Christian Science practitioners provide prayer upon request with the intent and expectation that quick healing will follow. It is both a spiritual ministry and a professional practice.
I sometimes receive questions about the billing process. For example, I have been asked to fix a monthly retainer fee in case the treatment should go on for awhile. Of course, to such questions I only speak for myself. Each practitioner comes to their own conclusions regarding billing and the professional relationship with their patients. But, I consider taking a case on retainer to be inconsistent with my practice because it assumes prolonged treatment is necessary.
Unlike medical care, which projects treatment time based on the diagnosis of disease and the complexity of symptoms, prayer healing springs from spiritual growth and clearer views of God and man.
Spirituality, not time, is the determining factor in Christian Science healing. Health is an entirely spiritual phenomenon and is found to be permanent when sought through spiritual means.
Mary Baker Eddy made this point in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She also pointed out the pitfalls of drawing conclusions about cases from symptoms when she wrote, "Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind; nor can the material senses bear reliable testimony on the subject of health... Any conclusion pro or con, deduced from supposed sensation in matter or from matter's supposed consciousness of health or disease, instead of reversing the testimony of the physical senses, confirms that testimony as legitimate and so leads to disease." (p.120)
My experience has shown that an understanding of God sought through prayer, coupled with the expectation that this understanding can be obtained immediately, speeds progress on cases. An entirely spiritual focus and high expectation of healing helps move a case beyond comfort care or coping with symptoms and supports better outcomes. Expectation of healing turns thought quickly to what God is doing for man.
James wrote, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (5:15) Everyone has a right to good results from prayer in Christian Science.
Prayer treatment does not follow any medical treatment model. Healing time is not determined by a physical diagnosis. One disease is not considered inherently more difficult, more time consuming or more complicated, than another. Prayer moves beyond symptom management by opening one's experience to the healing Christ, the powerful message of health from God to man which meets needs quickly, consistently and effectively.
It is always a joy to pray for others. Christian Science practitioners are dedicated to give all the care and attention necessary to prayer on each case. But as wonderful as it is to engage in this work, nothing trumps a good healing. This is one profession where "fired" is as happy a word as "hired" when someone is healed.
If you have any questions about the healing practice of Christian Science, I would happy to consider them for future occasional posts on the subject.
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