perfectly good God could not create a man who could suffer and die. Whence, then, comes a sick, sinning, and unhappy mortal? You can find him nowhere except embraced in the human consciousness of mortal mind which is the false belief in a mind apart from God. Change your concept of man from a material to a spiritual basis through spiritual understanding, and no longer will you be conscious of a sick and unhappy mortal. If we look up to God to find man, not down to earth, we shall see man as he really is.
This brings us to what Mrs. Eddy indicates is a profound teaching in Christian Science — the subject of reflection. That which is profound is likewise simple and easy to understand. She presents an illustration of a person standing before a mirror and viewing his reflection in the glass (Science and Health 515:25-4). It is to be noted that to have a reflection there must be light. It is through the light of spiritual discernment that reflection in Science is understood. To the one standing before the mirror his image is not another person, it is what that person sees and knows about himself, and as himself. It is that selfsame person reflected in the mirror. Then she goes on to say, "Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God. Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection." From this it is plain that man as reflection is what God knows about Himself; it is God's own spiritual knowledge of Himself. Man in Science is not God, he is the reflection of God, God's consciousness of His own perfect being. Thus man is the image of God Himself, as we read in Genesis, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created be him." It follows that because there is only one God, there is only one spiritual man. This is the only man there really is, and in Science you are that man by right of individual reflection.
Unreliability of Matter
Physical scientists appear to be at sea regarding the nature of matter. One of the greatest authorities admits that we do not possess any general basis for physics which can be regarded as logical. We are told by men of eminence that the universe, instead of looking like a great machine, looks more like a great thought. It is now generally believed that as far as our earth is concerned electricity in one form or another is the sole material used in building its fabric. Perhaps that is the reason for a restless world, that it is resting on restless forms of electric sparks. Speaking seriously, however, Christian Science has long taught that matter is an illusion, a vague concept of the human mind, and that to rely upon it for health and supply recalls the words of the Psalmist, "An horse is a vain thing for safety."
The following may illustrate how in extremity one should reach out to God, not to matter, for safety. A boy of the Christian Science Sunday School whom we know well, was with his companions playing with a beach ball on the shore of a lagoon which led off from the ocean. Suddenly the ball was thrown into the water and the breeze from the ocean gently wafted it farther out over the quarter-mile stretch of water. The boy, although unable to swim any great distance, dashed after it with vigor. It kept just ahead of him, and he soon found himself far out in the water, his strength waning. Making frantic efforts to reach the ball that it might support him, he almost had his fingers upon it several times, only to have it pushed just beyond his reach. He looked back at the shore far away, his shouts for help apparently unheard. Great fear came over him and his feet began to sink, as a great weight pulled him under, and water began closing over his head. A sudden thought of his family roused him, and the teachings of the Sunday School came to him, that God was ever present, and that he could rest in Him. In that instant he turned completely to God and came closer to Him than ever before in his life. He then saw that God was freeing him from the fear that was pulling him under. His feet and body began to rise to the surface, his strength returned, and he floated in safety. As he lay on the surface, he literally shouted for joy and poured out gratitude to God not only for being saved, but also to have witnessed such an instantaneous manifestation of God's power. In a short time he was able to make his way to shore, where he entered into the activities as if nothing unusual had happened.
How many men and women today are reaching out just to get their fingers on place, position, money to sustain them, friends to supply their needs, drugs to heal them, and matter to satisfy them! And how vain and uncertain is that expectation! Spirit, Love, Mind, infinite intelligence, is the only safe reliance.
Love Is Needed
If one were to be asked what is the most important lesson of Christian Science the answer would be the lesson of Love — love for God and man. Of what avail is it to be able to state correctly the letter of Science and yet allow its spirit to go unexpressed? The letter, then, becomes the dead leaves of winter, tossed in the chilly blast of intellectualism. The warm center, the living part, the heart of Christian Science is Love.
What is Love? It is larger than words, more extensive than thought. Nothing but divine Love itself can define it, nothing but deeds can attest it. According to St. John, "God is love," and he adds that he who knows Love knows God. Love can be defined only by those who love and are loving; it is defined in their deeds and in their lives. Divine Love means at-one-ment, unity, harmony. So love recognizes the oneness and harmony of all things.
On a mental blackboard let us draw a perpendicular line; on the right side of this line put the word "Love," with its meanings of at-onement, unity, harmony. On the left side of the line, let us mentally place a list of those opposite beliefs which spell separation, disunity, friction. At the top of this list we would certainly place "fear," for nothing destroys the unity and harmony of men as does fear; next we might place "hatred," then "impatience," "irritability," "discouragement," etc. How may we wipe out those on the left side of the line? By reversal, for they are all the reverse of Love. Strike out the word "fear," and on the right side of the line place "reliance on God;" in place of hatred, "love;" replace impatience with "patience," irritability with "kindness," discouragement with "gratitude." Thus there is nothing left on the left side of the line, for they have all been wiped out. By reversing them we gain at-one-ment, unity, harmony, love. How easy is this reversal if we are quick to detect the need for it, and willing to execute it; how satisfying; how healing! Timothy says, "Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort."
As a boy it was one of my duties to go to the barn each night to feed and bed down the family mare. Sometimes the wintry wind, the moaning of the trees, or the push of the storm, made me fear to be alone in the dark. But I had prepared the kerosene lantern in the afternoon, and when I lighted it and carried it at my side, I could whistle and be cheery, for I always saw that I was walking in a circle of light. Whether I was down below or in the loft above, I was careful to place the lantern so that I might walk and work within the circle of its light, and I was not afraid. Divine Love sheds a circle of light around those who manifest love. To walk and work within the consciousness of Love is to be shielded from all evil. "God is light," the Bible says, and if we walk in that light we shall not be in darkness, but under the protection of the Most High.
There is a tendency among individuals to think either too highly of themselves, or on the other hand, too lowly. Paul refers to this when he advises one not to think of himself more highly than be ought to think, but to think soberly. Worldly self-somethingness must give way to self-nothingness, if we would find our true self as the child of God. Does it sound like belittling oneself thus to speak of self-abnegation? Christian Science never takes away something without putting something better in its place. This process is not one of self-depreciation, but a rightful sense of self-appreciation gained from an understanding of the real man in Science.
On the other hand, the deplorable practice of self-depreciation, self-condemnation, self-abasement, is as old as when Moses demurred to the call of God to lead his people out of bondage. Ask some of your friends, "Are you able to take this difficult assignment in my business?" or, "Will you speak at our club tomorrow?" or, "Will you take part in the business meeting of our church?" and then the excuses come. "I'm inadequate for the job; I shall have to prepare myself for a long time;" or, "I can't speak in public; I don't know enough; I am afraid." I dare say that we all have harbored such thoughts. Such doubts often work secretly in one's consciousness. The little gopher "I can't" has cut the roots of many a promising plant of high purpose, and laid it low.
Mrs. Eddy was not patient with the excuse, "I'll try," or, "I'll do my best." Rather she insisted on, "I'll do it," for she knew that when one questioned his own power to do something, he failed to know what the real power was that was doing it. Divine Mind possesses all power, capacity, ability, strength, intelligence, and man in Science possesses these qualities direct from God by reflection. The motto of the Christian Scientist is, "I can because God can." Man's capacity is based on God's ability.
Do you not feel in your heart of hearts that you should be good enough, worthy enough, capable enough to do all things required of you adequately and well? This human longing to be thought of as truly worthy and necessary, springs from a deep, spiritual impulse that needs to be considered here. Let me illustrate: A gentleman, not a Christian Scientist, who had reached the top in his calling, that of salesman of advertising, was asked by a friend how it happened that he had risen to such a point, and yet was so sincerely meek and humble. After some questioning he hesitatingly related the following: "When I started to sell, years ago, I was trained to be aggressive. I sold nothing. One day a housewife said to me, 'I don't need that article. I can do better without it.' In my discouragement I replied, 'Lady, you know a lot more about housekeeping than I do. If you say that this article is no good, I'll never try to sell it again.' She hesitated, and finally said, 'I did not say it was worthless. I think that it is a good article. I'll buy one.' I had made my first sale. I then learned the greatest lesson of my life, that I should let another know that I really felt that he was valuable and important." And he added, "You know that you cannot show that unless you sincerely feel it and believe it."
Isaiah writes, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Respect your kingly office as a son of God, and that of your brother, likewise. Exercise your God-given dominion! Act upon your right to all good in every situation, and at all times! A certain king had not respect for his kingly office. He belittled it — and he lost it. You will not lose your place as a son of God, if you first recognize it; second, utilize it; third, glory in it.
Impersonalize Both Good and Evil
An interesting and helpful point in the practice of Christian Science is to impersonalize both good and evil. Because we are accustomed to think from the personal standpoint, it keeps us from seeing that all good comes from God. The source of all good is the one, universal, everlasting God. It is the same source from which Moses drew his revelation of the Ten Commandments and his masterful guidance of the Israelites; the same source from which Daniel gained his safety and deliverance from the brutality of his captors, and Jesus his spiritual power to heal and instruct the people. When someone referred to Jesus as possessing good in a personal way, he replied, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." He made the separation between himself on the one hand, and both good and evil on the other. That very separation became a wall of protection around him. He learned how to impersonalize praise, and this enabled him to impersonalize censure as well. Think of the words of praise that come to you as not personal, but as the recognition of good that comes from God. Also in viewing our lifework, let us not make the mistake of saying to ourselves, "My hand hath wrought this! My mind conceived it!" All the good we have, or ever will have, comes from the source of infinite good alone.
Because Jesus took nothing unto himself as personal to himself, he was able to protect himself from the malice of his foes. Unless one is able to and does impersonalize good, he will make poor work of impersonalizing evil. It is said that a boa constrictor is not particularly dangerous unless it finds a convenient tree around which to wrap its tail, that it may have a leverage by which to attack its victim. If we refuse to see person as the cause of our difficulties, then those difficulties have nothing upon which to fasten themselves, and they soon disappear under correct mental work.
A young man of my acquaintance was working in an office in which the superior was a man who had made the employees unhappy for many years, due to his domination, criticism, and unfairness. Dislike and even hatred were mutually interchanged. The young man, a Christian Scientist, began to impersonalize the situation by realizing that man in reality is the beloved son of a loving Father, possessed of the Christ-Mind which was never a channel for evil. In a short time the character of the man underwent a change; criticism and unfairness disappeared: and he and all in the office became free and happy.
If we refuse to entertain a thought of any individual as the source of malice, hatred, or evil, then we disarm error, and Truth destroys it. Error or evil is not person, but a belief, and we protect ourselves and others by impersonalizing it. The broken electric cable may be dangerous but one encounters no difficulty so long as he does not take hold of it. Evil cannot come to you. Be sure you do not go to it. Evil has no real existence, because nothing exists outside of God.
Prayer and Healing
When we say that the method of healing in Christian Science is that of prayer, the prayer of realization of the truth of God and man, we take it out of the category of mind-cure, will power, hypnotism, and the like. They are the antipodes of Christian Science. Nor is this prayer mere faith-healing. It is the prayer of spiritual understanding.
A common viewpoint about prayer is that one should beseech God through supplication so that He might place in the lap the thing desired, provided that the voice is loud enough and the lap large enough. Man needs no more than God has already provided, with a love for His children which transcends that of any earthly father. Prayer does not give us something new. It changes nothing real. But it does show what we already have, what unlimited power and intelligence we already possess, and how we may make use of them. In so doing it removes the limited sense of man, long entertained, renders thought transparent to the truth, and thus reveals the unlimited man of God's creating. In bringing to light the real man, the false sense of man disappears.
Some of the most valued paintings by artists of world renown have been hidden for centuries by figures superimposed upon the original by later painters. By means of a delicate process of removing the layers of paint, sometimes five or six, through patient and intelligent effort, the original has been brought to light, in clearness and freshness, to delight and inspire art lovers of the present day. In the process of removal, it is not necessary to study the paint and figures thus falsely imposed, but to discover the valued original. With the same careful, patient, and painstaking effort, one may remove the layers of selfishness, self-depreciation, lack of ability, frustration, weakness, neglect, laziness, wasting of time, and all evil tendencies, which discourage and defeat him. They are the false veneer which hide one's real worth. Our value is not placed upon us by others; it is the evaluation we place upon ourselves. When we do place it high enough, others respect that valuation and honor it.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the highest exposition of spiritual truths ever given to mankind, Jesus in succinct language gave to us his understanding of prayer or treatment. "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." He adopted a metaphor with which he was familiar. Houses of the East usually accommodated several families in one large room, with no privacy. Many recited their prayers by rote in the open, but the more devout sought a quiet spot away from the clamor; and some of them even went to the small closet in the wall with its tiny door, provided for supplies and valuables, and entering in, they would close the door, and there pray to the Father.
To "enter into thy closet" means to realize the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of God, His allness, including His spiritual creation and spiritual man. One may rest for a time in the realization of the adorable One, the cause and origin of all that really exists. If fear and confusion darkens our thought it would be well to start with simple truths which we can easily grasp, of the tender, loving Father and Mother, more firm and faithful than any earthly father, more watchful than a loving shepherd over his flock, more loving than a most saintly mother; the very presence here and now, of Love and power. Then as thought ascends we may recognize the divine Principle, Love, with its universe of spiritual ideas. God is always where man is, and man is always where God is. Next we are told to "shut thy door." During the period of a severe storm in my home city, mud and water filled the roadways on the hillsides. A beautiful home had its lawn and doorway under the level of the street. Much debris covered the lawn up to the door sill. One of the occupants, being curious, opened the door to see the sight. As she did so mud and water poured in the doorway forming a wedge which interfered with the closing of the door. Instead of trying to clear it and close the door, the person ran away in dismay, and in a short tune the floors and rugs ware covered with water and debris. If, in an unguarded moment, we open our mental door to the debris of fear, medical beliefs, selfishness, self-will, sin, hatred, and the like, we need to shut it promptly by means of spiritual realization, that is by denying the lie of the material senses, and affirming the truth of spiritual sense. This method of argument, in greater or less degree, is ordinarily an essential in treatment.
Finally we are told to "pray to thy Father." This final step is the consciousness that under God's government all is well, that God knows no evil, no sickness, sin, nor death. As Habakkuk says, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." The highest healing prayer that banishes disease and fear, is to know the perfect Love that casteth out fear; and to know that fear cannot enter the consciousness filled with Love alone.
Healing the Body
It might reasonably be asked at this point, How does realization of the Truth heal the body? The recovery follows when the cause is removed. What is the cause of disease? All readily admit that marked bodily changes follow mental changes. Water flows from the eyes when one is grieved; sudden fear produces cold perspiration, sometimes death; anger produces a change in circulation with flushed or pallid cheeks, and other changes to the digestion, heart, etc. From an Associated Press news story of May 29th, 1943, the following is of interest: "Discovery of a poisonous substance which appears suddenly in the human blood during fear and anxiety was reported to the New York Academy of Medicine May 27th, 1943. . . . The strange human worry substance mounted in proportion to the rise of fear, worry, or other emotional upset. . . . The physical changes are frequent and varied. They often result in physical diseases whose only cause appears to be a state of mind."
My friends, Mrs. Eddy has been telling this to the world for over sixty-eight years. If it is true that fear, worry, grief, despair, hatred, can make a man sick, then why administer tablets and medicines to make him well? Remove the fear, worry, hatred, through the operation of divine Mind, and the man is healed successfully and permanently.
Salvation is the saving of a man from the pains and pleasures of his own false beliefs. It is more than a public pronouncement; it is an inner transformation whereby the Christ-power as Jesus understood it prevails over sin, sickness, and death. "Work out your own salvation," is a command which it is possible to obey. Right thinking which leads to right acting and living, is the passport to heaven. "Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind," as the textbook states (p. 291).
Sin is intentional wrongdoing. God does not punish sin; He does not have to; sin punishes itself through mental and physical suffering, until the sin is given up. There is no escape from this mandate that sin kills itself. We should not be disturbed by seeing the wicked prosper. He who indulges in sin, lust, dishonesty, hatred, selfishness, pride, and the like, may roll along flashily, like a new automobile, unmindful of the nail in the tire which drives deeper and deeper with every revolution of the wheel, until it pierces the tube of inflated egotism and leaves one flat.
Safety for Those under Arms
How may one use Christian Science as a protection for loved ones, far away on the field of battle, and for the prosperity of our countries under arms? Thought recognizes no limitation of distance. In consciousness you are present with your loved ones now. Nothing can separate you. We read (Science and Health, p. 559), "Scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound." The power of Truth is instantly present and operates everywhere, every moment. Your word of Truth, uttered and understood, reaches beyond human limits and brings peace, security, and safety, wherever the need may be. Thus, daily and hourly, one may render effective support to those in need, whether they be on land, in the air, or on or under the sea.
As distance raises no barrier to effective prayer, so the fact that there are great numbers of those who may be in need of help does not render divine aid less effective. I am intimately familiar with the following incident during the first World War. One of the large cantonments of eighty thousand men was beset by a sudden epidemic, and paralyzing fear settled like a blanket over the camp. Daily there was unprecedented human loss. Officers as well as men appeared somber and frightened. The brigadier general, commanding officer, of the camp, was a Christian Scientist. He and the Christian Science Camp Welfare Worker, together with another Christian Scientist, one evening resolved that that night each of the three would, in his separate abode, take up the problem in continuous prayer for deliverance of the camp. This was done. The morning broke clear and bright. Men along the company streets appeared changed. They were relieved and gay. Officers whistled as they entered headquarters, and some inquired what had taken place to change things so markedly. The enemy, fear, had fled in the night as did the Syrian hosts of old, and the epidemic began to subside from that day.
Christian Science prayer, borne on wings of Love, reaches immediately those in need. It aids in promoting wise decisions on the field of battle and among the nations, its tender ministration brings succor to those beset with fear, firmness to the discouraged, deliverance to those in danger, and brings "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding."
In conclusion: The purpose of Christian Science is to present to a world in need, the practical, operative power of prayer, which is based on the Bible, and fulfills Jesus' command to heal the sick and sinning, and comfort the sorrowing. It shows how our lives may be transformed through eliminating the mental traits and characteristics which impede our progress in the home, in society, and in the business world. It shows us how through effectual prayer we may bring protection and safety to those loved ones near and far, and may aid to directing the course of the nations from darkness to light — and victory.
[Published in the Erie County (New York) Independent Oct. 7, 1943.]