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Prayer as listening   Leave a comment

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What’re 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.

 
 
 

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.

Prayer for the Neighbour’s Dogs Brings a Harmonious Solution   Leave a comment

$ dreamstime_6562165About three years ago a young mum moved into the house next door to us. She had a couple of children, a cat and a dog. Soon her friend moved in too and he brought with him a tiny pup. These were both outside dogs but they had provided no shelter for them. They lived largely without human interaction in the bare backyard and it was the middle of a fierce and wet Canberra winter. In the mornings this tiny short-haired puppy could be seen sleeping curled and shivering in the long frosty grass. During the blustery winter days he cried and cried. When it rained he tried to stand under the larger dog for shelter and together they looked soaked and miserable.

I found this very difficult to witness day after day and I became incensed with indignation.

I succumbed to the error of believing that evil existed – in the form of my neighbours and that there were places where Love – another name for God – did not exist. If I believed that the neighbours were cruel and unloving then I was believing that God wasn’t all. I had to choose which idea I believed.

But, I didn’t want to let go of that indignation – I found it very difficult. But Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, tells us in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good (p393).

It was Spirit, God, who gave me the strength to resist this faulty thinking. I knew that there was no place where God was not. The Bible tells us that man is made in the image and likeness of God … of Love. The real man could not be unloving. So I held to this truth about man and acknowledged God’s love for all His creation. This dissolved the indignation. Within a day of this turn around in thinking the dogs were being invited inside and for the rest of the winter they were given shelter and companionship.

I have learned never to underestimate the power of practical applied scientific prayer!

This post was submitted by Deborah Packer of Canberra, Australia.

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