Bandaid or Cure?

July 27, 2013

I’m talking about prayer here.  Ask yourself: do you see it as a bandaid, something that may or may not make any difference?  Or do you see prayer as an actual cure, removing the problem?  Your view of prayer likely determines not only how you pray, but what you expect as a result of your prayers.

Jesus’ prayers were cures.  He knew exactly what to expect when he prayed: healing!  He didn’t wonder whether those he prayed for deserved to be well, and he certainly didn’t wonder whether God would approve.  He didn’t wonder whether there were mitigating circumstances, or whether other things had to happen first.  He went right to the bottom of the issue and healed it.

We can learn a lot from The Master’s example.

Prayer is neither wishful thinking nor guesswork, nor is it human will.  Jesus never doubted what the outcome would be when he prayed.  (See John 11:42 for example)

Expect thought and circumstances to shift as a result of prayer.  Jesus knew it wasn’t man’s outlook but God’s viewpoint that healed.    (See Matt 19:26 for example)

Use your prayers to confirm God’s omnipotence.  Jesus always trusted that God could and would heal, redeem, and save.  (See Luke 17:6 for example)

Every prayer, even the briefest one, is useful.  You always have time to pray.  Jesus, even when the multitudes were crowding him, and his disciples bickering, and the Pharisees hounding, found a way to pray.  (See Mark 6:46 for example)

Let your prayers be cures.  Accept nothing less.  Jesus didn’t.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Crowd Management

July 19, 2013

No, I’m not talking about the companies that oversee sporting events and rock concerts.  Instead, this blog post is about feeling safe anywhere – even in the middle of a crowd.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry he was surrounded by multitudes of people, looking to him for healing.  He was thronged repeatedly.  Nor were the gatherings always pleasant.  Luke reports that one such crowd “rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.”  But Jesus was so convinced of his safety and innocence that he “passing through the midst of them went his way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days.”  (see chapter 4:29-31)

What did Jesus know that assured him there was no danger?  He certainly was clear that no matter what, he could not be separated from God, love.  The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”  Paul then makes plain that this divine love is manifested in “Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:38,39)

Another Bible story reports a woman who wished to remain unseen in the multitude, as she sought to touch Jesus’ robe for healing.  Because of her illness, she should not have been in public, let alone in physical contact with others, but she hoped for anonymity amongst the throng.  However, Jesus discerned her need, healed her, then asked her to come forward.  Instead of shaming or exposing her, he restored her to her full status as a daughter of Abraham.  (see Mark 5:25-34 for example)

In the old testament Elisha reassured his servant Gehazi that “they that be with us are more than they that be with them” when it appeared they were surrounding by a host of marauders.  The threatening crowd was dispersed by God’s “horses and chariots of fire.”  (II Kings 6:16,17)

Jesus and Elisha both proved that the crowd had no power either to harm, to hide, or to hinder.  That same clarity of thought is available to you, for there is no spot where God is not.  Trust this omnipotent power to not only keep you safe at all times but to guide you and guard you under all circumstances.

You are His beloved child and He has given His angels charge over you to keep you in ALL your ways.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

Reactive or Proactive?

July 11, 2013

Those are not terms we normally associate with God.  But it might be helpful to examine your view of God in light of those concepts.

For example, do you imagine that God is waiting for you to ask Him to help you?  Is He involved in a lot of things and may – or may not – get around to taking care of you depending on His workload?  Does your prayer encourage Him to act, because otherwise, He wouldn’t have thought of it?

The Bible rebukes that outlook.  Isaiah reassuringly states, “before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (65:24)  And Jesus said of his heavenly Father that He “knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”  (Matt 6:8)

The online Free Dictionary defines proactive in part, as: “Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty; anticipatory.”  That only tells part of the story about God.  Certainly He is available to help us in the midst of or to avoid difficulty.

But more than that, we need to see Him as supplying everything we ever need – ever.  Our view of God needs to be big enough to expect Him to care for us at all times and in all ways, just as Jesus expected – and experienced.  Even in ways that are beyond our difficulties but actually preparing us to receive infinite and ongoing good.

Did Jesus ever wonder if God was going to show up and follow through while the Master was healing the sick or feeding the multitude?  Before he raised Lazarus from the dead he prayed, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.  And I knew that thou hearest me always.”  (John 11:41,42)  That’s the God – the divine Love – that Jesus expected us to also know and rely on.

Is your view of God that big?  With God, all things are possible.


July 4, 2013

What better topic is there for today, Independence Day!  Jesus’ whole ministry was successfully devoted to liberating his fellow men and women (and children, too!) from every “ill that flesh is heir too.”  He bestowed upon multitudes improved health and wellbeing.  He enabled others, and himself to overcome even death.

Was that kind of independence from sin, disease, and death just a result of his personal intervention and power?  Not at all!  It was due instead, to his relationship with God, a relationship which Jesus declared we all are a part of.  After his resurrection, he said, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”  (John 20:17)  By this point, he was pretty clear that nothing could separate us – any of us – from the Creator of all, and the salvation that blessing brought.

The Apostle Paul made clear our role in this when he wrote, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  (Gal 5:1)

That kind of standing fast includes a realization that the freeing Christ is here and now, not just then; that liberty from the snares of temptation is real and right; that we can – and must – be free from the entanglement of the yoke of bondage.  Understanding the spiritual authority of this statement, and putting it into practice are part and parcel of our work and growth as Christians.  The fact that we can do it is also made clear in Jesus’ promise to his followers.  (John 14:12)

Mary Baker Eddy echoed that sentiment when she wrote, “Citizens of the world, accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free!  This is your divine right.”  (Science and Health p. 227)

Divine right is pretty powerful, don’t you think?

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.