Christian Science: Religion That Heals Through Prayer
Martin Broones, C.S., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"Reaching out to God is one
of the most profound intuitions of the human mind," said a member of The
Christian Science Board of Lectureship in
"From this intuitive turning to a power beyond itself, the human mind has advanced to the prayer of understanding."
Martin Broones of
"As we come to understand God better," he said, prayer becomes a natural means for bringing our thinking "into harmony with God and thereby bringing God's power for good to bear upon the problems of mankind."
Mr. Broones was introduced to the audience by Mrs. Elizabeth Vera Gorringe, the Second Reader of The Mother Church. The title of the lecture was, "Christian Science: Religion That Heals Through Prayer."
The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:
In Christian Science any problem in human experience whether it appears as lack of health, lack of employment, lack of supply, or unhappy human relationships, can be solved through prayer. The purpose of this lecture is to show how this is done and how one can pray more effectively.
In Christian Science, prayer is based on an understanding of God's perfection and the consequent perfection of His creation, the spiritual universe and spiritual man. The calm knowing that all is under the jurisdiction and control of God is fundamental to scientific prayer.
In Christian Science God is understood to be not only constant, consistent, never changing, wholly reliable, but all-powerful and ever-present. And because of His impartial love for His entire universe, His supreme intelligence and harmonious action are always available to everyone.
As we come to understand God better, we find how simple it is, how natural, just to reach out to God in complete trust that His power and His love can supply everything we need.
This reaching out to God is one of the most profound intuitions of the human mind. It is the simplest form of prayer. From this intuitive turning to a power beyond itself, the human mind has advanced to the prayer of understanding which is taught in Christian Science, and which often instantaneously heals the sick.
Even the primitive people who abode in caves must have emerged from their darkness in times of need and looked up to the stars for help. Crude as their concepts were, even the earliest forms of worship were based upon an awareness of a power to which the human consciousness intuitively turns in times of need.
This fact accounts, no doubt, for the unfoldment of the higher and more spiritual idea of God which found expression through the Hebrew nation and has been handed down to us in the Bible. Within the pages of this book can be traced the development of the concept of Deity from a God of anger and vengeance to the God whose goodness and love found expression in the life and works of Jesus.
Side by side with the unfoldment of God's nature, we find the true nature of man defined as made in God's image and likeness (Genesis, Chapter 1). The fundamental relationship which exists between God and man as Father and son, hinted in the Old Testament, and developed in the New, was fully expressed in the life and teachings of Christ Jesus. Here we see the effect in human experience of the understanding of this relationship transcending the so-called laws of nature. Such manifestations of spiritual power resulted from the prayers of Jesus that his healing works came to be considered supernatural, although Christian Science shows that they indicated perfectly the operation of divine law. The operation of this law always produced an end result which revealed the nature of God to be wholly good.
When the waves were boisterous and the disciples' ship endangered, Jesus came to them and stilled the angry waters, bringing the ship to port. When Peter was called upon to pay a tax and was without the necessary funds, Jesus produced the tribute money from the fish's mouth. And right and left, the Master exercised the power to heal the sick through prayer.
All of these incidents pointed to the mental nature of physical phenomena, and of the power of thought which is at-one with God to produce manifestations of harmony in the human realm. This truth was perceived by the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, who, on the basis of God's absolute supremacy, built the system on spiritual healing by which her religion is reproducing the healing works of primitive Christianity today.
The discovery of Christian Science came about through Mrs. Eddy's reaching out to God when seemingly on the verge of death. She had sustained what was thought to be a fatal injury for which no hope of recovery was offered. In her extremity she turned, as was her custom, to the Bible. The passage giving the account of Jesus' healing of the palsied man in the ninth chapter of Matthew was illumined as she felt the power of God operating in her behalf as it had operated through the prayers of Jesus.
The unfoldment of God's nature, which marked successive stages of humanity's advance, had reached its climax in the life of Jesus. But another step was needed on the part of mankind in order to place his proof of man's relationship to God beyond the reach of superstition and dogma. The Master's works had to be comprehended as manifestations of Science, thus making it possible for all who understood the law behind these works to reproduce the same effects.
This was Mrs. Eddy's great discovery - the discovery of the Science of Christianity, by which God's law can be demonstrated universally even as it was demonstrated individually by Christ Jesus. With her discovery, Mrs. Eddy was led to apply the word Principle to Deity. This term includes all of the synonyms for God which were revealed to her as defining the deific nature. The synonymous terms which are included in the deific Principle and combine as one are Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, and Love (see "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," p. 225). These synonyms enable us to understand God's nature, His completeness, His wholeness, and His oneness.
The completeness of God is expressed by man, who is made in His image and likeness. The real man is inseparable from divine Principle. Man is at-one with his Maker as God's expression. Man's true nature is found in the qualities inherent in the synonyms for God.
We learn in Christian Science that regardless of the appearance of a race of mortals, subject to every sort of danger and disease, man is safe because man's nature is derived from God's nature.
The aspect of God's nature with which we shall deal especially, today, is His infallible goodness. We shall consider what it means to individual and universal humanity that God is good, and how healing is accomplished through the acknowledgment of good. This is illustrated in the simplest possible terms in the healing of a woman who knew nothing of Christian Science until she felt its healing touch, when she was shown how to identify herself with the qualities inherent in the synonyms for God.
This woman was a widowed mother with four small children. She had spent the last of her savings, and because of the desperateness of her plight, she had come to the conclusion that there wasn't any God. She was worn out, discouraged, and sick.
She had not responded to medical treatment and was at the end of her resources, when someone recommended that she call a Christian Science practitioner for help. The practitioner came to the woman's home to talk to her, and told her that she would have to do her part in order to receive her healing. The woman replied that she couldn't, because she was not a Christian Scientist, and she didn't believe in God. She said to the practitioner, "Just look at this place!" Glancing around the room, and pointing out its deplorable condition, she said, "Look at this, look at that, and just look at me!"
The practitioner listened quietly. When she had finished he gently explained that God is good, and that God made everything that really exists, and made it good; and that nothing unlike good could be accepted as real! He further explained that God didn't know anything about sickness, lack, or discouragement, and that God's image couldn't possibly know anything that God didn't know. Just as the sunbeam cannot differ in quality from the sun, but must express the sun, so man can express only what God is. And God is completely good.
The woman exclaimed: "But I can't see any good anywhere!" The practitioner replied: "You love your children, don't you? And they love you?" "Yes," she said, "they do." "You have intelligence and can think, can't you?" She agreed that this was so. "And you do good to your children, don't you?" "Yes, I do," the woman said.
"Well, then," said the practitioner, "even though you can't see and touch intelligence, or see and touch love or goodness, you can see intelligence, love, and goodness expressed, can't you?"
The practitioner was lifting the thought of the woman to where she realized that she was conscious of the reflected qualities of God. She did understand something about love. She loved her children, and she was grateful for their love. She wanted her children to be good; so she did love goodness!
The woman thought it over, and finally agreed that she did understand something of God. She got a glimpse of God from recognizing the spiritual qualities which express God, good; and she saw her own ability to reflect this good.
She was healed of her physical condition, and almost immediately everything improved for her and her family.
Healing is effected when the human consciousness is led to recognize the absolute goodness of God, and man's reflection of this goodness. Healing in Christian Science is the manifestation in human experience of the absolute good, which is God.
Some form of purification occurs in every Christian Science healing. Healing through prayer, as practiced by the adherents of this religion, is raising the moral tone of many people throughout the world, for this religion is practiced on a worldwide scale.
A newspaper columnist recently wrote: "Genuine progress is slow because it calls for two changes at the same time: change in the behavior of human beings and change in the structure of society; and those who work for the second ignore the first" (Sidney J. Harris, syndicated column). Christian Science does not "ignore the first," a change in the behavior of human beings. Its healing works are the result of individual regeneration, based upon the understanding of the absolute supremacy of God, good.
The enthusiasm and zeal which are distinguishing characteristics of the Christian Scientist spring from his conviction that the efforts which he makes towards his own regeneration are contributing to the welfare of the world in a very direct and practical way. He understands that the quality and content of his individual thought are helping to shape the universe in which he lives.
The whole universe is included in the spiritual reality of being, as Jesus showed by his ability to control the phenomena of nature as well as the physical and moral conditions of mankind. The qualities of God were expressed by the Master in the fullness of their spiritual perfection, and this gave him the ability to invoke God's power over every material condition.
Today, the answer to the worlds’ needs lies in the recognition of the power of God to control the phenomena of the material universe through the consciousness of reality. Christian Science shows humanity how to reach out to God to find the spiritual reality. Material appearances are but subjective states of the human mind and are changed as the human mind improves its concepts.
Prayer based on the goodness of God is the Scientist's means of bringing his thinking into harmony with God and thereby bringing God's power for good to bear upon the problems of mankind, Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 2): "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it. Goodness attains the demonstration of Truth."
Today, in many walks of life, goodness seems to be out of fashion! No wonder that the world appears to be so out of joint! Yet underneath all of the clamor of evil and its pretense to attractiveness and power, isn't it true that almost everyone really wants good?
I shall take two different definitions of the word "good" to illustrate this point. One is the metaphysical or scientific definition given by Mrs. Eddy in the Glossary of Science and Health, and the other is the definition of the word in common usage given in a current dictionary. Mrs. Eddy's definition of the word reads as follows (p. 587): "Good. God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; omnipresence; omni-action."
In Christian Science we see that our natural gravitation is toward God, good, And why not! Isn't it logical that anyone should want to utilize omnipotence or the limitless power of good; omniscience, or unqualified divine intelligence; omnipresence, or the immediate availability of good; and omni-action, or the perfect, harmonious action of good? These elements of God's nature are reflected by man, the image and likeness of God. The true sense of good, according to Christian Science, exists wholly apart from matter and is found when we seek it for its own sake.
The dictionary definition of "good" is in part: "That which is serviceable, fit. . . ; opposed to ill, evil"; also, "That which is conceived as fitting in the moral order of the universe;" also, "prosperity; advantage; benefit; - opposed to harm."
If we will examine our thinking, we shall find that we actually want that which is serviceable and fit; that we desire that which is fitting in the moral order of the universe. And doesn't everyone want prosperity, benefit, and not harm?
Deep down in everyone is the inherent desire to be good at something; to make good; to be successful in his undertakings. Every right-minded person desires to do good in all business, family, and personal associations.
We find God when we really want good. When we do something good we are automatically acknowledging God's presence and power. When we acknowledge good we are really acknowledging God and thus beginning to avail ourselves of His absolute power for good.
The necessary corollary of the supremacy of God, good, is the powerlessness of evil. And this is a cardinal point in Christian Science.
Throughout the centuries many respected thinkers have supposed that evil is created by God, thus making God responsible for something of which, as we learn in Christian Science, He could not possibly be aware. We read in the Bible, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (Hab. ).
Other eminent thinkers have believed that evil exists as a personal, powerful entity, always at war with God, good. Mrs. Eddy incisively and inspiringly declares evil's nothingness.
Because of the opacity of human thought and the tenacity of the belief in evil, it is necessary for us not only to affirm the truth persistently, but also to deny vigorously any error which may be presented. This constitutes the prayer of affirmation and denial which is taught in Christian Science. Erroneous conditions are corrected as they are scientifically opposed by mental argument based on the truth of God and man received through divine impartation.
The impartation of truth to the human mind has been identified by Mrs. Eddy as the activity of the Christ, which she explains in Science and Health in these words (p. 332): "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness."
All forms of evil are nullified through the activity of the Christ, by which the divine Principle, which is infinite good, asserts its power in the human realm. It is through the operation of the Christ throughout the ages that all genuine human advance has been made, and it is to the Christ that mankind must look today for the establishment of peace on earth.
The divine activity knows no boundaries of time or place. "The divine message from God to men" cannot be sabotaged. Wherever there is a responsive thought reaching out even to the most primitive concept of God as a power from which help can come in time of need, right there the infinite Mind is able to deliver its message of salvation through the activity of the Christ.
"The true idea voicing good" can be heard by individuals in any land. There is no language barrier when the Christ is speaking to the human consciousness, and no governmental restrictions can rule it out of any nation. Invincible divine Principle is its base of operation, and its power of propulsion. And there exists in every human being the ability to respond, because everyone really wants good!
We have spoken of the use of affirmation and denial as a mode of prayer employed in Christian Science. There is, however, a higher sense of prayer and one which comes closer to Mrs. Eddy's vision of its possibilities. I refer to those moments of exaltation when the human mind yields so completely to the divine, and the Christ so illumines consciousness, that instantaneous healing results. The healing work of Jesus was of this order, and it is achieved through Christian Science as one advances in the cultivation of the Christly qualities which this Science shows to be the divine heritage of all men.
To the exalted consciousness, evil loses its pretense to power. It was through this state of consciousness that the revelation of Christian Science was received by Mary Baker Eddy. It was in this state of consciousness that she was led to write of evil, or error, as follows, in Science and Health (p. 472); "Error is neither Mind nor one of Mind's faculties. Error is the contradiction of Truth. Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. It is that which seemeth to be and is not."
Yes! Evil is that which seemeth to be and is not.
What is the good which IS!
What is the only good?
Who is the only good?
Where is the only good?
In response to the first question, "What is the only good?" the answer is God. The answer to the second question, "Who is the only good?" is the same as to the first, namely God! Where is the only good? The only good is wherever God is. And God is everywhere. He fills all space. There is no place where God, good, is not.
We have seen how the acknowledgment of good brought healing to the widowed mother. Other acknowledgments are necessary in order to pray the prayer which fully demonstrates Christian Science, and these are summed up in the Tenets or important religious points held by members of The Mother Church. These Tenets epitomize the teachings of Christian Science. They summarize what the Church of Christ, Scientist, stands for.
I might say that there are six of these Tenets, written by Mrs. Eddy. But for our present purpose I shall discuss only a few of them, the first, the fourth, and the last.
The acknowledgments contained in all the Tenets constitute effectual prayer for the world as they are applied by those who have subscribed to them, to their own experience and to that of universal humanity. And now let us consider as an example the points brought out in the first one. It reads (Science and Health, p. 497):
"As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life."
In taking the inspired Word of the Bible as his sufficient guide to eternal Life, the Christian Scientist is acknowledging, among other things, the spiritual record of creation presented in the first chapter of Genesis, the truth of which was demonstrated in the resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus. The spiritual record includes the following statement, in the last verse of Genesis 1, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."
This is the Christian Scientist's measuring-rod with respect to what is presented to him in human experience. That which does not conform to the nature of God, which is wholly good, is denied as illusive or unreal - that is, without spiritual foundation or genuine existence. The Biblical record from Genesis to the Apocalypse, bears out Mrs. Eddy's scientific deduction based on revelation of the actuality of good as God-made, God-manifested, and God-sustained, and the unreality of evil.
The Christian Scientist who subscribes to the first Tenet has learned, through his own experience of the healing power of Christian Science, that only that which is wholly good has the power of survival. Those who belong to The Mother Church and its branches are not mere religious theorists. They are committed to the practice of prayer with signs following as a proof of their understanding of God and man. To them eternal life is not a state to be realized in some far-off world to be reached through death. It means the experience right here and now of the eternality of good.
In our country, the extension of human life is posing many problems to those of advancing years - problems of housing, of companionship, of supply. This is not the case with the Christian Scientist, who knows that the extension of life means the extension of good - eternal good experienced as a conscious, continuous possession.
The fourth tenet brings out a distinction between the Christ and Jesus which it is very important to understand. It reads:
"We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death."
This tenet makes plain that it is the demonstration of the Christ, or Truth, and not the personal Jesus, which saves mankind from the beliefs of material existence. The Master showed us the way to work out our own salvation, through understanding the Christ, Truth, which he expressed. We lose none of the marvelous love of Jesus through this explanation. Rather do we see its proof of God's infinite love, showing us our own inviolate relationship to God.
It is of major importance in understanding Christian Science to distinguish between Jesus and the Christ, And then, after having fully understood the distinction, to realize that Jesus was inseparable from Christ, his true selfhood. Our true selfhood, also, is inseparable from Christ, the true idea of sonship. Jesus taught humanity the true sense of everyone, not just the true sense of himself. Jesus demonstrated the Christ, which expresses the perfect, immortal nature of God that man reflects. He manifested the Christ more completely than any other individual has ever done.
Christian Scientists are unendingly grateful to Jesus for the example he gave to all men. He was the Way-shower, overcoming all evil - even death itself - and proving life to be eternal. They are unendingly grateful to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, for sharing with them her understanding of what Jesus did and taught.
In the sixth tenet we promise to follow the Master in our daily living and thus demonstrate Christian Science. It reads (Science and Health, p. 497):
"And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure."
Can we think of anything that would be of greater help in the world right now than the exemplification of this tenet?
Let us look at the sixth tenet, and consider its application to the life of a Christian Scientist. It says, '". . . we solemnly promise to watch, . . ." What is it that we are going to "watch"? The headlines in the newspapers, the reports of the stock market, the television screen - our next door neighbor?
Well, we do watch the news heads and keep in touch with the news in our own daily newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, which brings us needed and valuable information about our rapidly changing world.
So we do watch our world, and what is going on in it. And many wonderful things are transpiring as human thought is released from its limitations and achieves new outposts of scientific and technical knowledge. Why, any day we may tune in our radio and hear that a man has landed on the moon! If the man should happen to belong to some other nation than our own, we will remember that we promise "to watch and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus." And that Mind knows nothing of envy or of fear. Mrs. Eddy spells the word Mind, with a capital "M," making it synonymous with God. So we are praying to reflect the divine Mind, God, as Jesus reflected God in all his earth life.
And this brings us to our neighbor, who no longer lives only in the house next door! As the limitations of space and time have been annihilated by the achievements of physical science, our neighbor is found on distant continents, as well as across the fence in our own back yard. And what is our promise regarding our neighbor? The tenet reads: ". . . we solemnly promise . . . to do unto others as we would have them do unto us . . ." We promise to live by the Golden Rule of Jesus' pure Christianity. We promise to bring our thinking and acting towards our neighbor into harmony with the Golden Rule.
I have enumerated some of the human aspects relating to keeping our watch. But the spiritual sense of this important function of the Christian Scientist's pledge is one which is his primary concern. This is watching for the appearing of the Christ in his own consciousness. (See Science and Health, p. xi:9-21)
The Christ can come to the human consciousness only as this consciousness yields to the divine Mind. And this entails keeping watch over one's thoughts at all times and under all circumstances. It means setting up a guard against the suggestions of materiality, and cultivating the qualities which are inherent in the synonyms for God. To have the Mind which was in Christ Jesus is to reflect all of these wonderful qualities. Reflecting these qualities, one cannot fail to be "merciful, just, and pure"!
As will be seen by what we have said of the Tenets, membership in the Church of Christ, Scientist, is a practical expression of the Christianity of Christ Jesus. Those who have received the many blessings which accrue from even a slight understanding of the teachings of Christian Science are eager to participate in sharing these blessings with others, which is made possible through the many channels of the church.
The activities of this church are designed to forward the purpose summed up in the Master's instructions to his disciples (Matt. 10:8): “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
Christian Science is a demonstrable Science. The fact that man is now and forever an incorporeal, inorganic, spiritual idea is not affected by the belief on the part of mankind that he is a fleshly mortal. But this fact has to be maintained in the face of human belief in the reality of mortal existence.
In the measure that we maintain the divine fact of the supremacy of God, good, and of man's eternal, spiritual relationship to God, we are able to bring about improved human conditions. Maintaining the facts of spiritual being gives the one who does so clearness of thought and judgment. It gives to the human being something of the dominion and poise that belong to the real man.
Of course, a human being has to do more than simply claim the facts of spiritual being. He has to strive to demonstrate them in his daily living. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 4): "Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness."
Nevertheless, every affirmation that is made in Christian Science is made as of the eternal now! Christian Science is demonstrable because it states the truth that is - not will be in some far-off place or time. In the healing of disease and moral ailments, the possibility of a relapse is precluded by one's understanding the fact that what is true now, is true forever.
Children in the Christian Science Sunday School are taught how to demonstrate Christian Science. I should like to tell you about a little I girl I used to know and how she applied the understanding she gained in Sunday School when she was seized with acute pain. She told her mother that she was going up to her bedroom to work in Science. After a while she came down and said that she was all right.
On being asked what she had done, she replied, "I just prayed the Lord's Prayer, where it says, 'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory' (Matt. ). If the kingdom is God's, then pain can't have any kingdom. If the power is God's, then pain can't have any power. And if the glory is God's, then pain can't have any glory. If God hasn't got it, I can't have it. So I don't have any pain any more!"
A few days later there seemed to be a return of the condition, and the child again went to her room to work. Very soon she came downstairs radiant and free and said to her mother: "I found out what was missing in my treatment, I left out 'for ever.' 'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.' I am healed - forever!"
We may be shorn of all material possessions or relationships, but we can never be deprived of what we know of God. What we know of God is ours forever! And this is our supply.
Mrs. Eddy tells us in Science and Health (see p. 588) that intelligence is substance. Because man's reflected intelligence is as continuous as the Mind which it reflects, true substance can never be lost. It cannot be wasted nor hoarded, and it may be shared without anxiety that its perpetual flow can ever be stopped.
We often hear it said, "My income is not equal to the demands made upon it." The only thing that could keep us in a state of limited income would be our limited sense of infinite God as the source of abundant supply.
Do we believe that our income is from a temporal source or material channel? Is income dependent on material personality, personal contacts or associations, or mere personal effort? If we believe these errors, we shall be subject to their limitations.
As the image and likeness of God, our income is intrinsically ours, and comes directly from God. Life, Truth, and Love can neither be circumscribed nor dissipated, and our understanding of this spiritual fact assures us of uninterrupted supply.
Neither fluctuation nor imbalance can be experienced in the adjustment of demand and supply when we recognize the divine source of supply. But it is necessary also to realize what the demand really is. Is it a demand for more material security, or is it a demand for greater spirituality? Does it rest upon a budget, a wish or a need? These are human demands. A desire to serve God and love our neighbor is a spiritual impulsion and is blessed of the Father whose goodness can never be stopped, nor can it change. As we grow in good works, we establish our inseparability from the law of good and its permanent benefits. What we earn spiritually, is permanently ours. What God gives, He gives forever.
Have you ever seen men dig for oil? They sink probing rods into the earth - a thousand feet down, two thousand feet, five thousand feet, and even farther – laboriously digging deeper and deeper into matter. And often at the end of their search, they strike useless dead rock.
But digging into the well-spring of Life, Truth, and Love always gets you somewhere. It always leads you, and advances you in proportion to your giving. It guides you to the divine source which is continuously pouring out the endless supply of infinite good. Yes! To that which is giving as much as you are ready and willing to accept.
I remember an experience I once had in teaching in the Christian Science Sunday School. We were discussing something one Sunday, when one of the young men in the class said: "I dig it!" This was the first time I had heard this expression, "I dig it!" for understanding something.
As we dig into the spiritual wisdom of the Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, which are taught as the first lessons in our Sunday School, we learn that here we always find the pure gold of character. In seeking a deeper and fuller understanding of God, we begin to prove the law which reads: "Seek, and ye shall find" (Matt. 7:7).
Jesus illustrated this in the feeding of the multitude, as given in the 15th chapter of Matthew (32-38). The people had followed Jesus into the wilderness to be healed and had stayed to listen to his gospel of Love. After three days they were without food. They were about to leave, and Jesus called upon his disciples to feed them, to minister to their human need.
But the disciples said they had only seven loaves and a few little fishes! How could they feed four thousand men, besides women and children, with this pitiful provision! Then, Matthew tells us, the Master took charge of the situation. I shall read this from the King James Version of the Bible, which is used in Churches of Christ, Scientist, in English-speaking countries (Verses 35-37):
"And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled."
These people had followed Jesus to receive more of the Christ, Truth; they were hungering and thirsting after righteousness - and they were filled!
Today, it is the privilege of the Christian Scientist to minister to the needs of mankind through his daily prayers for the world, which constitute this religion a great evangelistic movement in the highest sense of the word. Prayer for the world is a primary concern of every Christian Scientist. Every member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, is a missionary, bearing the message of individual salvation to the world through his own demonstration of the Christ and through his prayers for mankind.
In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, he holds fast to the truth that good is the only reality, and that good must triumph over the claims of evil in the human realm. He persistently affirms the scientific facts of man's relationship to God, good, and of man's perfect, sinless, diseaseless, harmonious being as God's image and likeness. And he denies the reality of evil in whatever form it may appear. He continues this spiritually scientific, reasoning until he is assured of the truth which he affirms, and a realization of its power, to heal has been attained. Then he rests in the awareness of the presence and power of God, good.
It is here that I would leave you today, my friends - with your thought at rest in the awareness that God is good, and able to care for us all until through prayer we awake in His likeness!