Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Tag

Hearing God   Leave a comment

Spirit, God, is heard when the senses are silent.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p89: 20)

Run Over but Unharmed   2 comments

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

Prior to these current COVID restrictions I travelled often with my sister.  In 2019 she was invited to do a series of Christian Science lectures across the US.   I was her support person.  It was my job to take charge of the everyday organisational issues such as getting through airports and finding meals in strange cities.  More importantly it was my job to prayerfully protect and support her lecturing work. 

My prayers were prayers of affirmation, not petition.  I acknowledged God as divine Love and as infinite all-knowing Mind.  I acknowledged that these lectures were right ideas and as such they were God’s ideas, as all right activity is God’s.  I knew that God protected and brought to fruition all His ideas harmoniously.  I also knew that all those involved in bringing these lectures to the public were protected in this work and that only good could come of these activities.

On this particular day the lecture went off very harmoniously.  The venue was perfect, the audience large and focussed and my sister spoke with such sincerity and inspiration that all were moved by the words.  Afterwards we were taken back to our accommodation by one of the organisers.  When we arrived the driver pulled up in the driveway and my sister jumped out.  For a moment I sat half in and half out of the back seat while I passed bags and coats out to my sister.  Without checking whether we were fully out the driver suddenly started forward.  My sister immediately called for her to stop which she did.  The quick movement of the car jerked me out onto the driveway.   I didn’t fall but I landed awkwardly and the car came to a stop completely on my right foot.   This wasn’t a small car and the pressure on my foot was immense.  I was wearing only my little ‘going out’ shoes and these offered no protection.  Because of the prayerful work I had been doing during the day I felt no fear.  I also felt no pain.  My sister called out to the driver to back up but she became confused about what had happened and asked a series of questions that didn’t quickly result in her taking the necessary action. 

Eventually the driver did back up and I was able to pull my foot away.  Throughout this I continued to feel calm.  Despite the feeling of great pressure, at no point was there any pain or discomfort.  As the driver pulled away we picked up our things and headed inside.  I can honestly say I did not have a single twinge or any indication that anything untoward had happened.  There were absolutely no after effects.  I put this down totally to the fact that I had been keeping my thought fixed on the omnipotence of God, good, during that day and all the previous touring days.  Christian Science teaches me that what I think is very important in determining the events of my life and my wellbeing.  I am hugely grateful for all that I am learning as a student of Christian Science.

Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts. 

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p260:4)

A number of Christian Science lectures, including the ones given by my sister on this tour are available on this site. Click on the Christian Science Lectures tab in the menu at the top.

Pray Without Ceasing   Leave a comment

Posted October 6, 2021 by cscanberra in Prayer, Thought

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Practical Prayer   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

Yesterday I had a lovely example of the practicality of prayer as practised in Christian Science.

Ours seemed to be a rather grumpy household last night.

I had spent some hours searching for one piece of information that I needed to send to our accountant for our annual tax return.  I couldn’t find it and had finally contacted the investment company that issued the original document, asking if a new copy could be sent. This communication was sent by email and I received a reply, also by email, that they couldn’t send me the document by email because my email address was not officially on their records – such irony! But even a sense of the ridiculous nature of this response did not ease the sense of frustration I felt as I went around in seemingly never-ending circles.

Then my husband came home, and he had just heard the news that the Canberra lockdown had been extended for another month. As the owner of a small business that depends on customers coming to his premises, he could see no way forward to stay financially viable.

However, after he tramped off to bed, I sat still – something I should have done much earlier – and thought of the verse from the Bible ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Ps 46).

What I see this as saying is: ‘Just stop running around in circles and thinking you have all the answers, that you have a mortal mind of your own that can actually solve anything. The universe is God’s – God is the only Mind and keeps all the wheels running smoothly if we get out of His way. Ask God what He/She knows about the situation and listenfor the answer.’ And I did.

In a very short time, I remembered that I probably had received the document I needed and had put it in a special place, ready for the tax return. And there it was. I was able to scan it and send it to the accountant right then and there.

And I found, by checking on guidelines from the ACT Government about the lockdown, that a way forward was possible for my husband’s business.

God really does have the answers – we just need to ask – and I’m very grateful.

Desire is Prayer   Leave a comment

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What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p1)

Prayer   Leave a comment

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Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers.

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p15)

Beating the Winter Blues   Leave a comment

DSCN0134Here in Canberra winter is now upon us. The yellow and gold trees have given way to bare branches and we have already had our first frosty mornings.

Many of us who have lived in Canberra for a while have come to love this climate and its four distinct seasons. With each there are certain expectations: the regenerating bloom of the spring heralded by the brilliance of the wattle; the long dry heat of the summer and trips to the coast; the vivid colours of the autumn and the swirling brown leaves.

The crispness of winter, the clear blue skies and trips to the snow are often accompanied by calls to be wary of colds and flu. TV commercials remind us of the available remedies and we are sometimes tempted to wonder whether we will ‘go down’ with something this year, or will we be lucky?

Nowadays there is a strong body of evidence that attests to the influence of one’s thought on health. For over 100 years now we have been aware of the placebo effect: the apparent strong positive effect of sugar pills and non-medicated treatments on patients who believed them to be remedial agents. These experiments alone must ask us to question the nature of the effect of thought on the body. To question how the quality of our consciousness and our belief systems can affect our wellbeing? There is also growing evidence to suggest that spirituality, our natural attraction to the good and the true, has a positive impact on physical resilience and recuperation.

About 150 years ago Mary Baker Eddy investigated this link between spirituality and health. Her experiments and study culminated in her textbook: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In it she states (p208): Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. … You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness.

New SH (2)She goes on to say (p392): The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation. Whatever benefit is produced on the body, must be expressed mentally, and thought should be held fast to this ideal. If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. … If you decide that climate or atmosphere is unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.

Reverse the case. Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously. When the condition is present which you say induces disease, whether it be air, exercise, heredity, contagion, or accident, then perform your office as porter and shut out these unhealthy thoughts and fears. Exclude from mortal mind the offending errors; then the body cannot suffer from them. The issues of pain or pleasure must come through mind, and like a watchman forsaking his post, we admit the intruding belief, forgetting that through divine help we can forbid this entrance.

Let’s determine this winter to hold thought to the higher qualities of Truth and Love, of wholeness and harmony and turn away from contemplation of disease, and so build our spiritual immunity.

This article was contributed by Deborah Packer of Canberra.

To purchase a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy click here.

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

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.

Ben’s Story   Leave a comment

shutterstock_123957178Sometimes life throws up situations where you have to stick to what you understand to be true, even if the physical evidence is saying something else.  I suppose that’s a bit like Copernicus, when he was starting to realize that the earth rotated around the sun, and not what was commonly thought, he had to use his scientific understanding and not the popular opinion or even his physical senses.

I’ve had experiences, simpler, humbler ones, where I’ve had to stick to a spiritual understanding of what was going on and not just accept the outward sense of things.  One of these times was when my dog, Ben, was hit by a car.

Ben had suddenly spotted by husband across the road and run straight out into the path of a car.  The car, a huge four-wheel drive, had hit him, spearing him into the ground, the full force being taken by his head.  And although there were only a few external abrasions, it was obvious something serious had happened to his skull. We took him home and I began to pray immediately.

Now my younger daughter was, at that stage, growing up and she was making her own mind up about things, and we’ve always respected our girls’ rights to think differently to us.  And she felt very strongly that we should take him to the vet.  She was actually shouting at me, and it was not easy, but I over rode her objections, and I did this for several reasons.  I had more faith in God than in man.  I had seen so many healings in my life, particularly of animals, that I had absolute confidence that the dog could be healed, but also I actually did not think that he would survive through any other means.  So I just went to God for help.

I prayed through the night to know only what God would know about the situation, to know that His divine care was ever present and all powerful, that divine Love did not cause this accident so it had no divine authority, that His almighty care surrounded us and governed the scene with harmony.  And as the day dawned, it suddenly became clear that I absolutely believed, and understood, God’s unwavering, unchanging love for all of His creation; that the Ben’s life was safe because he had always been in God’s care, and I knew it and I believed it and understood it more than what the physical senses were telling me.

Shortly after, my daughter came in to check on him and he leapt straight up into her arms perfectly well and happy, with all symptoms and pain completely gone.  And within two days even all evidence of the abrasions was gone.  But, as importantly, my daughter received the evidence that she needed as well.

This article was submitted by Beth Packer, a Christian Science healer from the South Coast of NSW, Australia.

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