As a Christian Scientist, I have endeavored to understand and obey Mary Baker Eddy’s By-Law in the Church Manual: “The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively” (p. 42).
At first, I wondered why she included this instruction in the Manual of The Mother Church. She wrote: “Of this I am sure, that each Rule and By-law in this Manual will increase the spirituality of him who obeys it, invigorate his capacity to heal the sick, to comfort such as mourn, and to awaken the sinner” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 230).
Recognizing the imperative to obey the By-Law and the benefits of doing so, I adopted the practice of praying for the congregation in whatever branch church I found myself, whether as a member or a visitor. I did this by making affirmations along these lines: “This congregation is perfect, healthy, receptive, blessed, understanding, etc.” I would alter the quality affirmed according to any particular needs of the congregation that became apparent or what I thought would be most helpful.