I have taught comparative literature at a university in northern California for many years, and increasingly I am finding that my primary activity as a teacher is to pray. I used to spend hours researching and making class plans (and I still do research and planning). But now, more and more, I find that before, after, and even during class I am praying, asking God what to do for that day, how to present an idea, or how to help the students. I silently thank God that the students and I are in the presence of all right and needed ideas and that fear, lethargy, indifference, or any other negative mental state has no actual, God-supported presence or power.
The Bible and Science and Health provide the daily substance of these prayers, and working with their powerful truths has brought a deeper joy in my work and a greater love for the students. It has lessened a tendency to stand in judgment of class sessions and to condemn myself or students for what may or may not take place at a class meeting. And it has strengthened my ability to turn to God instantly—even in the midst of a discussion—and listen for what to say or do.
Encouraging me in this more prayerful approach is the simple, comforting promise of Isaiah in the Bible, "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Isa. 54:13. I include myself among these children, and trust our Father-Mother to help us all see what we need to see and to express our true nature in intelligence, alertness, integrity, inspiration, receptivity, goodwill. The more conscious I am that each student is God's child, the more spontaneously I am able to respect and honor each one, regardless of the particular mood or attitude of the moment.
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