Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Lost Phone Found   Leave a comment

dscn5602The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

This article, Lost Phone Found, is by a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.   In it the writer tells how her prayers calmed her fears and led to the recovery of the phone.

Last year my sister and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in a game reserve in South Africa.  It was a wonderful experience and we took advantage of the early morning and late afternoon game viewing safaris that were offered.  Between us we took many, many photos of the beautiful scenery and magnificent animals.

My sister was taking photos on her iPhone and I was using my camera.  On our last trip out, at our half-way stop my sister realised that her phone was missing.  We had been sitting in the very back seat which projected out over the end of the open safari vehicle.  The tracks were very bumpy and we guessed that at some point her phone must have bounced out of her pocket and fallen onto the road.  We thought back to the last time she remembered using it; she had taken pictures of buffaloes about 20 minutes back.

Our guide was wonderful and offered to return to the buffaloes in the hope of finding it.  Each of the seven passengers on the trip hung out of the vehicle watching on all sides as we slowly retraced our steps.  At first my sister seemed quite subdued.  Apart from her photos, the phone contained all her work contacts and other valued information.

My sister and I were brought up in a Christian Science family and it was natural for us to turn to God in prayer when situations like this occurred.  I knew she was praying.  In my prayer I claimed that God, who I know as infinite Mind, knew all things and that nothing could be lost to infinite Mind.  At first I found it difficult to get over the sense of disappointment for my sister.  I didn’t like to see her sad.  But then I realized that this was not about a phone or about my sister; it was about what I trusted.  Did I really believe that God was good and that we were safe in His care?  Did I really believe that God was the only Mind, the only power?  Did I really believe that God was love?  I have had so many healings and demonstrations of these truths that I absolutely had to say:  Yes!  I do believe!  As I came to this realization all sense of unrest left me and I felt totally comfortable in His love and care.  At the same time my sister said: “It’s only a phone, you know.  I can easily get another one” and she seemed relaxed and happy again.

Despite everyone’s concentrated efforts scrutinising the track we travelled all the way back to the buffaloes without finding the phone.  It was now late in the afternoon; the light was dimming and our guide said it was time to head back.  Still the comfortable feeling that all was well didn’t leave me, and my sister continued to be happy and relaxed.  I knew she was feeling the same.   About ten or twelve minutes down the track the young man at the very front of the vehicle called out for the driver to stop.  He jumped out and picked up the phone.  This was the very spot on the track where I had decided to trust and where my sister, through her prayers, had been released from all sense of loss.  We had actually driven over the phone but there was not a mark on it – it was perfect.

Situations like this teach me that it is safe to trust in God’s love.  I am reminded of Jesus’ statement:  Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8: 32).  The truth is that God is love (I John 4: 8).  This is a law that can be relied upon.

To read more testimonies of healing shared by members of the Christian Science Church in Canberra click on the archive headings on the left for May, June and October 2016.

 

 

A Prayer and a Cat   Leave a comment

The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

shutterstock_124754725This article, A Prayer and a Cat, is by Debbie who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She describes how her prayers for the world also resulted in healing for a friend’s cat.

I would like to share a healing that happened some years ago but it’s one that has meant a lot to me.

At the time I was working as a teacher in a local primary school.  There was one particular colleague that I sat with sometimes at lunch; she often talked to me about her cat, Hershey, who seemed to be a big part of her life.  However, at this particular time much of her conversation was about her upcoming trip to the US – a holiday for which they had been saving for a long time.

One day I walked into the staff room to find this friend crying gently while she ate her sandwich.  I sat with her and asked what had upset her.  She said that Hershey was sick and the vet had said he would die any day.  She was supposed to leave for the US in a few days and no cattery would take a cat that was about to die.  The kindest thing to do, the vet said, was to put him to sleep before she left.

My friend couldn’t bring herself to put her beloved cat down and felt guilty that she was leaving him when he was so ill.  Yet the holiday couldn’t be cancelled at this late date.

Without thinking too much I said:  “Would you like me to mind Hershey?” Immediately she jumped at this idea and within the minute it was settled.  She said she understood that he would not be alive when she returned but that at least he could go in his own time and in comfort.  I agreed.

Two days later Hershey was delivered to my place.  I admit I was not prepared for the sight of him.  He lay motionless in his basket; he was skin and bones with dull tufty fur and sore spots; his eyes remained closed.  I was informed that he needed his own quiet, dark room with no interruptions except for his medication.  I had not considered the issue of medication. He had so many!  She explained that Hershey had an immune deficiency condition – a cat’s version of AIDS she said.  We installed Hershey in his room and she said her good-byes.

For two days I tried to give Hershey his medication but it seemed to cause him so much stress.  I couldn’t see the point so I stopped.  I had been brought up in Christian Science and had always solved problems quickly through prayer.  Prayer for me was not a passive asking God for help but an active change of base in my thinking and spiritual reasoning.

There had been a lot of news coverage at this time around the issue of AIDS and I had been praying about this.  In my reasoning I went back to my basic beliefs:  I believed that there was a controlling order or principle to the universe and that principle was Love – another name for God.  A God of love I reasoned could not make a dangerous universe; that a God of Love protected creation, it didn’t expose it to harm.  I had proved many times that holding to spiritual truths, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, resolved inharmonious situations.

Now I applied this reasoning to Hershey. He was part of Love’s creation and I knew this Love was a powerful force for good.   In the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes:  You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness (p208) so I embraced Hershey in my thought in this way.  I didn’t dwell on him, but I held to this idea every time I did think of him.  I felt safe that he was safe.

Very quickly he began to respond.  In a day or so he was up and walking about his room; another day or two he was out and exploring the house.

At the end of two weeks my friend returned and phoned to see how things had gone with Hershey.  She was very surprised to hear that he was ready to be picked up.  When she arrived to collect him he was sitting on the back of the lounge in the sun looking out the window.  He was plump and healthy, his fur was flawless and sleek and shiny, and he had a playful sparkle in his eyes.  He was very glad to be going home.

Sometimes when I pray for the world I am tempted to wonder:  Are my prayers doing any good?  This experience with Hershey gave me further proof that spiritual truths are powerful, more powerful than material evidence, and that prayers are effective in bringing about harmony in any situation – even those given up as hopeless.  I continue to be grateful for all that I am learning in my on-going study of Christian Science.

Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More   Leave a comment

The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

shutterstock_171402770This article, Gratitude for Healing – Headaches No More, is by Barbara who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She relates how she has found permanent freedom from headaches through prayer and spiritualisation of thought.

Recently I read a beautiful expression of gratitude from a student of Christian Science who related how he had been healed of headaches.

It reminded me that I too had been healed of headaches so many years ago that I had really almost forgotten about it, and that healing has been permanent.

I was a fairly new student of this Divine Science at the time, and had never before experienced an instantaneous healing.  My job was such that I was continually dealing with the public, and it was important to be pleasant and attentive at all times.  That is not easy with a throbbing head.

I thought about God, the one and only power, and asked myself if I thought that He could have a headache.  The answer was no, I did not believe He could.  So then I asked myself again if I could possibly have something that God did not have, and certainly could not give me, and remain pure and loving.  The answer was still no, and at that moment I was entirely free of any pain.  That freedom has been mine for more than fifty years now.

Having said that, I cannot claim that the feeling of a headache coming on has not knocked at the door of my consciousness, but it has gained no admittance.  I have confronted it in various ways, such as “get thee hence, Satan”, to use the words of Jesus (Matt 4:10).  Satan is a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, an enemy, an accuser; or simply I would say, “I don’t do headaches” which is not very scientific, but I know that I do not have to cover the same ground again, and what God has done is done forever.

In obedience to the teachings of Christian Science I take the advice given in the textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy where Mrs Eddy says, “Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realised in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” p392: 24-27.  Similarly, to quote the Bible again, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).

Through the study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook I am assured that ‘with God, all things are possible’.

Healing Like an Awakening   Leave a comment

The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

$ dreamstime_7616146This article, Healing Like an Awakening, is by Christine who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  She shares how a deeper understanding of God as Principle helped to bring about the healing of a restricting physical condition.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science has an interesting definition of this Science:  “To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science.”

My study and practice of this Science of Being has resulted in a deep sense of peace, joy and gratitude. I am learning how thought is vital to my everyday experience and keeping my consciousness in relation to the divine, is the key to an awareness of what is real.

Many times I experienced that what was first so real, so frightening, so painful was changed totally by a change of perception, a change of thought, the realization that we are not alien to the divine Principle, or law, but are truly one with the divine Life.

I would like to explain this further with a physical healing that happened some years ago.  I grew up with the practice of Christian Science Mind-healing and so it was very natural for me to turn to it in every need.  So when I became ill with symptoms that were never diagnosed (listlessness, sleeplessness and no appetite) I turned to God for a greater sense of wholeness and perfection.  I worked with a Christian Science healer but my condition did not change until I became quite frail.

My husband gave me an ultimatum one day and asked me to see a medical practitioner.  I could see that this was a reasonable request but it also somehow awakened me to expect healing and a change in my thought that I had been working on every day – a kind of transformation.  That night when I could not sleep, I got up and walked around our kitchen and thought of 7 synonyms or names for God that Mary Baker Eddy explains in her book Science & Health.  These are: Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.

I often ponder them when I want to get a clearer idea of what God means to me and I did this aloud at this time of great need. For example, I thought of how my life was an expression of the one big Life, Life that could never get limited, disharmonious.  There is Truth that always frees us from limitations and how Love is the one cause of all being. When I came to the concept of a divine Principle, or law, something suddenly cleared in my thinking.  I realized that I was connected to the law of Life, the law of being – everyone was.  I bathed in that thought and it became like a light and also something of substance I could lean on, something that had indeed great power.

During this prayerful time I became very calm and eventually I returned to bed and for the first time in weeks, slept peacefully. In the morning I was well, ate a big breakfast and although I had been quite weak, there was no need for recuperation. I quickly gained my normal weight and started living an energetic life once more. In fact just two days after the night time turn around, I saddled my horse and went for a long ride through the countryside with such a sense of unbounded freedom.  The healing suddenly felt so natural, as if all that had happened was that I had woken up and realized that all was well.

Gratitude for Protection   Leave a comment

The Christian Science Church – a part of the Canberra community.  Members share testimonies and talk about their lives as Christian Scientists. 

shutterstock_62922805This article, Gratitude for Protection, is shared by Barbara who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  In it she describes her introduction to Christian Science and a significant instance of protection during a bush fire.

Recently I read a verse from the Bible which I will quote in part, “Whatsoever things are of good report; … think on these things” (Phil 4:8).  This verse reminded me of how much good I have to be grateful for in my life.  I have come to recognize that our Creator, God, (ever present good) is the one and only source of all harmony for all of His children.

In my case, this has come about through the teachings of Christian Science as given in the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Many years ago I became interested in these teachings through witnessing a remarkable healing which my mother had.  At this time, she was suffering from a nervous break-down with strong suicidal tendencies.  She herself had heard of Christian Science through her brother who had been healed of a broken neck, and was leading a normal life.  She sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner, one who prays, as Jesus did, for the recovery of the sick, or of any inharmony in one’s life.

Gradually literature such as the Christian Science Sentinel and Journal began to appear in the home, as well as the textbook.  At first I started to read these, wondering if I could help my mother, and to find out what it was that she was studying.  I was so taken by the logic of what I read, that I could not stop reading.  This was my introduction to the teachings of Christian Science, and since then I have had daily proof of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, good.

Apart from daily blessings there have been potentially life threatening experiences where the acknowledgement of God’s law of harmony has saved me and others from grim situations.

One such situation which I would like to share with you is being protected in a bush fire.  My husband and I were living rurally at the time, and there were out breaks of fire in the district in a number of places.  On this particular day the fire was roaring up from the gully towards several properties and fanned by a wind that seems to drive the fire forward.

The usual precautions had been taken to protect the house, like the grass being cut short around the home, gutters filled with water and buckets of water in place.  The only water available was precious tank water.  The rural fire brigade must have been elsewhere attending to other fires, and the fire fighters on our property had only wet bags on the ends of long handles to beat the flames as they engulfed the bush and the grass.

The picture was so overwhelming that I did not seem to be able to get a thought that would calm me, and I well knew that it had to be a message from God.  I felt like a little child, and the prayer for little children written by Mary Baker Eddy, which I had taught to my children rescued me.  It says “Father, Mother, God, loving me, Guard me when I sleep, Guide my little feet up to Thee.”  What I got from that was a trust in God that He would guard and guide and all would be well.

Almost immediately we had people as it seemed, just come from everywhere, to assist.  Our house and the fire were a goodly distance from the main road, but people just came down the house road with all manner of helpful things.  One man came in a small utility truck with a tank on the back full of liquid which he sprayed from a pump.  We later found that it was an insecticide, but it helped douse the flames.  Others came just as they saw the smoke from the main road.  Another man who lived further along the road eventually left us to go and check out his own property, and there were others, and more stories.

Both properties closest to the fire were saved, and of course those further up the hill were also out of danger.  There was no loss of life in the vicinity, praise be to God.  To me, this is indeed “good report”, and I love to “think on these things”.

Let All Within Me Sing   Leave a comment

shutterstock_83580832Let All Within Me Sing – Readings from the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Title for these reading was taken from hymn 462 in the Christian Science Hymnal:

When my days are much too busy to find where prayer fits in, / There’s a timeless prayer I can always pray: / Simply praising Him. / Praise the creator. Let all within me sing! / For that’s what I am made to do, and stillness it will bring.

Every Wednesday at 6.00 pm a Testimony Meeting is held at the Christian Science Church in Canberra.  Each meeting begins with readings selected from the two books designated as the Pastor of Christian Science: The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.  A new topic for the readings is selected each week.

At the conclusion of the short readings the congregation is invited to share thoughts on this topic and relate how they have used the principles of Christian Science to solve life’s problems and bring physical healing.

If you are in Canberra on any Wednesday please join us. Everyone is welcome.

This recording represents the readings on the topic:  Let All Within Me Sing.

 

Can We Heal the Culture of Violence?   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_6602712 - CopyThe issue of violence is prominent in our community conversations at the moment. Terrorism, drug-related violence, domestic and institutional abuse, and even road rage are insistently crying out for our attention and solutions.

Despite serious efforts over many years to prevent violence, to deal with its effects and to punish the perpetrators, there’s now general agreement that violence will continue to escalate and to propagate fear in the community until we find and treat the real causes.

Fundamental beliefs that underlie and perpetuate all kinds of violence are: that humans have an animal nature prone to competition, self-preservation and aggression; that certain brain-based dysfunctions may be the root of addiction and violence, aggravated by abuse or neglect during childhood; and that there are deeply rooted social and cultural patterns, leading to a distorted sense of manhood and womanhood, that may take generations to change.

However, there’s evidence that these beliefs may be just that …. either long-held or fairly recent beliefs that need to be revised.

Drugs and alcohol are often associated with violence. People working in the police and community services speak of how addiction and abuse reoccur from generation to generation, and there is now general realisation that special attention needs to be given to the families involved.

However, there is some progress as communities work together to fight apathy and educate each other that this cycle can indeed be broken.

A retired commanding officer in the police force shared one such approach: “…anytime I knew I was going to a call related to domestic conflict or violence I would pick up the local pastor.” Often they were able to provide a spiritual viewpoint and connection that would later solve the problem.

It is often acknowledged that recognising a man’s spiritual nature has a healing effect.

Significant psychological research studies find that spirituality is not only helpful to, but integral to mental health. This is an important point in considering individual and whole-society wellbeing.

We may need to adjust our thinking about our real nature.

Another long-held false belief will be overturned by realising that the spiritual qualities generally attributed to women – such as care for others, gentleness, forgiveness and patience – and those qualities attributed to men – such as wisdom, truthfulness, tenaciousness and strength – are innate in both men and women.

Jesus’ ability to express both the fatherhood and motherhood of the divine set the benchmark for us. And like him, we’re actually “tuned in” to hear spiritual intuitions that will prompt, direct and uplift thought, although we may choose not to listen.

Knowing that no-one can be excluded from hearing and acting on divine thoughts can help to overcome violent impulses and begin to heal the culture of violence.

A pioneer in investigating the effects of our thoughts on our health, Mary Baker Eddy, recognised this voice as the ever-appearing of “the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

When Susannah (not her real name) moved out of home and obtained a copy of that book, she just loved the way the author described the divine power that governs the universe as Father-Mother.

Her family had suffered violence at the hand of her father for many years. To think her father could be capable of reflecting the gentle motherhood of God seemed absolutely impossible. However, she decided to stop wrestling with this idea and worked hard to try to see him as reflecting this tender divine nature; learning that he was meant to be nurturing, gentle, tender.

Susannah was listening for the divine message, which replaced the macho view of her father and other men, with this new view of men. Her thought and experiences gradually began to change.

As the weeks went by, she learned that her parents had not had a fight in months and her father was treating her mother and sister with new tenderness. Eight years on, this is still the case.

A scientific approach to thought and prayer in this way does not whitewash evil deeds; rather it exposes the mistaken beliefs and causes them to be discarded.

Further changes in thinking about her own spiritual nature, meant that Susannah no longer saw herself or her mother as survivors of mental, verbal or physical intimidation, but as well-adjusted and balanced individuals.

She had no lingering emotional scars, but had learned truly to love and see the undamageable good in herself and her mother.

As Australian of the Year and domestic violence survivor, Rosie Batty, advocates, Susannah truly took responsibility for her own life, bringing vital change to those around her in the process.

Such approaches hint at the possibilities for healing the culture of violence in ourselves and in the community.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, of Queensland.  Kay writes on the connection between spirituality and health.  This article has been published on 40 APN news sites, including: Sunshine Coast Daily, Toowoomba Chronicle, Lismore Northern Star, Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Mackay Daily Mercury,Tweed Daily News, Bundaberg News Mail, Coffs Coast Advocate, Grafton Daily Examiner,Gladstone Observer, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Gympie Times, Caboolture News, Stanthorpe Border Post

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