"Sometimes when we pray or we are called upon to pray for a situation, it may simply seem that there are a set of material circumstances which need fixing. Our family had an experience recently which opened up a whole new view of what prayer in Christian Science is.
One Friday evening we received a phone call from our son, who needed to talk through the anxieties he was feeling about his business. He had started his own fashion brand ten years ago and had successfully built it up over that period, selling all over the world. However the economic conditions in Britain now were making it increasingly difficult to survive. Added to this, a mistake had been made with a large order which was threatening to add significantly to an already challenging situation. He discussed this with my husband for some time and finally my husband said to him, “You know what we will do. We will pray about this for you.” My son then immediately replied, “well, that’s probably why I’m phoning you.”
That was all we needed to get down to some deep and earnest prayer. During the weekend both my husband and I spent time listening for the spiritual truths which were needed to meet this challenge. Taking myself off to the quietness of my studio, I reached out to God with the simple words, “What are you knowing about this situation?” I’ve learnt over many years that our prayers are not about telling God anything, nor are they about searching for inspiring words, nor are they about appealing to Him to change a situation. They are about listening! God is continually knowing and what He is knowing is the only reality there is. As my thought became peaceful, I could feel His love for our son and it was a far greater love than I could ever feel humanly. That love was encompassing everything. I allowed these thoughts of our son’s unique and inseparable reflection of God’s qualities and talents to develop in my thought during the weekend. I also felt the need to strongly hold to the spiritual fact that there was no other power than God, that no belief of human circumstances, predictions, mistakes or influences could ever interfere or negate the harmonious action of Love’s presence and control. This brought peace to my thought and I knew that God was speaking to me.
The following week brought a situation we were not expecting. On the Tuesday morning our son called to say that he had had a road accident while cycling to work. He cycles in the very busy environment of inner London. He described how he was in the inner cycle lane between two road lanes, came around a corner at top speed only to be met by a man wheeling gas canisters across the road in front of him. There was no time to apply his brakes and he hit the obstacle full on and was flung over the handle bars onto the road. This was a potentially very dangerous situation with traffic on either side but my son described how immediately people were there to help him, the paramedics were called and he was checked over. Apart from a deep cut on his leg which was dealt with on the spot, he suffered no other effects. Even the bike was unharmed.
Our son described two occurrences which had happened leading up to this collision. The evening before, he had been to a meeting on his bike and had inadvertently left his helmet hanging on a bike which was secured next to his. In his hurry to get home he had left his helmet there unsecured. He realized this the following morning and went back to retrieve it before setting out to his work. Amazingly the helmet was there still, just where he left it. The second incident was also of importance. My son recalled how, several times as he began the journey to work that day, a voice was telling him to go a different way but he ignored this message and continued with the route he had planned. But this refusal to listen could not interfere with the law of Love which is everpresent to protect and care for His children.
This whole experience has filled me with immense gratitude and wonder. The protection and care which our son experienced was the direct result of a prayer which establishes man forever in a reality which is purely spiritual. No element of the human condition could have reality, no matter how alarming or threatening.
This experience has also shown me that we sometimes don’t know why our prayers are needed. We may often find ourselves praying without knowing why. But God is guiding these prayers to meet any discordant, frightening or harmful situation which may arise."