It’s always touched my heart to read the Bible verse of Christ Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Faced with crucifixion and spiritual demands that required he prove life to be deathless, he turns to God and communes with Him: “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36). True, it seems here that Jesus prayed to avoid the betrayal of Judas and resulting crucifixion altogether. Yet, his tender addressing of God as Abba, or “my loving Father,” shows his full trust in God, his close relationship to Him, and his willingness to fulfill his mission.
Do we commune with God, our dear Father, as Christ Jesus did? Do we understand God to be the sole creator, our Father-Mother, even closer to us than we may feel to a human parent who has been loving, kind, and guiding? Communing with God in this tender manner shows us that we can, and should, speak to God in a way that we would speak to another whom we greatly love—and whom we know greatly loves us.
Our prayers are answered in healing
Talking with God may take the form of humble petitions—asking Him to do something. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, uses such prayer when she writes: “Shepherd, show me how to go,” and “Brood o’er us with Thy shelt’ring wing” (Christian Science Hymnal, Nos. 304, 30). Notice she does not ask for material things, such as houses, cars, or money. Her prayers here are humble requests for guidance, protection, and to feel God’s embrace.
Prayer that is a petition to God expresses a childlike receptivity, which helps us yield to God’s will, which is always good. This prayer is a steppingstone to the spiritual recognition of God’s infinite, perfect creation in our experience. It’s natural to see and feel God’s goodness and presence in our lives because, as His child, we receive all good from Him.
Our prayers don’t move God to do more or less for us than He has already accomplished, but they do prepare the heart and awaken us to what God already knows of us. They lift our thought to Him, allowing us to experience His eternal consistency and stable changelessness. Our humble prayers yield a quiet realization that God’s will is done and we’re simply coming into accord with this tender, spiritual fact.
Then we learn that what we prayerfully desire is already the truth, already fulfilled, and that God is eternally being God to us. He is always caring for and loving us. He is never absent, off-guard, or off-duty. As His children, we are embraced in His tender compassion, and He is showing us His ever-presence. All we seek in our petitions is already known by our tender, loving Father-Mother God and is provided by His ever-present help.
Prayer that rests upon the absolute spiritual facts of God and man, such as when Christ Jesus stated “I and my Father are one,” is communion with God, because spiritual perfection is being seen and felt (John 10:30). Rather than a pleading prayer, which only hopes to find God in some place or at some distant time, this communion stands on the solid ground of God’s willingness and ability to meet our needs. And more, that He has created us in His own image and likeness, and it’s divinely natural, and already true, that we feel and express God’s perfection. In short, He has already met all our needs; we’re simply awakening to this spiritual fact through communion with Him. This is prayer that seeks and finds. It results in the precious healing we’ve so earnestly desired.
God will always be God. He’s unchangeable, our divine loving Parent, eternally present. He constantly cares for and makes manifest all that is right because it’s His nature to do so. No human pleading can change Him, or needs to. No human desire alters His embrace of us because God is Principle. His work is perfect already. Mrs. Eddy teaches, “His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 3).
Prayerful communion stands on the solid ground of God’s willingness and ability to meet our needs.
Prayerful communion may also be an immediate, spiritual consciousness of our perfection with God. Once we’ve understood spiritual truths, such as our oneness with God, His perfection, and that we eternally exist as His perfect children, we can demonstrate this reality without the element of time being involved. Instantaneous healing, as a result of our thought being at one with God, is communion that simply knows. It knows the allness of God, His power and presence, right where a need seems to be, and this communion results in the problem being immediately resolved.
However we choose to commune with our Father-Mother, we can be assured that our prayers are answered in healing. As we turn wholly to God, we hear His guidance, our thought is cleansed of wrong thinking, and our lives are changed. Thought that is purged of hatred, loves. Thought that is cleansed of distrust, trusts. Thought that is wiped clean of discouragement, is encouraged. By prayerfully lifting thought to the presence and power of God, we are simultaneously leaving off materialism and mortality. Then our thought is free of the belief in matter’s supposed activity with its variable ups and downs. It is liberated from the assertion of any sinful stain attempting to define us and bind us to it.
Mrs. Eddy teaches us, “The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man” (Science and Health, p. 284). When communing with our Father-Mother, we are lifting our thoughts, motives, and desires to God in inspired, heartfelt language with profound intimacy, receiving and accepting spiritual, healing facts and loving reassurances of God’s love for us. Such tender communication with our Maker, God, is satisfying and strengthening. It results in problems solved and salvation gained.
As God’s child—forever with Him as “Abba,” our loving Parent—communicating with Him enables us to be conscious of Him and know Him, here and now. When we are conscious of Him, are we not also feeling His presence, guidance, and care right here with us? This spiritual communion shows forth God’s present perfection and, of course, man’s present perfection, which results in healing.
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