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Why prayer? Freedom.

From the July 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I’ve been asked before why a student of Christian Science would choose prayer to resolve an issue when a simple medical procedure or treatment is available. Of course, the answer to that will always be individual, but for many folks part of it may have to do with the ultimate goal, what they’re really after. 

A few years ago, a friend was relating her gratitude for a healing she’d had, and her thought process really resonated with me. She’d had some issue with a tooth that had been causing physical discomfort. She felt that going to the dentist would probably solve the issue relatively easily, but when she thought about what she really wanted, she said it was to learn something more about God and her spiritual expression of God. Ultimately, she wanted freedom, but not just physical freedom. She wanted to move in the direction of gaining mental freedom from the notion that life, truth, intelligence, and substance are in and of matter. 

My friend’s desire and willingness to take a prayerful and spiritual step to better understand God and her uninterrupted expression of God didn’t just bring a physical healing of the dental issue—it certainly did and I know she was deeply grateful—but that effort and willingness brought about something even more wonderful. It brought about a mental liberation. It gave her a tangible glimpse into “Life in and of Spirit” as the “sole reality of existence” (see Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 24).