Our dog was not allowed on the sofa. Not when we were looking. Not when we were not looking! And she knew it. This did not, however, stop her from climbing on it when we were out. Each time she was caught, her tail-wagging joy at seeing us would turn into tail-tucking guilt as she would be scolded for doing it yet again. She never quite got the point that the joy of being good was more satisfying - and the act of being good, more empowering - than the temporary indulgence of stretching out on that couch!
Who enjoys swimming while carrying weights? Nothing zaps energy, inspiration and joy like a boulder of fear tied to one's neck by a heavy rope of regret. That is really what guilt is - an anchor of regret and fear - the "shoulda, woulda, coulda" that sinks inspiration, pulling thought down, down, down into sadness over yesterday and dread of tomorrow.
To get your prayer MOJO - to feel confidence, momentum, joy and inspiration in your prayers - you've got to drop the guilt and engage with good and all its present possibilities.
I am not saying it is easy. But I do say it is absolutely doable and completely worth whatever effort is demanded. So, let's talk about how to do it.
Perhaps you are familiar with the apostle Paul's complaint that "the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." Paul's explanation was to blame it on a belief in an inbred sin. He said, "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."
To me, Paul is saying that although he knows better and wants to do better, he suffers from "another law" of sin that leaves him feeling helpless and defeated. So he asks, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (See Romans 7:19-25)
Here, Paul takes a mental and spiritual leap of faith and throws off the heavy boulder of sin and self-identification as a natural sinner. He takes on a new sense of his identity - given to us by Christ Jesus - that man, as the child of God is actually good and that the goodness of God that man reflects is spiritual, inviolable, accessible and is the only permanent part of who we are. This "life in Christ Jesus" gives Paul a new starting point and a fresh basis for looking at his own life. And he concludes that, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1,2)
Paul found a new focus and fresh light - his life in Christ - and this helped him shake off the perpetual weight of a negative pull.
How can we find the same?
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote, "The abiding consciousness of wrong-doing tends to destroy the ability to do right." (Science and Health, p.405) Under the heading of "mental conspirators" she identifies hatred, lust, revenge and deceit as errors that conspire against our health, happiness and success. But she also points to a very simple antidote: Master your propensities. Focus on what is natural to you because it is what the Christ brings out in you!
"Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, — to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty." (ibid.)
Look for the MOJO in each opportunity to express good. You will find greater freedom, greater inspiration and greater confidence in your prayers.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no