Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Mary Baker Eddy

Science and Health - CHAPTER 1 - Prayer

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Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.

The world must grow to the spiritual understanding of prayer. If good enough to profit by Jesus' cup of earthly sorrows, God will sustain us under these sorrows. Until we are thus divinely qualified and are willing to drink his cup, millions of vain repetitions will never pour into prayer the unction of Spirit in demonstration of power and "with signs following." Christian Science reveals a necessity for overcoming the world, the flesh, and evil, and thus destroying all error.

Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving that enables us to enter. Spiritual attainments open the door to a higher understanding of the divine Life.

(Perfunctory prayers)
One of the forms of worship in Thibet is to carry a praying-machine through the streets, and stop at the doors to earn a penny by grinding out a prayer. But the advance guard of progress has paid for the privilege of prayer the price of persecution.

(Asking amiss)
Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer. There is some misapprehension of the source and means of all goodness and blessedness, or we should certainly receive that for which we ask. The Scriptures say: "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive. In this case infinite Love will not grant the request. Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then "ye ask amiss."

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