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Whether you think of it as asking for guidance or tuning in to a higher power, listening for inspiration or resting in God's love, in essence, it's all the same. Prayer. Humbly reaching out for help and being receptive when God's divine message, the Christ, speaks. The good news: This kind of prayer, whatever name you give it, heals.

Is there more than one way to pray?

From the December 2004 issue of The Christian Science Journal

It was early December and my daughters' rehearsals for Christmas programs were in full swing. One night at dinner, my middle daughter looked flushed, and told her father and me that her head hurt and her throat felt sore. She felt overwhelmed by her homework—double the usual amount because she was missing school to dance in a performance of the Nutcracker. I wanted to help, but I had to run out the door to drive my oldest daughter to a chorus rehearsal.

At first my thoughts felt too scattered to pray—too frazzled to settle into quiet communion with God. But as I drove, I found myself looking up into a clear winter-night's sky. One star, straight in front of the car, drew my attention with its brightness. It reminded me of the single star the wise men had followed all those years ago to get to the young Jesus. They showed such trust in following that star, I thought. They were so single-minded and undistracted. And because of their faithfulness, they were led right to Jesus.

It struck me that the Christ, the spirit of love and healing that Jesus so perfectly embodied, was the guiding star that could lead me to peace, too—and to an understanding of my daughter's well-being. I could follow it, trust its message, give whole focus to it. That would be my prayer.

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