GUEST POST BY MARK LAWSON
In prayer, we follow the Master’s instruction (Matt. 6:33) to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” because “these things” (health, harmony, supply, peace, joy) then will be “added” to our human experience. This is consistent with God’s instruction (Isaiah 45:11): “Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
What God knows about us is what we need to know, and this is what we strive to “seek … first.” It makes no difference what others may think about us, or what we may seem to think of ourselves. Humans may condemn us (as they did the woman “taken” in adultery, John 8:3-11), or we may condemn ourselves (as did the “prodigal son”, Luke 15:11-32). Therefore, the “listening” aspect of prayer may require “resisting,” or refusing to listen to negative reports coming from a human body, mind, business, or relationship.
What God knows about us is expressed in the first chapter of the Bible, where God made man in His image and likeness, and “it was very good.” (Genesis 1:26, 31).This is the “truth” of our perfection (Matt 5: 48) that Jesus wanted us to “know” (John 8:32), and that he said would make us free. We are to commune with “our Father” (Matt 6:9), listen to His message, and live consistently with our prayer (1 Thess 5:17).
Quoting St. John (1 John 4:16), Mary Baker Eddy writes in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, in the chapter on Prayer: “God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? … Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work? 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.” Earlier she writes: “Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.”
Jesus demonstrated the “Science of being” throughout his ministry. He appealed to spiritual law for power over so-called material law, evidenced by sin, poverty, hunger, disease, and death. Through prayer, we may seek and realize the good that God has planned for us, “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” (Luke 6:38).
Mr. Lawson is First Reader of Christian Science Society, Bristol, Tennessee and he may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. A web site devoted to the teachings of Christian Science is http://www.spirituality.com/, and the official web site of The First Church of Christ, Scientist is www.tfccs.com.