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From the March 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Sometimes there's nothing more discouraging than hearing that someone else has had a quick healing, especially if you've been longing to have more of them yourself. It's so natural to desire health and well-being; it's also natural to expect the kind of quick and permanent healing that assures you of your wholeness and wellness—right here and now. This expectation is based on the fact that God loves and tenderly ministers to all of His creation, you included. And that a recognition of this ongoing, unchanging connection brings profound results: the transformation of thought and body.

There's no formula for quick healing, but these five ideas can help.

As a Christian Science practitioner, I strive daily for more effective healing in my practice. And I still need regeneration and transformation in my own life. But there are a few ideas that have brought quicker healings for me and for patients. Perhaps these ideas will help break loose a mental logjam, letting inspiration flow and healing come more quickly. Or perhaps they'll help simplify the process of prayer. Whether one is praying for oneself or another, these ideas can help improve the effectiveness of Christian Science healing treatment.

Feel loved

Feeling the presence of God, who is divine Love, refreshes one's heart and rejuvenates health. So before praying about a specific problem, I start by knowing that I'm loved by God. God is infinite Love, who fills all space, who tenderly surrounds and gently holds each one of Her children.

Feeling loved by God is actually trusting God. When I feel God's love, I know there is a power beyond my own, controlling and governing the situation. God is in control, and I don't have to be.

God is Love, and God delights in you. You are the delightful idea of God. And Love will love you even if you've made a mistake. This is the merciful lovingkindness of God. God loves universally and impartially, just as the sun emits light. No one has to earn God's love. It simply needs to be accepted and expressed. Expressing Love magnifies love, like a glass focusing the warmth and light of sunshine. This helps one to feel the presence and power of divine Love, and sickness melts.

Silence the devil

Often, illness is accompanied by feelings of doubt and fear, including concerns about the seriousness of the situation. One way to stop this kind of thinking is to realize that these thoughts don't come from you. They're the (so-called) devil talking. Doubtful, fearful thoughts couldn't come from God. God is confident. God is all-powerful good. God is the divine Mind who creates health, harmony, and wholeness.

A litany of negative thoughts is the devil trying to distract from God's goodness and presence. This devil isn't an actual power, but as Jesus called it, "a liar, and the father of it."  John 8:44. It may be difficult to remember this in the middle of pain. That's why I find it helpful to promptly identify negative feelings and thoughts as the devil, a liar trying to deceive me. Who wants to believe a lie? Silencing devilish thoughts is like silencing static. By doing so, one can more readily hear, understand, and experience the healing message of Christ—God's assurance of love for His creation.

Know your inseparability from God

The devil's biggest lie tries to convince a person that they're separated from God—that they're helpless or beyond help. I find it useful to identify this argument as a lie and to recognize my inseparability from God. Mary Baker Eddy described this relationship in Science and Health: "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: 'For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.'"  Science and Health, p. 361.

The spiritual fact of each individual's oneness with God is an assurance that the man God created—and that includes both men and women—lives in the kingdom of God's harmony and is never beyond help. Instead of struggling to regain health and peace, you can declare that you already have them. This radical approach is based on Christ Jesus' teaching that "the kingdom of God is within you"  Luke 17:21. and that one should "Repent [change one's mind]: for the kingdom of heaven [health, harmony] is at hand [now]."  Matt. 4:17. Now we are God's image and likeness. Now we are God's beloved children.

God's kingdom is universal. It's impossible to be separated from Him, because it's impossible to be outside His loving care. I often start my prayer by understanding something of God's nature. In fact, I try to start each sentence in my prayers with God until I feel united with my heavenly Father-Mother. I might declare that "God is present, and I'm wrapped in the arms of divine Love." "God is Life and governing every action." "God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-feeling," which means there could be no sensation in matter, the opposite of God, or Spirit. Of course, the important point is not the saying of these words, but the feeling that they bring—a feeling of oneness with God, a feeling that He is tangibly with me. And this deep sense of God's loving care brings healing.

Understand spiritual innocence

One of my favorite concepts is that of innocence. Mrs. Eddy, who was a remarkable healer, wrote, "Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error."  Science and Health, p. 568. This seems applicable to almost any situation. The Christ reveals each individual's spiritual innocence—their purity, spirituality, completeness, perfection. One can drop the past in a sigh of relief and instantly claim one's Christly inheritance. I cherish the promise of Isaiah, "Thou [God] hast cast all my sins behind thy back."  Isa. 38:17. This complete forgiveness from God restores our sense of innocence, and keeps us forever facing Him. Having one's sense of innocence restored brings rapid transformation. Understanding one's innocence heals.

The important point is not the saying of words, but the feeling they bring. A deep sense of God's loving care brings healing.

Know when to say no

For me, instantaneous healings happen when I mentally declare no to the physical symptoms without any reservations, and know why I can do so. Why is that? Because God is All, and there is nothing else. I've experienced symptoms of cold, headache, twisted ankle, muscle pain and other dis-ease, and so thoroughly dismissed them with a simple and all-encompassing no, that the healing happened before the symptoms could progress any further. In other words, the condition never gained a foothold—and disappeared.

Mrs. Eddy instructed: "Suffer no claim of sin or of sickness to grow upon the thought. Dismiss it with an abiding conviction that it is illegitimate, because you know that God is no more the author of sickness than He is of sin."  Science and Health, p. 390. This is the basis for my no prayer. I am responding to God's demand to know His allness without argument or resistance. The no prayer implies complete acceptance of God's presence, power, and government, which is without equal or opposition. And when I'm at that point of complete acceptance, I find that a thorough no is enough.

Of course, there's no formula for experiencing quick healing. Instantaneous cure is more of a spiritual feeling than an intellectual reasoning. Yet I've found that thoroughly considering these five ideas often goes right to the heart of the issue and removes long-standing and sometimes unrecognized mental obstacles to healing. Healing is natural. It's the result of feeling our oneness with God, the divine Father-Mother. And isn't it when we awaken to this oneness that healing happens?

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