The Way to Dominion and Freedom Through Prayer (Summary)
Harry B. MacRae, C.S.B., of Dallas, Texas
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
What appears to be an age of peril is forcing people into an age of prayer, Harry B. MacRae, of Dallas, Texas told an audience here.
Today's fears and frustrations result from dependence upon human abilities alone, and they are "irresistibly turning man's thought to God, through prayer," Mr. MacRae declared.
Among the evidences of public recognition of the power of prayer, he cited growing interest in spiritual healing. During the course of his lecture, he described a complete and permanent healing of polio entirely through prayer alone.
Unlimited dominion and freedom is gained through answered prayer, the lecturer said, emphasizing that such prayer is available to all.
"Because man's dominion is God-given, it belongs equally and impartially to each of His ideas and does not violate the rights of any," he declared.
The greatest exponent and demonstrator of this God-bestowed freedom, he said, was Christ Jesus.
Questions about the power of prayer to give mankind this true freedom were answered affirmatively by Jesus in these words, he said, "I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24).
Mr. MacRae stated that "Christian Science accepts this assurance of Jesus and proves its truth; proves it in healing disease, assuaging grief, overcoming lack and limitation, and protecting from affliction, including accidents, and loss."
Doubt of God's complete availability at all times acts to deprive men of the answer to their prayers, he added.
Something more than simple faith in God is necessary for effective prayer, he said. He quoted the opening passage of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science (p. 1): "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love."
The prayer that heals, he emphasized, requires clear, spiritual understanding of the nature of God and of man's relationship with Him.
To illustrate the power of prayer, he told how a young boy's faithfulness to the Lord's Prayer was responsible, in large part, for his healing in Christian Science of polio.
The boy's parents and the Christian Science practitioner prayed, the lecturer said, "to know man as created in the image and likeness of God, and that God would not and could not visit His children with any affliction." The boy, he related, "repeated the Lord's Prayer and the twenty-third Psalm with such understanding and trust that it brought great comfort and assurance to his parents that all would be well."
All was soon well, he said. Complete restoration of health, strength, and vigor to the boy without material aid of any kind, proved the power of prayer to God, he added.
According to the teachings of Christian Science, he said, prayers are not to influence God, but to acknowledge that His blessings are ever possible.
Essence of Prayer
"Our words may have the form of a petition for divine blessings to meet human needs, but, to be truly effective," he declared, "prayer must acknowledge that God has already given us all.
"It is our awareness of the ever-presence of divine Principle, God, that is the essence of prayer — that reveals to us the dominion that our Father-Mother God has already given us."
Through such prayer, he went on, "we prove our dominion over the aggressive beliefs of disease in expressing radiant health; we prove our dominion over human deficiency in reflecting divine Love's perfection that casteth out fear."
Commenting on the practical application of prayer to everyday problems, Mr. MacRae said that Christian Science is helping thousands to solve character, business and other problems of human relationship.
"When our prayer is the spiritual understanding and acknowledgement that our neighbor — our brother, our sister, our father, our mother, our husband, our wife, or our fellow worker, our business associate, our fellow man, whoever or wherever he may be — is, like ourselves, actually a loving reflection of divine Love, God, we gain dominion over and freedom from the belief of jarring, afflictive, unhappy, inharmonious human relationships," he declared.
"In this manner," he added, "we achieve an almost unbelievable betterment in all human relations, as well as rewarding joy."
Regardless of conditions or persons, he maintained, dominion and freedom in human relationship can be gained through understanding prayer.
Mr. MacRae told how several business and travel situations which appeared impossible to solve yielded to the "irresistible power of silent prayer, spiritually understood."
To the Christian Scientist, he said, "salvation is one of works rather than doctrine, the works of healing disease and redeeming from sin, which is accomplished through prayer on the highest level of pure spirituality."