I recently had a conversation with someone about health care. When I told him that I was a Christian Scientist and depended upon prayer for the cure of illness, he mentioned that he felt Christian Science was “out there.” He was kind and respectful, but behind his comment was the impression that prayer is not a dependable way to treat disease.
I understood his comment somewhat since most people consider drugs and surgery as the most effective, and often, the only treatment of disease; and prayer is often seen as an auxiliary to medicine. But I have found prayer that brings new views of spiritual reality, to be very effective as my sole means of treating disease. Everyone’s health choices are personal, and as a Christian Scientist, I am not under any church edict. But prayer has met my health, as well as my religious, needs time and time again.
I am not alone in valuing prayer as a significant means of healing. A 2008 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Survey found that 36% of Americans surveyed reported that they had experienced or witnessed a divine healing of an illness or injury. And 75% reported that they pray at least once a week.
Divine healing does not need to be shocking or miraculous. Have you ever thought that it is the nature of God to heal? The Bible clearly characterizes God this way: “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” (Ps. 103: 3, 4).
Jesus proved that spiritual healing is divinely natural and left us a record of cure that met individuals’ needs completely, whether they faced physical or mental illness, or even dishonesty and poor life-choices. As a matter of fact, Jesus was probably the greatest healer of all time. And he stated, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do” (John 14: 12).
Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy took that advice seriously and through her study of the Bible found that understanding God as unconditional Love and everlasting Life heals disease. She taught that effective prayer was not blind faith, but learning more about God each day, acknowledging His presence, and yielding up self-will, self-love and self-righteousness to this cleansing and healing divine Love. Eddy healed herself and many others throughout her lifetime; and through her teachings, anyone can learn how they, too, can heal through prayer.
In her landmark book on Christian healing and salvation, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she wrote, “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.”
Recently, I suffered from an eruption on my body. I could have gone to an emergency care center and have it treated, but I decided to turn to Christian Science for healing since I have found it so effective in my life before. I found that as I studied The Bible and Science and Health, including the passage quoted above, I felt the love of God conquer my fears and reassure me of His divine healing presence. I actually found this time of prayer to be a great learning experience – studying and applying what I was learning of God’s love to my life and others.
The healing came quickly and naturally. It was a beautiful spiritual experience – feeling God’s love and having my body restored to health.
This kind of healing is possible for everyone. As we look deeper into sacred texts and into our own hearts, we can find the nature of God that brings health and wholeness into the lives of all of us.
Maybe Christian Science is not “out there” after all, but “in here”–in the hearts of those willing to find God’s healing power.
©2017 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois