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ANSWERED PRAYER

From the April 1918 issue of The Christian Science Journal


"Be ye therefore perfect," said the Master, "even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." What is Christian activity but a means to this end. The attainment of perfection has nothing to do with the real man, who is now and always has been an expression of perfection, but is presented as an ideal to "human beings," who, as our Leader has said, are "physically mortal, but spiritually immortal" (Unity of Good, p. 37). Since a human being is but the expression of human consciousness, our work is clearly with this consciousness. The greatest means for the accomplishment of this reformation or transformation is found to be prayer. It is therefore of prime importance for us to know how to pray, or to know what will really reach up to answered prayer.

The goal is perfection; the work is to realize this fact, and it is obvious that it can be done in no other way than by the destruction in human consciousness of all that is not perfect. The error to be destroyed may have been handed down to us, in belief, through the centuries which have passed, or we may have acquired it through self-indulgence, wrong estimates of the real, and the like. It is therefore manifest that it is, humanly speaking, difficult if not impossible to put all of it out of our consciousness at once; hence we must be content for the present with the knowledge that we can do something each day toward reaching the goal of perfection. This is done by building up our sense of good and "refraining from admitting the claims of the senses" (Miscellany, p. 222); in other words, by mentally opposing the false sense known as evil.

To do this we take up our concept of some error to be overcome, and our work is to accomplish its destruction by replacing it with the perfect idea. In so far as we realize this, we do in fact demonstrate absolute perfection in regard to this particular phase of error. When we realize that much of the error we have to combat is as old as the mortal sense of time, that it has existed in belief not only as long as we have manifested it, but perhaps for ages of mortal history, a great work is accomplished toward its undoing. We have not only possibly broken time-honored customs, mortal mind laws of centuries, but we have also accomplished a life work in our relation to that error, at the instant we reach the pinnacle of answered prayer. Knowing this, should we not feel, when entering upon this great and holy work, as did Moses when God said to him, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground"?

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