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Not just what, but how are you praying?

From the March 1994 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Have your prayers become routine? Have they digressed into thoughtless repetitions of familiar words, which don't particularly inspire or help you feel closer to God? Probably many of us have been faced with this challenge at some time or another. When this occurs, it is helpful to evaluate not only what we are praying but how we are praying.

In the book We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, one of Mrs. Eddy's students shares an insightful reminiscence of how the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science prayed. The student writes that when Mrs. Eddy began one of her classes with the repetition of the Lord's Prayer, "there was a lilt of joy in her voice; I had the impression of a child who was unafraid, and a subtle but clear assurance was with me that she dwelt consciously, confidently in the secret place of the most High' It was not as though she had gone to the Father in prayer, but rather as though, because she was with the Father, she prayed."
We Knew Mary Baker Eddy (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1979), pp. 55-56. From this description we catch a glimpse of what prayer with a spiritual outlook is. It is praying with the perspective of man's present oneness with God as His expression—whole, perfect, harmonious, happy, satisfied.

When our prayers begin from the premise of man's inseparable, spiritual relationship to God rather than from the mistaken standpoint of what appears to be our physical condition or our human circumstance, our prayers have a different content. Perfection is not our goal; it is our starting point. Our prayers become prayers of joyous acknowledgment of ever-present goodness rather than prayers of asking. They become affirmations of truth rather than prayers of doubt and pleading.

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