Christian Science Reveals the Unlimited Power of Prayer
John J. Selover, C.S.B., of Long Beach, California
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
"O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling's faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight."
These words from the poem "The Mother's Evening Prayer" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science (Poems, p. 4), were of inestimable help to a distraught father and mother a few years ago. As they were cruising in waters off the coast of California in a small boat, their seven-year-old son fell overboard. The mishap remained unnoticed until they had traveled some distance. They did not know when or where he had fallen off. They immediately turned the boat about to retrace their course. In an effort to silence the great fear that gripped her heart, the mother cried aloud in prayer to God. But let us continue the account in her own words, as reported in a verified testimony published in one of the periodicals of The Christian Science Publishing Society. "Our son," she said, "could not swim, and at this time of evening a breeze would almost always come up, unsettling the ocean and making it difficult for us to see. All I could do was to declare that God, Life, was present and to repeat the words of the above-named poem. . . . Not knowing whether to go on or go back, or to turn this way or that, we began to declare that Mind governs all and knows all, and that we, under the government of divine Mind, would be directed. Shortly thereafter my husband spied the boy over half a mile away and back of us; we had passed him by."
The little boy, after he was picked up, said that when the boat passed him on the return search, he called out to God, as he thought his parents were unable to help him. Although he had been sucked under the boat and past the whirling propeller when he fell off, and was in the cold water for over half an hour, he was not hurt and suffered no aftereffects. In fact, he was ready for a swimming lesson the next day. He made the remark that God had saved him, and that he wanted to continue Sunday School in order to learn more about his Father-Mother God.
Testimonies regarding protection, guidance, and healing are related at Wednesday testimony meetings in Christian Science churches throughout the world, and are published regularly in the Christian Science Sentinel, The Christian Science Journal, and in The Herald of Christian Science. These periodicals may be obtained at Christian Science Reading Rooms.
Nothing Too Hard for God
Do you have an unsolved or seemingly insurmountable human problem? Do you need health, happiness, security, harmony in your home or business? Do you crave assurance regarding world affairs? Then let us consider the subject of this lecture and learn how we can effectively use prayer in meeting every human need.
Jeremiah, one of the major Old Testament prophets, cried out in prayer (Jer. 32:17), "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee."
Is any present-day problem too hard for God to solve? No, nothing is beyond God's control. The means by which we are brought to the enjoyment of health and harmony is the humble, fervent prayer of spiritual understanding.
In the chapter entitled "Prayer" in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy writes, "Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it" (p. 2).
Human discord is caused by living or thinking in conflict with the Science of being, or the law of God. True prayer brings us back to God, and causes us to work in harmony instead of at cross-purposes with Him.
Mrs. Eddy points out, "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds," and she adds, "The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer" (Science and Health, p. 4).
The phrase "to be good" does not mean just a passive avoidance of that which is commonly looked upon as evil. Goodness requires us to utilize, to express, as completely as possible, all of God's qualities in our daily lives. Some who are generally considered humanly good adulterate that goodness by entertaining fear of the future, of sickness and evil, of the safety of themselves or their loved ones. Some so-called good people are plagued by senseless superstitious beliefs, as for example that the planets affect their lives. And they will not act without consulting their horoscopes. Some, who are good in most respects, may be troubled in their hearts by nagging hatred, resentment, or intolerance towards someone or something.
One is truly good only to the degree that he reflects God's goodness and perfection. He is not genuinely good if he believes that he is a mortal, capable of sin, disease, and death. If one is fearful, superstitious, hateful, materialistically-minded, he is not, to that extent, reflecting God's goodness and perfection. He is, rather, living in conflict with God's law, and is jeopardizing his human health and happiness. To the extent that one entertains evil or false thinking, he separates himself, in belief, from God's protective care. The truly good man is a happy, healthy man. Christ Jesus, our Exemplar, more completely attained the status of perfection and goodness than any other human being. He lived in constant communion with his Father, God. Our prayer should be to emulate in our everyday activities the enduring, good, true qualities which Jesus lived and loved.
All religiously-minded people believe in the power of prayer. However, many needlessly restrict the scope of its action by an unnatural reluctance to give up the popular belief that the man of God's creating is a sinful physical being. When other aids are unavailable or have failed, many of these spiritually inclined individuals spontaneously appeal to God for help.
During World War II, a group of United States Marines paused in their swim away from the sinking destroyer transport "McKean" to repeat the Lord's Prayer together. These men, in their extremity, recognized the power of God to help them. Doubtless during their two hours of exposure and danger they pondered the nature and power of prayer, and that spiritual communion with God must have played an important part in their rescue.
A Prayer-filled Life
Mrs. Eddy was a praying woman. As a girl she formed the habit of praying three times a day, as did the prophet Daniel. For a number of years, she kept a record of these prayers to examine herself, as her early biographer Sibyl Wilbur points out in "The Life of Mary Baker Eddy" (p. 27), "to learn if she had improved in grace." Prayer guided and sustained her through many troublous experiences in her life. In 1866, it was prayer which healed her when her physician believed that she had been fatally injured by a fall on the ice. It was prayer which strengthened and prospered her as she labored in reintroducing Christian healing to mankind. Her spirituality, which alone fitted her for her long and successful career, is being increasingly recognized today as the world becomes more familiar with her words, work, and life.
The Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, was first issued in 1875. Today it is a top-selling religious book. Its popular appeal stems not alone from the fact that it opens the Scriptures so that its readers may enjoy a happier way of life, but also because it is healing those who study it with the Bible.
Christian Scientists honor Mrs. Eddy as a great benefactor to this age, but they do not worship her. She forbade them to do so. She is lovingly acknowledged as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, the author of its textbook, and the inspired Leader of the Christian Science movement. One might ask, "How can she lead today when she is no longer here?" She leads through her written works, including the Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, which she wrote and revised as wisdom revealed the need. One who obeys the Manual cannot depart from correct Christian conduct. It turns us away from personality to the Bible and Science and Health as our only preachers. The first tenet of Christian Science declares, "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (Science and Health, p. 497). Christian Scientists in all English-speaking countries study the King James Version of the Scriptures, the translation used more universally by Christians than any other volume.
The Lord's Prayer
In his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:6) Christ Jesus gives this counsel regarding prayer: "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." The closet is not a material chamber, but the sanctuary of Spirit, the kingdom of God. As one prays he should contemplate perfect God and perfect man and exclude from thought all error, all fearful, sinful, materialistic thinking.
In considering the Lord's Prayer, one should carefully ponder the spiritual meaning of each word and phrase. A few years ago, while I was waiting for a member of my family who was attending a church committee meeting, I decided that I would use the passing hour in prayer. I started this period of communion with God, as I often do, with the Lord's Prayer, and its spiritual interpretation given by Mrs. Eddy on pages 16 and 17 of Science and Health. Do you know, I never really finished the prayer during the hour or more of waiting? As I repeated each line, I returned to ponder the spiritual import of each word. I quickly gained the feeling that I was in God's secret place.
As I prayed "Our Father which art in heaven," I queried, "Whose Father is He?" Immediately the answer came: "He is my Father and your Father. He is the Father of all creation." Our divine Parent, our eternal Father-Mother, loves and sustains His creation. Because He is Spirit, all of His ideas are spiritual, and individually essential to Him. "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious," is Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of this line (Science and Health, p. 16).
Our Father is divine Love, our Love, which never changes, diminishes, or disappears. He is Life, our Life, self-sustaining and eternal. He is the all-knowing, ever-present Mind, our Mind, in whom there is no vacillation, confusion, or lapse. He is undeviating Principle, the source of all orderliness, the only creator, ruler, judge, lawgiver. He is Spirit, infinite substance, the essence of our being, the sustaining, maintaining power and attraction of good. He is Soul, the source of all identity, of spiritual sense, the origin of true harmony, grace, beauty, form, outline, color. He is Truth, in whom dwells the eternal, impersonal, living Christ, "the way" of goodness, holiness, health, and righteousness.
Where do we find "Our Father"? In His infinite home, heaven. Let us not be tempted to believe that God and heaven are distant from us and our need. The Psalmist assures us: "If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me" (Ps. 139:8-10). God, then, is everywhere and is always present wherever there is need for His tender loving care.
God and His Kingdom
God is supreme in His domain. He rules all of His coexistent ideas more tenderly than the most considerate of all human monarchs. Jesus pointed out man's inseparability from God and His heavenly kingdom when he said, "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). Mrs. Eddy defines "heaven" as "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul" (Science and Health, p. 587). Heaven, then, is not a locality, a distant abode attainable only through death. Heaven is at hand; it is ours to enjoy in ratio to our genuine spirituality, our Godlikeness.
What is the nature of God's highest idea, man? We are informed in the first chapter of Genesis that man was made in the image and likeness of God, and that he was very good. Spirit, God, could not create a material, mortal man or universe. In God's creation, matter is unknown. It follows therefore that the real identity or being of each one of us is spiritual. The sick, sinning, dying mortal appearance is a counterfeit of the genuine man of God's creating. Our true and only real being unfolds as we abandon sick, sinful, materialistic thinking for the spiritual facts of being. The real man does not have a material body. Mrs. Eddy declares in Science and Health: "Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit. Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science" (p. 475).
The second line of the Lord's Prayer reads (ibid., p. 16), "Hallowed be Thy name." "Adorable One," is Mrs. Eddy's simple explanatory reference to this statement. What does it mean to hallow God's name? It means to adore Him, to praise Him, to value Him. Adoration is not an inactive word. It requires us to live in harmony with God, to acquaint ourselves with His nature, to recognize His completeness, goodness, and perfection. As we adore our Father-Mother God, and turn away from material sense and sensation, we discover that He is very close to us.
There is but one Deity, and His name is God. He is One, All-in-all, all-presence, all-inclusive, all-pervading, all-knowing, almighty, infinite, supreme. He is the only Principle, or cause of all being.
"Thy kingdom come," the prayer continues. Mrs. Eddy makes it clear in her interpretation of this line that "Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present" (ibid., p. 16). The kingdom of God is ever-present and is all-inclusive. Materiality and mortality are not to be found in God's kingdom, for they are the error, not the truth of being. In God's presence, in His kingdom, there is and can be no sin, sickness, or death. Hence there is no room for such errors in the lives of those who accept the kingdom of God into consciousness.
Thy Will, Not Mine
Jesus was aware of God's will, or he could not have included in his prayer, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." What is God's will in earth? The same as it is in heaven. His will or law is changeless, universal, uniform, infinite, definite, and certain. We are privileged to rely upon His laws in every activity of our daily lives. As we do, harmony reigns "in earth" as it does "in heaven."
Man is the perfect expression of God and responds to His will. In God there is no self-will, mortal will, material will, confused or sinful will. There is just God's will, His perfect, unalterable purpose for His beloved ideas. In her interpretation of the line "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," Mrs. Eddy says, "Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme" (Science and Health, p. 17).
Isaiah, speaking of the kingdom of God which we should constantly strive to recognize as our real habitation, says (Isa. 33:24), "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." Sickness is not Godlike or God-sent. It has no place in heaven, harmony. Since sickness is not existent in heaven, and since heaven is man's true and only home, we have the divine warrant to obey heaven's law and to overcome the temptation to say, "I am sick." As a matter of fact, the opposite statement, "I am well," supported by an understanding of man's perfect spiritual nature as the child of God, enables us to eradicate illness in the human body. The divine fact operates to destroy the false beliefs, and the result is healing. Thus we learn by demonstration that God's will is always ours to enjoy.
In human affairs there appears to be much turmoil, sin, disease, and death. Heaven seems very distant and unattainable in spite of the Biblical assertion that it is "at hand" and "within you." As understood in Christian Science, heaven is present and accessible here, because in reality God is everywhere. Glimpses of heavenly harmony are gained in proportion as we acknowledge God's allness and goodness. A loving thought or deed, a wise decision, a pure life, all indicate heaven's presence. The more one patterns his life in harmony with God's law or will, the more of heaven he enjoys in human experience.
God's will is a divine influence felt in human consciousness. It heals sickness and sin, induces wise actions, forthright dealings, loving consideration for others. God's will or law improves individual, family, and community activities. It gently presents to humanity ever-improving methods of government. His will and wisdom, accepted as law, tend to stabilize economic, social, civil, and political affairs. They act as a guide or pattern which will eventually lead to a recognition of that government which rests solely upon God's shoulders. In direct ratio to our individual spirituality and growth will the "new heaven and new earth" foreseen by John in Revelation (21:1) be revealed in our lives. More study and consecrated effort to understand God and His creation will awaken us to the bliss of spiritual peace "in earth, as it is in heaven."
Security in God
God, Love, gives His creation the only security it needs. As we earnestly and understandingly petition "Our Father" to "Give us this day our daily bread," we can rest assured that He hears our plea and is at hand to supply our needs. "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies," writes Mrs. Eddy in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 307). Here we see the human and divine coincidence operating. Our real need is not for materiality, money, food, clothing, friends, but for the activity in our consciousness of spiritual ideas. Mrs. Eddy interprets this line of the prayer to mean, "Give us grace for today; feed the famished affections" (Science and Health, p. 17).
What is the grace which we should seek to exemplify, in our human experience? Grace is the spiritual loveliness of Soul, God. It does not include a single element of evil, materiality, or corporeality. The understanding of spiritual being, the bliss, peace, beauty, harmony of Soul, and unselfed love must govern human consciousness. These godly qualities express themselves in graciousness toward our associates. Our daily bread for which we should strive is a more Christly existence, an enlarged understanding of spiritual being.
God's spiritual ideas, which appear as we pray, compel us to do the wise and loving things in our personal and business affairs, and the natural result is an abundant supply of the needful things. The divine rule requires us to seek an ever-improved understanding of God. As we do, the things needed humanly are added. Care should be exercised not to seek or pray for the things, or to look to a limited material source for supply. Rather should we seek God and His righteousness, and let the method of manifestation unfold, as it surely will, in an orderly and effortless way.
God is always present to meet our needs. He does not know our lack. God cannot be conscious of limitation. If He were, He would be finite and mortal. He supplies love, wisdom, being, spirituality, purity. God has infinite supply of good for us. One's failure to accept God's gift does not change in the least God's ever-present, ever-loving relationship to man. Such a failure would make one very much like a hungry man who has a large bank account but fails to draw on it.
As we earnestly pray and make use of God's ideas, we may expect unusual opportunities to open in our lives. This quickening of spiritual activity is but an indication of God's tender love for us all.
In reference to any human need we should look to heaven, to divine consciousness, for help and not to the realm of human wish or desire. Prayer should never drop to the level of mortal or wishful thinking. If our petitions are on a human level, if they ask for material things, they will be subject to human limitations and mistakes. We must not, therefore, put our case in the realm of error. There is no error, no lack, sin, disease, or death in the kingdom of God. We should substitute the divine will for the human wish, exchange the object we crave for the recognition of the divine idea as eternally established and at hand. We should take no thought for material life, but should become conscious of the presence of perfect God, perfect man, and perfect universe.
God Forgives and Delivers
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," the prayer continues. "And Love is reflected in love," interprets Mrs. Eddy (Science and Health, p. 17). "Love one another" (I John 3:11), is the profound and necessary requirement of Christianity. Unless we love, we are not reflecting God, for God is Love, and the real man is Love's very expression. Love is not genuine and spiritual if it includes hate, if it alters, if it is expressed preferentially or leaves anyone out, if it demands human response, or if it requires a specific object for its expression. Love divine is impersonal, impartial, universal. Love in our hearts is evidenced in our everyday relationship by purified affections, unselfish regard for others, compassion, tenderness, patience.
What is the debt that we owe to our neighbor? We owe him our love. We have the obligation to see him as the perfect child of God. We must love all that reflects God. This means we must love the real man, yes, even our own real selfhood. It is harmful to entertain wrong thoughts about ourselves or others. Hatred, or any other un-Godlike trait, is a plague spot in the thought of the hater. It is a form of malpractice, which we are taught to guard against, rebuke, and destroy.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," we read on in the Lord's Prayer. God, good, will never lead us in any way but the right way, the way of health, holiness, love. Mrs. Eddy explains (ibid., p. 17), "And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death." God is not conscious of evil, but His law constantly supports those who take their stand against it. God is Almighty and is always available to lift us from entanglements in sin, and thus to destroy sin's effects, including sickness, sorrow, death. Our salvation rests in the understanding that God does not include evil of any kind. If God included error He would be able to plague us with it. But God is good and supplies His beloved creation with goodness only. There is no evil or temptation in the pathway of those who walk with and understand God. Such travelers are immune to error, sin, disease, and disaster.
"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever," the prayer concludes.
All glory, all might, all harmony are of God. "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations," we read in Psalms (145:13). There is only one kingdom, and God is supreme in it. His kingdom is at hand. It is within you as a divine, healing, purifying power, presence, and influence. No mortal or material wonder of the inventive human mind can usurp the glory or power of God. No theoretic belief, no mortal mind force, no material mechanism can be enthroned above our Father-Mother God. Material symbols and beliefs of the human mind gradually recede as we acknowledge God's supremacy. Mrs. Eddy thus interprets this concluding statement in the Lord's Prayer: "For God is infinite, all-power, all Life , Truth, Love, over all, and All" (Science and Health, p. 17).
Christ, the Perfect Model
Christian Science requires us to turn away from matter to Spirit, from personality to true spiritual individuality, from sickness to health, from the Adam-dream to the Christ, Truth. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," we are reminded by Paul in I Corinthians (15:22). We are directed away from belief in a limited, humanly conceived, anthropomorphic God to the recognition of God as omnipresent Life, Truth, and Love. Mrs. Eddy in all of her writings honors the words and works of Christ Jesus, and lifts human consciousness to a recognition of his impersonal and eternal message, or the Christ. Jesus was the best man ever to walk among men. His divine origin equipped him to interpret to humanity God's complete spiritual message of salvation and healing. Had Jesus' origin been wholly spiritual he would not have been incarnate to deliver his message to mankind. The crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the human Jesus did not alter or affect his true message, his true selfhood, or the Christ. The Christ is the eternal power and presence of God operating in the consciousness of the individual. The power of the Christ is felt in human consciousness as a compelling urge to be good, to be perfect, to be loving, to be at peace, to be alive, to be well.
The Christ comes to us as the perfect model, the divine ideal. To the degree that we mold our thoughts in harmony with this Christ ideal, we put off the old man, the Adam man. Our true model is the Christ, the Son of God, or man of God. The Christ not only destroys the error in human consciousness, but it remains, for those who cherish its presence, as an eternal maintainer of spiritual goodness, health, and perfection. It is not the nature of Christ to tolerate imperfection, albeit it has no knowledge of its existence. Even as it is the sun's function to eliminate the opposing darkness, without knowing darkness; so is it the nature of the Christ as the manifestation of God to exterminate all error, all that is in conflict with God's perfect being.
The Comforter, promised by Jesus, is the ever-continuing development or appearing of Life, Truth, and Love in our lives. Christian Science presents to humanity a loving invitation to accept the Comforter, or divine Science, the message of complete salvation, and thus to enjoy harmony.
Prayer and Treatment
Prayer is not a formula. It does not require the repetition of special words. Prayer is spiritual right thinking. Christian Science treatment is prayer which affirms and realizes the presence and power of God. It relies upon God alone for help. Churches in general recognize the power of prayer. It is a common practice to ask the congregations of various denominations to pray for those in military service or for members who have special needs. No thought is given to the fact that the one prayed for may be thousands of miles away. There is an inherent assurance that physical proximity is not important for prayer to be effective. That which is called by some absent treatment, as given by Christian Scientists, is just as effective as when the patient is present, because no physical act is involved in such treatment or prayer. It is entirely spiritual. Prayer knows no boundaries or distances. That God is present and available everywhere is the important point. God's power is not restricted to a locality. That distance is no obstacle to prayer was proved when a Christian Science practitioner received a cablegram from a woman on the opposite side of the globe, whom he had never seen, asking for help for intense pain. Treatment was given, and the report of healing was received the next day.
An acquaintance of mine was riding with her husband when the automobile went out of control as it hit the soft shoulder of the highway. The door flew open, and she was thrown from the fast-moving vehicle to the pavement. All that she could utter in prayer as she fell was the one word "God." This simple and yet complete spiritual call for help no doubt cushioned her fall, for she was unhurt. They were able to extricate the car from the ditch and continue a journey of several hundred miles without delay. I saw and talked with her a few days after the experience, and there was no evidence of either shock or injury. Moses declared, "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:27), and surely she proved this to be true.
Error Requires Rebuke
One method of prayer or treatment is the affirmation of spiritual truth. It includes the clear conviction that man is perfect and spiritual, because his creator, God, is perfect Spirit. Christian Science teaches us to denounce and rebuke the general or specific error which has caused the trouble. Jesus never withheld a needed rebuke. We are told in Matthew 17 that after Jesus came down from the mount of transfiguration with Peter, James, and John, he was accosted by a man who was in great distress. He kneeled before Jesus and said, "Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water." Jesus asked the man to bring his son to him. We are then told that "Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour." Jesus did not rebuke the boy, but denounced the evil belief which the boy's father and others had accepted as real about him. Jesus never personalized error. Error is always a trespassing belief seeking to dominate one's thoughts and actions. The devil, evil, or error does not belong to God. Neither does it belong to man. If it belonged, it would be wrong, yes, futile, to try to cast it out. But error is unlike God. It is an interloper which needs to be rebuked and expunged from thought. In this case the father came to Jesus; he appealed to a higher authority. He was seeking divine aid, and his humble petition resulted in healing for his son.
The denial is always of that which has no scientific foundation and hence of that which is unreal. The leading error in any case should always be denied. Often all error needs for its destruction is a firm "No" supported by a spiritual understanding of the genuine and real facts of being.
Christian Science is a powerful force for good in a world seemingly in bondage to materialism, atheism, confusion, doubt, fear. Christian Scientists are helping to set the enslaved thought free by praying earnestly each day for themselves and for the general welfare of all mankind. In doing so they recognize that there is but one Mind, God, governing all of His ideas. This scientific truth is the law to human thinking. It reaches the farthest corners of human consciousness. There is no material or temporal wall of exclusion to pure, scientific right thinking, or prayer. No situation is beyond God's reach. No matter how serious a circumstance may seem to be, no matter how depraved a person may appear to be, there is salvation, safety, and healing right at hand for those who turn humbly and completely to God in prayer.
When the little boy who fell overboard turned to God for help, his call was heard by ever-present Love, and his parents found him. This same loving, gentle presence is at hand to meet your need, my need, the needs of all mankind. The power of God is universal and operates for all who earnestly, humbly, and trustingly turn to "Our Father which art in heaven." And remember that all power and glory belongs solely to "Our Father-Mother God," forever.
[Delivered May 6, 1956, at the Sycamore Community Center under the auspices of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Sycamore, Illinois, and published in The True Republican of Sycamore, May 8, 1956. The testimony related at the beginning of the lecture of the rescue of the young boy was written by Georgia Taylor Burkhalter of Los Altos, California, verified by her husband Charles A. Burkhalter, and published in the Christian Science Sentinel, August 26, 1950.]