Friday, November 2, 2007

Pray without ceasing - and then what?

Yesterday I spent the day 'praying without ceasing'. It was an amazing day. This morning I remembered an incident in the Bible that seems the perfect follow up and answers the above question.

In Chapter 12 of the Book of Acts things had been heating up and Herod began persecuting members of this fledgling church. He arrested Peter, their leader, and put him in prison. He assigned many soldiers to keep him there, intending to have him put to death the next day. While this was going on 'prayers were made without ceasing' on his behalf.

Peter, bless his heart, had fallen asleep. He was chained between two soldiers and several more were on guard duty. An angel comes to him, bringing light into the prison. Light chases away darkness and fear. But, bright as it was, it did not awaken Peter. The angel had to poke him in his side, telling him to arise quickly. Lift up your thought as well as your body. And as he did so, the chains fell off. Wouldn't you love that! Here is another result of prayers made for you without ceasing. Whatever it is that is binding you, holding you captive in thought or body, falls away. The angel has more instructions, as Peter must have been just standing there. He is to put on his shoes and his clothes. This prepares thought for action, get ready to move! Expect to be lead forward. Dressed and ready, Peter is told to follow the angel, but he seems to have thought it was all a dream.

They left the prison and came to the gate of the city. Prayer without ceasing lets you leave that which seems to confine you. When Peter was awake and aware, the angel left him. Peter can see clearly that he has been freed from Herod's threats and from those who wished him harm.

What happened next is actually pretty funny, but continues the lesson about praying without ceasing. Peter arrives at Mark's house and knocks on the locked door. A little girl, actually named, which is unusual in the Bible, recognizes his voice. But she doesn't open the door! She runs to tell those who are busy praying. Do they rejoice in this evidence of healing? No. They tell her she is mad. Meanwhile Peter continues pounding on the door until they go to who it is. And they were astonished. Astonished? Why? Isn't this what they had spent all day and night praying for? There must come a time in your prayers that you expect results, and rejoice in the evidence of your healing.

Mrs. Eddy writes that prayer is the constant, conscious capacity to understand God. So praying without ceasing isn't really that difficult. If fear has gotten the better of you, call for some support. A Christian Science practitioner is committed to answering those calls 24/7/365. With a little practice, you will find yourself aware of God's presence. You will see that Principle's laws are always operating on your behalf. Mind is constantly knowing you as whole and happy. Soul keeps all your faculties working perfectly. Spirit is your true substance so you can never lack anything. Life is ever active and you reflect all right activity. Truth instantly cancels any error that tries to insist you are separated from God. Love is cherishing you, protecting you, and comforting you at all times and under all circumstances.

Go in peace.

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