Christian Science: How Prayer Heals (Summary)


Dr. Archibald Carey, C.S.B., of Detroit, Michigan

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts


Health and happiness are the practical results of understanding how to pray and what to pray for, Archibald Carey of Detroit, Mich., told an audience.

More and more people are finding that prayer based on spiritual understanding of God brings not only healing but an increasing measure of immunity to sickness of every kind, he declared. Spiritual healing, he said, is making a notable contribution to the health and well-being of the general public.

Healing through prayer — through spiritual means alone — is not supernatural, but supremely natural, the lecturer maintained.

Commenting on the Biblical statement, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:15), he declared that "this effective healing prayer is as powerful today as it was in the time of Jesus and his disciples." The "prayer of faith," he said, is not an indiscriminate faith in anything, but an intelligent faith that is based on an understanding of Truth.

God, Truth, is understood in Christian Science to be divine Principle, perfect Mind, Life, Love, Soul, Spirit, he said. “God’s universe and man are spiritual and perfect,” he declared.

Blind faith in a mysterious God may result in disillusionment and disappointment, he said, emphasizing that faith founded on understanding is an entirely different thing.

"As we learn to understand the nature of God, and apply this spiritual understanding to the solution of our daily problems," he added, "this brings complete faith in God and in the operation of His laws.”

Christ Jesus proved the quickness and effectiveness of healing based on spiritual understanding, he said, pointing out that Jesus healed sickness and sin of every kind and had complete immunity from disease.

"Think what a contribution he made to the public health of his time by teaching his disciples and others how to use the power of Truth to heal and showing them how to gain immunity to disease,” he declared.

Many today, he added, "are finding that an understanding of Christian Science brings an increasing measure of immunity to sickness of all kinds, not only diseases that are considered incurable but also to the minor ailments, such as common colds, inactivity of the digestive system, and so on.”

To illustrate the power of prayer. Dr. Carey told of the experience of a man who was informed by specialists that he had a disease for which there was no known cure and that he had only a short time to live.

He was in despair for he was a young man, just at the beginning of a promising career, with a happy home and a devoted family who needed his support. Wanting desperately to live and get well, he turned to a friend who had been healed in Christian Science of a serious malady, the lecturer related.

The young man, he said, described the situation to his friend and told him he had "no faith in the doctors or in a God who could send such a disease to one who tried to do right. He added that he had no faith whatever in Christian Science, but was willing to try anything."

His friend, he went on, assured him of the availability of divine help and brought him some literature including a copy of the Christian Science text book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

The young man then asked a Christian Science practitioner for help, the lecturer said. "He learned of a God in whom he could have intelligent faith, and he learned how to pray understandingly to this God. He was completely healed and is a well and successful man today," he stated.

"The 'prayer of faith' based on a spiritual understanding of God had healed him," he declared, adding that through "Christian Science he had learned the basis of a faith that is not at war with reason or intelligence, that does not demand blind mystical acceptance, but which is logical and which definitely produced practical results in healing disease that had been considered incurable."