Prayer as listening   Leave a comment

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What’s the thoughts you listen to most?

Is it the endless chatter of our thought or can we learn to listen to a voice that is the underlying voice of all Life?

 

Prayer is a very individual thing, but in its holiest form, it is communion with God. Often the most uplifting prayers are those where we humbly listen. God is divine Mind, and He is always communicating with His ideas—man and the universe. He is always here, ready to guide and guard a willing heart. But to hear Him, we may need to improve our listening.

I have had many healings by standing mentally still and listening to God. When a specific need comes up, such as when a belief of illness or accident presents itself, I usually find the human situation is making a number of claims that God, good, is not the only power. It is important to recognize and dismiss these false claims as erroneous, so they don’t take over and make us fearful. We do not need to accept these suggestions.

Silencing this mental chatter prepares us to hear God’s Word. It is like tuning a radio—eliminating the static of mortal mind so the message of divine Mind is loud and clear.          

One afternoon we noticed that Jordan, one of our three hens, was lying on the ground in a strange position, looking lifeless. As my husband picked her up, she was limp in his arms, and he said sadly, “I think she’s dead.” 

But, just then I saw her eye blink open and close again. My husband had been about to go to the hardware store, so I said, “Just leave her with me.” He carefully placed her in the nest box, and I headed inside to pray. 

When we silently hunger to know God better, this state of mind is ready to be filled with divine inspiration.

I found myself wondering if she was about the right age to die. But straightaway I saw that to think this way was to accept the belief that life is in a mortal body that at some point wears out, and that death is inevitable. Christian Science teaches that in reality, life is not a timeline that unavoidably comes to an end. Life is a synonym for God—without beginning and without end. 

The next thought that came to me was that chickens just die sometimes, for no apparent reason. Again, I rejected this, reasoning that because Life is God, Life is also divine Principle. Life is the law—unchangeable and eternal. There are no creatures that are vulnerable to happenstance. Life is not at the mercy of a mortal body. 

The third suggestion that came was that chickens are difficult to heal—I had failed with chickens before. But I knew that God never fails, so I reasoned that I, as God’s reflection, could not fail either. In divine Mind there is only present perfection, now. 

I dismissed all these erroneous suggestions as I was walking back to the house. By the time I stood in the living room, the chatter of false beliefs had stopped, and I turned to God. I asked God, “What do you want me to see here?” I listened, and immediately the thought came to look at Jordan not as a mortal creature, but as one of God’s perfect, spiritual ideas. Since God is All, His expression is everywhere, and there is, in reality, nothing else to see. 

And so, standing in the living room with my eyes closed, I obeyed. I thought of Jordan and saw (acknowledged) her as a spiritual expression of God. I saw all the lovely things I knew about her and her little quirky ways. She was beautiful. She had an identity that was unique and perfect. I was so filled with what God was teaching me that I totally forgot about the chicken body that was out in the nest box. 

About an hour later, my husband and I were out in the back garden again, and there, digging in the dirt, were three chickens, all happy and busy. A bit later I watched Jordan joyously stretching up her neck and flapping her wings—with no trace of a problem, and no recovery process. We rejoiced: “I will look unto the Lord; … my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7). 

Nowadays I know not to accept the chatter of false belief as my thinking. I simply know that suggestions of fear, disease, or any inharmony are not my thoughts because they are not from God, and I counter them with Godlike thoughts. When I stand as a porter (see Science and Health, p. 392) and bar these thoughts, I am ready to hear the Word of God. I would not have learned these lessons if my prayer had been one of me doing the communicating. God is the one with the answers. 

 

There is more to the story about Jordan and another deeper aspect to it, so carry on reading this writing by Deborah Packer here.  This article was originally published in the March 2018 edition of the Christian Science Journal.

 
 
 

Inspiration in the Night   Leave a comment

$ Star of Bethlehem

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with worrying thoughts?

Listen how Susan Brightman from Boulder, Colorado, USA found her peace in this Daily Lift

listen here

Posted July 7, 2018 by cscanberra in Daily Lift

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‘I don’t know how to pray’   Leave a comment

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What prayer is: For me, prayer is drawing close to the creator of the universe. It means getting intimate with God. It is an ongoing exploration of infinite spiritual space and ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

The how-to: Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, devotes an entire chapter to the subject of prayer in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. There we read, “Desire is prayer; …” (p. 1)…. Prayer is a yearning thing. An openness to the divine source of all good. Once we’re in that place of genuine openness, there are many ways to continue with prayer. Here are a few.

 

The prayer of petition: The Lord’s Prayer is a great example. In this prayer, Jesus instructs us to ask—to ask for grace, for our daily bread, for forgiveness, and to not be led into temptation.

In addition to the Lord’s Prayer, my daily prayer also includes asking God to guide me, to open my eyes to more of His goodness, to show me what it is like to be Her daughter, to teach me how to love Him and His creation more, and so on.

The prayer of affirmation and denial: This can also be called the prayer of “argument.” It is affirming God’s presence and power and denying the reality of anything unlike God, good.

The prayer of listening: Listening means learning to be silent so we can have what Mrs. Eddy calls “audience with Spirit” (Science and Health, p. 15). We silence the world’s chatter and open our hearts and thoughts to hear the ideas God, Mind, is imparting to us.

The prayer of gratitude: Sometimes just being grateful puts us in rapport with the Divine, or at least begins to. Gratitude tends to shift our attention away from whatever problems we’re facing toward an awareness, and even a conviction, of the allness of God.

The prayer of yielding: This is a wordless surrender, a “God, You take over” prayer. Yielding involves complete trust in God and a letting go of any sense of ourselves as separate from Him.

 

To read the entire article on ‘How to pray” by Deborah Huebsch click here

Posted June 30, 2018 by cscanberra in Prayer

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Classes with a Difference   Leave a comment

shutterstock_105508592Children today are growing up in a vastly different world to the one their parents experienced. The fast pace of technological change, the lure of social media, the prevalence of alcohol, the easy availability of drugs and even the sensational reporting of world events all put pressures on our youth. Today more than ever our young people need to have a strong moral compass to help them make wise decisions, and an inner resilience that helps them meet life’s challenges and rise above adversity. Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at-Large for Psychology Today, wrote in her article “The Art of Resilience”: “At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief …” So how do we fortify our children and develop in them an understanding of their innate ability to rise above adversity?

At the Christian Science Sunday School we do just that. In small groups with a teacher, students discuss the qualities that make life work. Lessons are based around the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus including the Lord’s Prayer. Students discuss the issues that come up in their own lives in light of these invaluable moral guides.

Classes for students from pre-school up to age 20 are held every Sunday at 10.00 am. Babies are cared for in the creche. New students are always welcome. The Sunday School is located with the Christian Science Church at the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets in Barton.

Freed from the past   Leave a comment

shutterstock_173792090When I graduated from college, I felt like everything I had known was completely uprooted. The daily structure of school was over. I moved to a new city and started a new job, and many meaningful relationships in my life changed.

 

During this time, I often went running on the beach. I loved the opportunity to appreciate my beautiful coastal surroundings, clear my thoughts, and think about God. But one day while running, instead of feeling inspired, I was hopelessly missing the past. I pitied myself for having to go through such a big change, and wished intensely that everything could’ve just stayed the same.

When I reached the end of the beach, I turned to start running back and saw the prints of my sneakers in the soft sand. That’s cool, I thought. What if, as I run back, I put each step in my previous footprint? It seemed like a fun little game.

To my surprise, I found that doing this was incredibly hard. Running while trying to place each step exactly where it had been on my initial run—well, I could barely do it! I ran awkwardly, my movement uneven and my freedom limited.

That’s when I realized: This was exactly what was happening in my life. Instead of embracing a new path, I was trying to “run” each day in the “footsteps” of the past.

At this moment, a passage from the Gospel of Matthew popped into my thoughts. It’s the one where Jesus says, “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved” (9:17).

No wonder everything felt challenging and uncomfortable! I was desperately trying to “put new wine into old bottles.” Instead, I had to be willing to make new footprints—create a fresh path and welcome unfamiliar experiences.

Yet, with each step forward, I’ve remembered how important it is to face newness unafraid and with joyful expectation—and that we can do this because of what we know about the continuity of God’s goodness.

Listen to this Daily Lift by Karina Olsen here

or read the entire article Beating the graduation blues

Posted June 16, 2018 by cscanberra in Daily Lift, Renewal

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Value that’s not contingent on circumstance   Leave a comment

shutterstock_169062386A woman I know spent her early years wishing she’d never been born. She knew she wasn’t wanted from day one. In fact, even before she was born she was referred to as “Calamity Jane.” Her family situation included mental illness, physical abuse, and alcoholism. As an adult, she still felt trapped by the circumstances of her birth……

Imagine her enormous relief when she read these words in the Bible and glimpsed that they were true: “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). This shows that we are all actually children of God. As such, we inherit the characteristics of our divine Parent: we are spiritual, valued, and whole.

The woman came to realize that God, who is good, loves us unconditionally and that our worth isn’t determined by genes or early childhood experiences. And she saw how recognizing these spiritual facts of our existence enables us to live them. Her life turned around, and instead of falling into the same destructive patterns her parents had, she became productive and successful.

The first line of the Lord’s Prayer shows us that God is “our Father.” In Science and Health, there is a spiritual interpretation of this line: “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16). A life that expresses harmony because our divine Parent is all-harmonious? Wow! Is such a thing possible? Absolutely!

This article by Deborah Huebsch can be listened to or read in The Christian Science Monitor

 

Use your ‘superpower’   Leave a comment

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Every teen sitting around the table had a story to share. Situations in which a “sixth sense” had guided them to an unexpected outcome, connected them to a key piece of information, even protected them in scary circumstances. All the teens also agreed on something: This “sixth sense” was more than some kind of human intuition. It was so “not of this world” in its clarity and wisdom that they felt it was proof of a divine intelligence—divine Mind, or God—caring for them and loving them in a way that had practical effects in their lives…..

The kind of perception we’re talking about—perception that goes beyond what we see or hear, or what seem to be the facts of a situation—might sound like a superpower. How else could you know to not step off a curb because a truck that you couldn’t see was about to come barreling around the corner? And yet, the ability to perceive something beyond the details and limitations of any particular moment isn’t a magical power.

We all have spiritual sense. It’s innate. When we experience things like love, mercy, kindness, and so on, that’s spiritual sense, because we can’t perceive those qualities through the five physical senses.

What does spiritual sense feel like?

In my life, spiritual sense doesn’t have one particular “shape.” It’s come, for me, as a specific message to do something—or not to do it. Sometimes (like in the case of being protected from getting hit by a truck) it feels almost like an invisible hand holding me back. Or, in the case of a job I was once considering applying for, it was like having the wind at my back; I felt propelled forward by a power that I knew wasn’t my own.

One thing that’s been common to all my experiences with spiritual sense, though, is that it has defied lists of pros and cons, self-justification, and logic based on what could be observed through the five senses. If the message you’re hearing doesn’t make sense through human reasoning, but a feeling of peace and safety comes with it, that’s a good indication that spiritual sense is at work—and that makes more sense than anything else.

Spiritual sense allows us to see what’s really going on, based on an understanding of God’s supremacy and love, even in the face of something challenging.

For Jenny Sawyer’s article about the power of spiritual sense click here

Posted June 2, 2018 by cscanberra in Spirituality

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