Sometimes you just have to put your foot down when you pray. At least that is what I learned when our Labrador puppy started showing the symptoms of detached retina and hip dysplasia - two conditions apparently associated with her breed and bloodline.
I was pretty overwhelmed at the prospects of life with a blind, crippled "horse" of a dog in my home. I wanted to pray about this - wanted to see it healed through prayer. But I was finding it difficult not to be pulled down into the problem.
So I did what I often do when I feel stuck. I went back to the basics and studied Jesus' approach to praying - The Lord's Prayer as recorded in Matthew's gospel.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures takes a line-by-line look at the underlying spiritual message of this prayer that emphasizes God's sovereign power over creation and our right and ability to pray with authority.
__One line of the Lord's Prayer was particularly helpful to me:
"Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven." Science and Health brings out the authority of this divine petition. Author Mary Baker Eddy gives the spiritual sense, "Enable us to know, - as in heaven, so on earth, - God is omnipotent, supreme."
Jesus' prayer emphasizes a direct and powerful correspondence between heaven (which to me indicates spiritual consciousness or an understanding of God) and earth (practical everyday experience). Heaven doesn't reflect earth. The lesser doesn't influence the greater. It's the other way around. What is real and true in human experience reflects God. And our present spiritual understanding of God reveals it in human experience - as indicated by the law of "as in heaven so on earth."
Up until this puppy problem arose, I had a tendency to feel that if something was going wrong in my life, with my health, or in my environment, that it was my fault - that I didn't know enough or understand God sufficiently to have a better experience. I had it backwards. When I read those lines from the Lord's Prayer and its spiritual sense in Science and Health, I realized that I have always had the authority to take a stand for what I know to be true.
I suddenly thought, "You know, even on my worst day, I do have a better understanding of God than is represented by a blind, crippled dog!"
I decided that when I pray I would no longer try to compensate for what I didn't know. I would exercise the power of what I did know. We have the right to pray with authority drawn from our present understanding of God.
I started to mentally stomp my foot when I prayed for the puppy. That is, every time I saw her walk into a wall or drag her leg oddly, I said, "No! No! I refuse to accept that these images of disease reflect my understanding of God and His infinite good." I defended my spiritual understanding, even if it was slight, and declared "God's will is done on earth as it is in heaven, and I know it."
__I think what gave my prayers (and me) such authority was that this method of prayer wasn't my own bright idea. Christ Jesus, the master healer, taught his students the fundamentals of healing prayer. Jesus said, "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay." Matthew 5:37
To me, Jesus is describing a "double-tap" method of prayer.
A "double-tap" is a shooting technique where two well-aimed shots are fired at the same target with very little time in between shots. Instruction and practice of the double-tap improves overall accuracy as shooters often do not have the gun fully extended on the first shot, meaning the second of a double-tap is usually the better.
A one-yea prayer affirms what is true about God and man. But a two-yea prayer adds the element of spiritual authority that affirms the understanding of God as an unshakeable truth that extends into every part of human consciousness.
Similarly, a one-nay prayer denies the right of evil to control or influence us. But a two-nay prayer shoots the second tap that stomps on error as having no right or authority over us or anyone else.
Understanding and exercising your authority fully extends your prayer from a personal truth to a divine law that governs everyone and everything with precision and force.
I double-yayed and double-nayed with stomp-your-foot authority for one solid month. Then one day - while sitting in my yard feeling such gratitude for every little thing I truly did understand of God's goodness - I looked up and saw our pup run down the street to meet our little girl as she got off the school bus. The dog saw her from at least a block away. And she ran without a single hitch in her get-along! This was the end of both problems.
That the symptoms persisted during that month didn't weaken my resolve in prayer. Why? Because the suggestion that I was so ignorant as to accept blindness and frailty as the best I could expect from life was absolutely unbelievable. I could defend myself by leaning on Christ Jesus' own words - Thy will be done, is done, on earth as it is in heaven.
I didn't come up with that. Jesus did! I figure he knew what he was talking about. STOMP.
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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