Prayer cancels pain

One evening while I was preparing for bed I suddenly felt a lot of pain.  I immediately turned to God for help and began praying with the ideas in the Scientific Statement of Being, one of my favorite paragraphs in Science and Health (p. 468).  I then began to think about the answer to the question, “What is man?” also in Science and Health (p. 475).  I began to feel calmer, but was still very uncomfortable.  I asked God to help me and to tell me what I needed.  I heard, “Be still.”  This was quite a request because I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t seem to sit still.  But I made myself stop moving.  I remembered the beautiful solo that was sung at my sister’s wedding, which is from a verse in Psalms, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  As I was being comforted by the words in the solo, I heard, “I am able to impart….” I recognized this phrase as a statement in Mrs. Eddy’s writings but wasn’t exactly sure of the whole passage.  I knew it said something like “I am able to impart health and happiness.” I realized that it is man’s purpose to impart (communicate, make public, proclaim, give, bestow) health and happiness.  And man is able to do it because he reflects the ability to do it.  I am not personally the source of the ability to impart.  That was a relief.  And why, I asked, do we have this purpose?  And the answer came – to glorify God.  Our whole reason for existing is to glorify Him in everything we think, in everything we say, and in everything we do.  This increased understanding of man’s whole purpose for being, of my purpose, filled me with joy.  I promised to begin to question and examine everything I did.  Is this glorifying God?  How is what I am doing glorifying God?  I was so absorbed in promising God I would do this that when I checked back, I realized the pain had just turned off, as suddenly as it had started.  I was so grateful! The next morning I looked up the statement that had come to me.  It is from First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 165 and it reads, “Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness and this is the rock of my salvation and my reason for existing.” My reason for existing. The very reason man exists is to impart – to make known, to exemplify what God is.  And how do I do that?  By making sure that I am living as close to Him in thought and action as I can.  That day I questioned myself often, and identified the spiritual qualities in each activity I was doing.  I even caught myself when I felt impatient with a boy in my son’s swim class. The question practically yelled in my thought, And how is this thinking glorifying God? Woops!  Since then I have challenged myself to continue this, and I am happy to say I am catching thoughts that aren’t consistent with my purpose to glorify God.  I am also more conscious of God and am in better touch with Him as I go about my day.  What a wonderful healing!  I am very grateful.

H.B.

Quick Healing of Painful Knee

Recently while vacationing in the mountains where we do a lot of hiking, I awoke one morning with an extremely stiff knee after an extensive hike the previous day.  As I attempted to go downstairs, the knee did not want to bend and was quite painful.  I had never experienced this condition before.  I immediately turned my thoughts to that week’s Bible lesson, which was on God.  The lesson contained many powerful statements from the Bible and Science and Health as to the fact that God is all, that there is nothing else beside Him.  God is the only power, is ever-present and was right there at that moment embracing me with His tender love and care.  God is the only creator and had created me in His image and likeness. Since God is spiritual, my true identity is spiritual.  I reflect the unchanging harmony of Soul, God, which includes the perfect functioning of every part of my body.  I am tributary to God, Spirit, not to a mortal body, physical functions or to world belief of disability.

As the day wore on, the use of the knee progressively improved and the pain lessened.  Whenever I was aware of any discomfort, I reaffirmed the facts of spiritual Truth I had turned to that morning.  I realized that God’s perfection is invariable and so is mine.  The following morning when I awoke and prepared for another extensive hike, the knee was completely restored to its normal functioning, with no discomfort at all and continues that way.

I am deeply grateful for Christian Science which gives us the spiritual understanding of our true identity as the child of God, reflecting all of His qualities.  I am grateful for this quick healing and for a fuller realization of my oneness with God.

N.H.

Quick healing of bike accident injury

I don’t know exactly how to pray for each and every situation, but I do know that prayer has a meaningful and beneficial impact on my life.  Whenever I am unsure about how to proceed with prayer, even when I know that is the right step to be taking, I simply think, “It matters how I think right now.”  This thought always humbles my thinking and allows me to be receptive to God.

During a recent road biking excursion I made a swift and unexpected dismount onto the pavement at the start of a climb.  As I was lying in the road trying to piece together what had just happened I looked over at my arm and noticed a bone in my arm looking alarmingly out of place. Instead of praying immediately, I let the physical situation take hold of my thought—I was experiencing really forceful resistance to prayer which was completely contrary to my usual response of, “It matters how I think right now.”  In a few minutes I was helped off the road and able to lie on the pavement in the sun.  My fellow riders included three family members who also actively practice Christian Science, and for them I couldn’t be more grateful.  As I struggled with resistance, these three people purposefully and vocally reminded me that I was in fact perfectly whole and able to claim dominion over the physical situation.  Their conviction to see me as spiritually pure melted my resistance in a matter of moments.

The second I began to identify more with a spiritually whole vision of myself, rather than a fallen, injured physical person, the transformation from bone out of place and a great amount of physical pain to feeling perfectly normal was very quick.  My brother, who was sitting with me and praying as I lay on the side of the road was himself impressed with the way improved thought and a willingness to simply be present with God directly corresponded to a restoration of my arm.  The healing was in fact so swift, that I had a hard time trusting the results at first.  In response to this tentative thinking, my brother and I worked with this idea from Mary Baker Eddy, “Whosoever understands the power of Spirit, has no doubt of God’s power, —even the might of Truth, —to heal, through divine Science, beyond all human means and methods” Miscellaneous Writings 52:7.

Half an hour later I was playing with my two-year-old niece whom I instinctively reached out to and picked up in my arms when she called my name and ran to me.  I experienced no pain from this simple act of love.  A week later I participated in a 100K bike race on the exact same road where the bike accident had happened a week before.  I was able ride free of pain or apprehension both physically and mentally.

I pursue a lot of outdoor sports, from cycling and distance running to rock climbing and river running.  Without a doubt, these experiences have been the most significant for me as a student of Christian Science.  It’s in those moments of physical duress that I have come to know and understand my spiritual identity as the more accurate and complete description of me.  I am so grateful for the insight that prayer gives us into life, making each opportunity to pray not just physically but mentally and spiritually transformative.

L.T.

Prayer helps after head struck

I have a very dear friend from England who was moving her parents into a care facility so I flew to LA to assist with packing the house.  As we left Starbuck’s after getting something for breakfast, I became aware of someone ranting to my left and suddenly he threw my friend against the wall.  As I turned to help my friend, he struck me on the temple with a blunt object and I seemed to be experiencing a lot of pain.  We hurried back to Starbucks to avoid further threats from this seemingly deranged young man.

I immediately thought, man is not a victim and can’t be victimized.  The side of my head was really pounding by this time so I kept repeating the Scientific Statement of Being (found on page 468 of Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy.)  I sought reassurance that my friend was OK and she exclaimed there was a huge lump growing on my head.  I assured her that I was fine but she insisted the paramedics be called.  This is not what I wanted but I knew I needed to handle this so I tried to remain as calm as possible.  The paramedics found my blood pressure was absolutely normal; however, they gave my friend a litany of symptoms to watch for as I declined any further assistance.

We walked back to the house but as we started to get the packing materials out, I was in extreme pain and experiencing a migraine aura.  I was so grateful to have my cell phone with me which had a Christian Science practitioner’s number in it.   The practitioner gave me some encouraging ideas and the aura lifted immediately but the pain persisted; however I was able to pack.  Later that afternoon, the police arrived for a routine investigation precipitated by the paramedics’ report.  I sincerely expressed this individual needed help not incarceration.  Later that evening, I was able to sleep comfortably and I awoke with absolutely no pain.  We packed the rest of the house and I flew home that afternoon with no ill effect from the cabin pressure.  I went to work the next day, and although there was extensive bruising, I experienced no more pain.  Within a few days all evidence was gone.

My friend called me about a week later from England to see how I was doing. I said I was perfect!   She then admitted she had been having difficulty breathing when she was thrown against the wall but was so concerned about me that she made no mention of this incident.  Her present normal condition without medical intervention was further proof of God’s love for both of us.  I am so grateful for this demonstration of God’s care in sudden need.

RT

Prayer to leave matter out of solution brings good results

A few weeks ago there appeared in the weekly Bible Lesson (“God the Only Cause and Creator”) this passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, page 69:  “… ‘Do you teach that Spirit creates materially, or do you declare that Spirit is infinite, therefore matter is out of the question?’ ”  That question really grabbed my attention and stayed with me.

A few days later, I began to experience an annoying pain in my right arm.  Since I was on vacation at a tennis resort and had several matches scheduled, I started thinking, “Oh no, maybe I won’t be able to play; maybe if I stretched, or soaked in a hot tub or applied ice packs or something, I’d get through the next few matches.”  But right at that moment my thought returned to the above reference.  I wanted to leave matter completely out of the picture!  I turned to an article in the December 2010 Christian Science Journal entitled “Petition- an Important Element of Prayer” and started a prayer of petition.  I asked God to just rid my thinking of all these matter-based suggestions of methods to deal with a painful arm.  I pleaded for a purely spiritual recognition of my perfection at that very moment.

Soon the pain was gone.  I played tennis every day for the next ten days with no ill effects.  I was grateful for two reasons:  I wanted to realize the blessing of “leaving matter out of the picture”… and I wanted to enjoy the rest of my vacation!

H.F.

Illness While Driving Overcome

My husband and I drove to his university, about an hour and a half from home, for a 50th reunion weekend.  Events filled both Friday and Saturday, ending quite late each night.  I’m the designated driver after parties, and because of commitments, we had to drive back home each night.  The Friday night drive went fine, but as we started the drive Saturday night, I was feeling quite ill.  I had had little sleep in the days leading up to that weekend, and that lack of sleep, plus an active two days, hit me as dizziness, weakness and nausea.  As I drove through a rainstorm along crowded, unfamiliar freeways (“with the drunks out in force” as my husband assured me), I struggled to stay focused on the task at hand, praying firmly about God’s control.  Nevertheless, as we approached a long bridge over the bay, I seriously considered taking an exit and stopping somewhere until I could feel better.  But I knew my husband would be very alarmed.  And more importantly, I knew that God’s presence, strength and caring would not be any closer or stronger off the freeway than they were right where I was.  So I kept on, literally praying myself across that bridge, singing silently the hymn that assures us that “everlasting arms of Love are beneath, around, above.  He it is who leads us on; His the arm we lean upon.”  My conviction of God’s control grew steadily and I knew that no material circumstance (lack of sleep, storm, high winds, dangerous roadways) could weaken that control or prevent us (and everyone on the road) from safely reaching our destination.  When we arrived home, I was feeling so good that I was awake for two more hours, taking care of household things.  What a comfort it is to know that we are never outside of God’s care and the harmony of the spiritual creation that we live in every moment — and that we can turn trustingly to that care when we need it most.

C.O.

“Kingdom of heaven at hand”

In Matthew 10:7, Jesus states that “the kingdom of heaven at hand.”  This instruction from our Master to his disciples is a topic I had been studying specifically for a few weeks.  I was fortunate to find a few very good articles on this topic in past periodicals in our Reading Room.  Two of these articles were extremely inspiring.  Both entitled “Kingdom of heaven at hand”, one is by Robert Dolling Wells in the Christian Science Journal of December, 1959, and another by C.W. Chadwick in the June, 1905 Journal, page 153.  Chadwick emphasizes that Jesus’ mission was to show that salvation was to come in this present world and the distinguishing feature of that mission was to teach mankind the practical proof of the truth of this concept of “heaven at hand”– here, now.  He taught that heaven was not achieved by a state called death.  Why else would he have come to earth to urge men to “repent” and “believe the gospel”?

These ideas were ringing in my thought when I inadvertently tried to run through a glass door on my way to a tennis match.  After bounding back from the blow to my nose and forehead, and after a few confused thoughts, I regained my sense of “repentance”—changing my thinking—and re-established the “kingdom of heaven at hand”, refusing to accept that this kingdom included injury.  I began the match, but in a couple of games I began to feel neck pain.  My first thought was, “Aren’t you glad you refused to accept the idea of injury in God’s kingdom!”  Within minutes all sensation of discomfort or evidence of injury was gone.  I was very grateful.

H. C.

Effects of scalding water spill on skin healed

I had a lovely healing today.  As I was doing a cleaning project in the kitchen, the thought came: “If God didn’t make it, I can’t know it.  If God doesn’t feel it, I can’t feel it.”  I pondered this as I went about my task.  All of a sudden, some steaming water I was using to clean some equipment spewed out over my forearm.  At that moment, the phone rang, and it was my friend with her Wednesday readings she wished to read to me.  Her topic was “Rise up and let the Christ Lead you to the Living God. She didn’t know of my need, but read me the citations from the Bible and Science and Health, by Mrs. Eddy.  Whole-heartedly agreeing with the presence of the living Christ, and cherishing that earlier message about if God didn’t make it, I can’t know it, I found myself instantly healed of any bad effects from contact with that scalding water.

M.L.

Prayer Heals Foot Injury

A few summers ago I was moving some debris and rocks out of the creek near our cabin in an effort to clean up an area that had the possibility of damning up. My footing was unsteady and the rocks, slippery wet. In the course of this work I inadvertently dropped a very large rock/boulder on top of my tennis shoe-clad foot. I could feel that something was not right immediately and hobbled off to the side and sat down. In those next few minutes I realized that I had a choice. I could accept this as an accident that had the potential of sidelining me for days, maybe weeks, OR claim my freedom from harm just as Jesus and his disciples did in their healing ministries.

Many times in my life, God’s loving care, direction, and supply have been made apparent in very practical ways. In one short week I was to fly to Denmark to visit with my daughter who was in a school program there. We had already made plans for an active seven-day bicycle trip around that country during her break. You might say I was very motivated to again witness God’s goodness, and fast!

Here are some of the ideas that came to me:
Healing as Jesus healed is demonstrable today, and he expected us to follow his example:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:12-14)

“And these signs shall follow them that believe”…(Mark 16:17)

Jesus was never impressed by sin or overwhelmed by suffering:

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him… And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” (John 9:1-3,7)

My “problem” was an opportunity to be closer to God:

Rouse ye, rouse ye, face the foe,
Rise to conquer death and sin;
On with Christ to victory go,
O side with God, and win!
(Christian Science Hymnal #296)

Upon removing my shoe, the foot had already started to swell and was turning colors but I knew healing progress was occurring because I felt calm and expectant of good, and although very painful at first, it was now much less so and soon not at all.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on pg. 424, Mary Baker Eddy states from experience that

“Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God’s unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.”

And on pg. 397,

“When an accident happens, you think or exclaim, “I am hurt!” Your thought is more powerful than your words, more powerful than the accident itself, to make the injury real. Now reverse the process. Declare that you are not hurt and understand the reason why, and you will find the ensuing good effects to be in exact proportion to your disbelief in physics, and your fidelity to divine metaphysics, confidence in God as All, which the Scriptures declare Him to be.”

I continued to listen for “angel” ideas that affirmed God’s all-goodness and worked to shut out any arguments to the contrary. In less than three days my foot was normal in size, almost back to a natural color and I had complete mobility. Consequently I had a lovely bicycle adventure in Denmark, all the sweeter knowing that God’s loving care was my only “rock”!

LRR

Testimony of healing of “frozen shoulder”

This past Tuesday evening I got up off the couch after watching a couple of TV programs,  and discovered that I couldn’t lift my upper right arm without shooting pain.  I tried moving my arm in different ways and continued to feel either an almost total lack of strength or acute discomfort.  Almost immediately I started to worry about what had caused this,  and also what effect this would have on future activities,  from a tennis match the coming weekend to an overseas fly-fishing trip scheduled for early November.  I wrestled with both the pain and the worry throughout the night.

On Wednesday morning I told my wife that I was having the difficulty, because it was clear that I was favoring my right side.  She asked me to try to raise my arm (I couldn’t, without pain) and turn my wrist and hand to the left, as if I were pouring tea.  I couldn’t do that either, without pain.  My wife told me that the symptoms were just like a condition that she had previously experienced, called “frozen shoulder”,  a condition which had required several months of physical therapy to achieve a return to freedom of motion.

I was determined to deal with the issue by turning to prayer.  I had experienced a healing, through prayer alone, of a similar condition about 5 years before, although it took a number of months to regain freedom of motion.

Later that morning I started to read an issue of the Christian Science Journal.  There was an article* that seemed to address my situation beautifully.  The article used the Biblical story of David and Goliath as a metaphor for conquering the fear of illness (or any other condition posed by mortal mind).  It talked about each of David’s five smooth stones as representing a counter-thought to the challenges of fear and mortal thinking.  Here was some great ammunition for dealing with this physical challenge!  There was another article that talked about the perfection of my spiritual identity that provided additional support for my thinking.

I like to think of God as the power that created the universe—a creation that I find easy to conceive of as unimaginably vast, and the power to create it as infinitely strong.  Coupled with that power are qualities that give meaning to all life:  Love, and Truth, or Justice.  This always builds my confidence that whatever my material condition may appear to be, not only is it unreal and temporal, but as God’s reflection I possess the infinite power to reduce any such false claim to its native nothingness.

I realized that I needed to clearly and consistently establish this understanding of divine power in my consciousness.  I had to be “on patrol” to guard against negative suggestions that kept floating into my thoughts—that the shoulder condition could impede right activity—that a healing could take a long time—etc.  I’ve always found that reminding myself “What is God thinking here?” and continually asking “Is this God’s thought?” tends to keep me on the right track.  So over the next two days I really concentrated on being the metaphorical porter at the door of my thought –a modern day “thought bouncer” whenever negative suggestions seemed to come to mind.

The very next day, Thursday, the shoulder seemed to have improved markedly, and by Friday I was able to resume my full range of normal activities without any evidence of stiffness or pain or inhibited movement.  The change was so quick, and so complete,  that I was truly overwhelmed,  not only with relief and gratitude,   but with a profound appreciation for the incredible power of prayer to God to heal.

*“Inevitable Health”,  Julie Ward,  Christian Science Journal, November 2009
The first stone was the idea that “Disease has no scary name—its only name is nothing”.  The second was “Disease has no place—it’s never on the body, but is merely a suggestion of mortal mind”.

JS