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Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Topic: The Prayer of Hope, Faith and Understanding
Readings from the Bible:
1. James 5:15 the
... the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
2. Heb. 11:1–3
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
3. Matt. 8:5–10, 13
¶ And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. ... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
4. Rom. 5:1–5
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
5. Matt. 15:21–28
¶ Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
6. Heb. 2:1–4
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
7. II Cor. 4:13–18
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
8. I Pet. 1:3–9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
9. Rom. 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Readings from Science and Health:
1. SH 1:1–4, 10–7
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love. ... Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds. What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to make ourselves better or to benefit those who hear us, to enlighten the infinite or to be heard of men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteousness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void.
2. SH 23:12–31
Rabbinical lore said: “He that taketh one doctrine, firm in faith, has the Holy Ghost dwelling in him.” This preaching receives a strong rebuke in the Scripture, “Faith without works is dead.” Faith, if it be mere belief, is as a pendulum swinging between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, is the evidence gained from Spirit, which rebukes sin of every kind and establishes the claims of God. In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, faith and the words corresponding thereto have these two definitions, trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s welfare to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to work out one’s “own salvation, with fear and trembling.” “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!” expresses the helplessness of a blind faith; whereas the injunction, “Believe . . . and thou shalt be saved!” demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.
3. SH 125:12–16
As human thought changes from one stage to another of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow and joy, — from fear to hope and from faith to understanding, — the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by Soul, not by material sense.
4. SH 10:5–6
The world must grow to the spiritual understanding of prayer.
5. SH 206:6–14
It is the province of spiritual sense to govern man. Material, erring, human thought acts injuriously both upon the body and through it. Will-power is capable of all evil. It can never heal the sick, for it is the prayer of the unrighteous; while the exercise of the sentiments — hope, faith, love — is the prayer of the righteous. This prayer, governed by Science instead of the senses, heals the sick.
6. SH 505:16–22
Spirit imparts the understanding which uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth. The Psalmist saith: “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” Spiritual sense is the discernment of spiritual good. Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal.
7. SH 317:16–20
The individuality of man is no less tangible because it is spiritual and because his life is not at the mercy of matter. The understanding of his spiritual individuality makes man more real, more formidable in truth, and enables him to conquer sin, disease, and death.
8. SH 593:20
SALVATION. Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed.
9. SH 16:2–4
The highest prayer is not one of faith merely; it is demonstration.
10. SH 39:18–22
“ Now,” cried the apostle, “is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life.
11. SH 99:5–11
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” says the apostle, and he straightway adds: “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians ii. 12, 13). Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding.
Hymns: 54, 166, 58