I HAD JUST FINISHED WRITING MY LETTER OF RESIGNATION. However, as desperately as I wanted to give this letter to the principal of the school, I knew one thing: I needed to pray first. What had pushed me, after teaching elementary school for only three months, to the point of leaving a job that I knew was the right thing? The difficulties seemed insurmountable. I had inherited a class in which almost every student was labeled with a "problem"—academic, behavioral, social, or emotional. Overall achievement was extremely low and was thwarted by a large cast of characters that seemed to demand my negative attention.
As I started to pray, the answer that came was unexpected. I realized that I had to really look at the way I was applying prayer throughout my day. Prayer is so important that in Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy echoes Paul from the New Testament by saying, "We must 'pray without ceasing'" (p. 15). When I first read this, I remember thinking that praying like this was impossible to do. But it was clear from studying the Bible that Christ Jesus consistently practiced this demand. And more recently, Mary Baker Eddy did this in her life. Their healing ministries demonstrated their ability to do this—and they asked it of us, too. For the longest time, though, I felt that I wasn't capable of this kind of constant prayer, because I couldn't focus on God beyond my morning prayer time, let alone the rest of the day, seven days a week. Somehow, the moment I arrived at school, I promptly forgot all my inspiration.
Through my study of Christian Science, I had learned to love my morning time of specific and consistent prayer. This kind of prayer was something that people in the Bible felt was absolutely necessary. Daniel prayed not once but three times a day. He knew that nothing—including the unreasonable laws requiring him to do otherwise—could dissuade him from the importance of this dedicated communion with God. He saw God's omnipotence so clearly that when the king punished Daniel for worshiping the one divine God, Daniel's prayers and demonstration of divine Love's omnipotence resulted not only in the shutting of the lions' mouths, but also in converting the king to worshiping the one and only God.