My upbringing in a family of Christian Scientists taught me that prayer is a powerful way to think, a way to habitually turn my attention to spiritual things. As a child, I learned that God is even closer than my consciousness, and that pondering His goodness and power brings confidence and peace. I found that the surer I felt about God’s love for me, the more natural it was to take a mental stand against everything unlike Him—against mortal feelings like fear, envy, sadness, or anger, and against sickness, injury, and loss.
I knew sickness to be a mistaken view of God and His creation.
As I grew, prayer sometimes felt like a response to a gentle invitation to know God or to grow my spiritual understanding. One instance of this happened when I was about nine years old. I had come down with intense flu-like symptoms. My parents made sure I was comfortable in bed, and they began to pray for me.