Search online or in a store for books on prayer and you will find hundreds of choices. The Surrender Prayer, The Power of a Praying Wife, 31 Days of Prayer for My Children, Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference?, The Battle Plan for Prayer, Prayer: The Ultimate Conversation, The Prayer Map for Boys, Pocket Prayers, Prayers That Avail Much, and Prayer: Our Deepest Longing are just some of the many titles that I found. Clearly, many people have an interest in prayer.
The first chapter of the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy is titled “Prayer” and contains some original and arresting ideas about this topic. For example, consider this statement:
“Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, - neither in nor of matter, - and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well.”Could such a thing be true? Does prayer really have this kind of power? Yes! I’ve experienced this!
Last summer, while on a camping trip, I was digging a hole using a spade. I wasn’t being very careful about this task and I was only wearing sandals. Unfortunately, I struck one of my big toes with the spade. There was bleeding and the pain was intense, but I was aware of the statement quoted above about how to pray, so I immediately endeavored to put this into practice.
Turning my thought away from the evidence of the injury, I focused on the idea that my true being was spiritual and was not in matter or controlled by matter. I wasn’t just thinking about this superficially or applying a rote formula. I had been carefully reading the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and contemplating the ideas it presents about man’s spiritual being. So my prayer at this moment was a deep and sincere effort to understand and apply the truth of what I had been reading. Very quickly, I felt a sense of peace and the bleeding and pain ceased. My prayer was answered!
Although my toenail was damaged and it took a year for a new one to grow out, this did not affect any of my activities. Not only did I finish my digging project, but I had an active summer of hiking and bicycling without any further pain or limitation from this incident.