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“Live a life of prayer to give brilliance to every day.”
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for January 13, 2019

by Rick Stewart CS Dresden, Germany +49 351 312 4736 or +49 176 32 33 6080

WhatsApp 49 176 32336080

Here in Dresden there are several brand new students of the Christian Science Bible Lesson that have begun to attend our church services. I guess you could say that like children with a brand new Christmas toy they are really enjoying their new discovery, Christian Science. And the Bible Lesson is a big part of their joy

The uniqueness of this week’s Lesson, ie. eight sections, will not be a surprise to them because they have no idea that six sections is the norm. Instead they are simply thrilled with each new discovery and each new insight. With great joy they try to put into practice their new understanding. I am sure they are not going to struggle over any “Why eight sections and not the usual six?”

I have tried to keep that “new student of Christian Science” perspective as I began to study this week’s lesson. It has helped me discover a lesson filled with the brilliance of the Word of God. And also a wonderful new way to look at this week’s subject, Sacrament.

I found the Golden Text from Psalm 104 a treasure, “…I give myself unto prayer.” (this phrase comes from a Psalm of David, that you might say illustrates the perspective of our Master, Christ Jesus. Here are the beginning verses of that Psalm that gives us our Golden Text. This version is from the Complete Jewish Bible,

Psalm 109 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

109 For the leader. A psalm of David:

(1) God, whom I praise, don’t remain silent!
2 For wicked and deceitful men
have opened their mouths against me,
spoken against me with lying tongues,
3 surrounded me with hateful words,
and attacked me without cause.

4 In return for my love they became my accusers,
even though I prayed for them.
5 They repay me evil for good
and hatred for my love.

Well, in following David’s and Jesus’ example, I love to give myself and my day to prayer. Both when things are going great and when I am being challenged I find that every single activity can become a time to pray. For example. cooking with prayer, taxi service for the kids with prayer, paying bills with prayer, or one of my favorites, grocery shopping immersed in prayer.

One of my favorite prayer locations is the escalator in the two-story grocery store just up the block from our apartment. Since prayer is actually a mental activity, you can get a lot of prayer done in just moments as you ride the escalator. As Section I says in citation S2 “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as “a very present help in trouble.” (12:31–1)

As I ride up the escalator to begin shopping I first begin to thank God for our daily bread. Yep, the simple gratitude and acknowledgement that I am able to buy what is needed for the family. And I always try to know that each and every shopper is right in the middle of that God-given sufficiency. Also I affirm that I will be led to the right items that we need and not be distracted by items cleverly displayed that might tempt me to buy things we do not need. I listen for the guidance that always comes from God. And I always try to remain open to pray for and love those shopping with me. This last prayer has often led to opportunities to pray for friends and strangers that I meet in the store!

Just a couple weeks ago a cashier who is the grandmother of one of Alma’s school friends was talking with the customer in front of me. She was explaining about an ongoing shoulder problem. As my turn at the cash register came I asked, “So, would you like me to pray for you?” Her immediate reply, “Bitte, taglich!” (Please, daily!)

The Responsive Reading includes that prayer of prayers from our Master, the Lord’s Prayer. I have a feeling after we study this Lesson all week we are going to pray that prayer with much greater understanding! [See W’s PS#1-#4]

This lesson is filled with beautiful examples of how we can pray continually and reap great benefits from that prayer. Continual, unceasing prayer does make our world go round!

Section 1: Horse Carriage Prayers [See W’s PS#5]

Many reading this Met will know that Mary Baker Eddy, the author of Science and Health, made it her practice each day of going for a carriage ride. Routinely she would take a break from her work at home and take her carriage ride. She may have taken a break from her work at home, but not from her prayers. There are many published accounts of how she healed many individuals as she drove along at a trot.

To the best of my knowledge the following account is unpublished but comes straight from the horses’ mouth so to speak. The source of this account, Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and lecturer, Paul Stark Seeley, shared this experience with one of his students.

“I had successfully completed my studies at Princeton. (Princeton University) I was praying about my future plans. I had prospects in several fields of work that were very promising. But I was also a student of Christian Science and I yearned to know more of this Science. At the time of this prayerful search regarding my career I was walking with my mother in Concord, New Hampshire. As we walked along we were thrilled to see Mrs. Eddy’s carriage approaching. Although she did not stop she greeted us with a gracious wave of the hand that struck my heart as a clear invitation, “Come, join me.” In that instant I knew I had to accept the invitation to join her in her prayerful work in the practice of Christian Science. Which I did immediately.”

Mr. Seeley went on to become a Christian Science practitioner, teacher, and he lectured in five decades as a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship. You can find many of Mr. Seeley’s published articles at JSH Online and also in Christian Science Reading Rooms.

As we read in this Section, “…the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:” (B1 | I Peter 3:12)

Section 2: Pray to the Father in secret. He will reward you openly. [See W’s PS#6 & #1]

“when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (B6 | Matthew 6:6)

“The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love.” (S3 | 15:3–5 The)

My mom learned the wisdom of this method of praying in secret in a very significant healing she had. She had been experiencing pain in her breast and some sort of discharge. She had been praying diligently while keeping the whole experience to herself. There was no alarm regarding symptoms and mom held fast to the truth of her spiritual identity. Since her first healing as a child of 18 months, Mom had had many healings and had actually prayed for and healed many others in her Christian Science practice. She was certain that prayer in Christian Science is an effective healing agent just as demonstrated in the life and practice of Christ Jesus. But here she was in seeming great need humanly, facing a dire situation with four children, and alarming symptoms. But she knew the value of listening to God’s unfailing Love and Goodness and rejecting the material suggestions that tried to crowd in.

During this time there was a Christian Science lecture held in nearby Eustis, Florida which our family attended. The lecturer was Lenore Hanks. As Mom listened to the lecture she experienced a wonderful sense of the absolute allness of Good and sensed what seemed like a wave of spiritual light that just passed right through her body. She found herself in complete peace and certainty regarding her health. Spiritual Life was the eternal fact of her being.

The lecture ended and as Mom gloried in the wonderful sense of healing, a fellow Christian Science practitioner came up and began to talk to Mom about how she was going to write to “Boston” to complain about the length of the lecturer’s dress. (It was a time when female lecturers were transitioning from floor length dresses and in this case the lecturer had worn a mid-calf length dress). The other practitioner said, “Why there were men that sat on the front row just so they could look up her dress!”

My mom rejected the ridiculousness of this comment and she laughed and said, “Well you write what you want. I will write Boston about my wonderful healing in the lecture and we will see which one of us they listen to.”

It seemed the answer to that question was clearly evident in the fact that Mrs. Hanks was soon elected to the Christian Science Board of Directors of The Mother Church.

Section 3: Hannah’s heart felt prayer for a son, answered with Samuel’s birth. [See W’s PS#7]

What a beautiful story in this section as Hannah the wife of Elkanah prays in the temple,

Citation B8 reads: “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.”

Her heart’s desire fulfilled in answer to her prayer. We read in the citations from Science and Health,

“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.” (S8 | 1:10)

“Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.” (S9 | 506:18)

I grew to love that last verse from Science and Health during my sophomore year of college. I was enjoying my studies, was editor of the college newspaper and had helped found a Christian Science Organization on campus. I was also playing on a soccer team made up of Latin Americans and one “gringo,” me.

I had hopes of a great summer job as an intern at The Mother Church in Boston. A Christian Science practitioner I had given as a reference on my application called me to say she felt I was certain to get my job at the Mother Church with the reference she had given them.

During this time my best friend who was captain of the soccer team kept asking me to join him and his brother for a four-month trip to their home of Colombia. Their plans were to join an auto racing circuit in Colombia and they needed a third team member. It sounded like a great adventure but I was really counting on the job at the Mother Church.

I came home one day to find a post card in the mail from the personnel department of the Mother Church, “We are sorry to inform you that we have no position available for you this summer. Please apply again next year.” I was absolutely devastated. I went to my room in tears and my heart went out to the Father in prayer. In just a few moments I found myself suddenly completely at peace. I could almost here my friend Jairo’s voice, “Rick, come on, join us on our trip home to Colombia to race our car!” Yes. Both my parents were in the living room so I asked what they thought about that idea. I was completely amazed when they both said, “Sounds like the adventure of a lifetime.” I immediately called Jairo and told him, “I’m coming with you!” He was thrilled—and planning began. Visas, international driver’s licenses, booking on the ferry from Panama to Colombia, all the plans. But with one difference. I prayed diligently every day with the statement from Science and Health citation S9 above. I would affirm constantly that God’s law of orderly unfoldment was operating. There were significant changes that unfolded. Our trip was shortened from four months to six weeks because one of the brothers had to go to summer school. But with every change I would affirm that God’s law of orderly unfoldment was operating. Then two weeks before departure the Mother Church called with a job offer for the summer. What!!!!!! Now I had to decide, Boston or Colombia. It seemed very unfair. Especially when I had been praying so.

The Mother Church representative was going on and on. And I had no interest in listening. How could God do this when I had prayed so sincerely? Suddenly almost like out of a dream I heard the rep from the Mother Church say, “And you will need to be here Monday, June 17.” I could hardly breathe. When I asked? Monday, June 17? You see I already had a plane ticket to fly into Tampa, Florida on Friday, June 14! I was coming home to be my brother, Scott’s, best man on Saturday. I accepted the job offer immediately. The divine precision of God’s Love allowed me to—as we might say— have my cake and eat it too. Colombia adventure filled with healing, my brother’s wedding, and flying into Boston at 4am Sunday, June 16 in time for my first church service in the Mother Church and on to the dream job on Monday, June 17. Only God and prayer could do that.

Section 4: Prayer includes kicking sin out of the equation!

But is there a place in prayer for pride, self-righteousness, arrogance, and superiority, no, not really. Remember Jesus’ parable of the self-righteous Pharisee who arrogantly looked down on a humble hearted Publican? Pharisees regarded themselves as the most righteous of citizens. And publicans? Well, they were tax collectors for the Roman authorities and viewed with disdain.

The Message translation has this version,

The Story of the Tax Man and the Pharisee

“He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’

13 “Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”

14 “Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” (B10: Luke 18)

Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health, “Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.” (S14 | 15:26–30)

The constant prayers of self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are guarantees for effective prayers. Think about and cherish some of the other wonderful qualities of thought that you can embrace that strengthen the power of our prayers.

Section 5: It is indeed time to “watch and pray”. [See W’s PS#8, #9a, #9b]

As I think about our beloved Master, Christ Jesus struggling in agony in Gethsemane I often ask myself, What if the disciples had stayed awake? Eugene Peterson in the Message translation gives his account as follows:

“Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

39 “Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”

40-41 “When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

42 “He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”

43-44 “When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time.

45-46 “When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.” (B12 I Matthew 26)

We have the opportunity to serve the Master right now. In a night of prayer when one of God’s little one’s is in pain or agony, we have the chance to strive with error and embrace the Christ, Truth.

“When the human element in him struggled with the divine, our great Teacher said: “Not my will, but Thine, be done!” — that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me. This is the new understanding of spiritual Love. It gives all for Christ, or Truth. It blesses its enemies, heals the sick, casts out error, raises the dead from trespasses and sins, and preaches the gospel to the poor, the meek in heart.” (S17 | 33:18, 31–2)

I have found it an inspiration and encouragement to know that we can in this day and time support the Christ, stand with the Master, join him in watching and praying. Stay on the battlefield until error flees and the Christ stands triumphant. We are not alone in our stand, the promised Comforter, is here just as Jesus promised, the spirit of Truth leading into all Truth.

What do Christian Scientists agree to do when they join the church? It is one of our favorite before meal blessings at CedarS Camps.

“And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.” (S19 | 497:24)

Section 6: Be consist, constant, reliable, steadfast, unchanging, unwavering. [W’s PS#10]

I have always found that with children one of the most important things is consistency. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Children learn to count on those who are actually there for them. What we are learning to do is reflect the same consistency and constancy that God shares with us. These words give a clear picture of God’s relationship with His creation. They also indicate His relationship to you and me. And give us an indication of what is desired of us.

“we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (B13 | Acts 6:4 we)

“Consistent prayer is the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.” (S21 | 9:32–4)

As the Apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:58, King James Version)

“With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Corinthians 15: 58, The Message)

Section 7: What makes things work? [See W’s PS#11]

Many of us have learned that living with the teachings of Jesus, living with the Christ, Truth makes all things work. And we have also learned that depression, sorrow, grief, darkness of thought leads us astray. We find ourselves in a dark area with little of the Light of Christ. Like the night after the disciples thought they had lost their Master in the crucifixion. They were sorrowful and ready to return to old ways. Let’s go fishing. But their night fishing trip was fruitless. Unsuccessful. That is until…

“After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a-fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.” { B15 | John 21:1–6, 9, 12)

When the disciples discovered their Master was at hand, had not left them alone, was indeed triumphant—their lives regained the harmony of the Christ. Harmony is a law that governs the universe. Knowing this fact allows you to venture forth with confidence even in new endeavors.
Put God first and good results follows. Church and Sunday School go first on Sundays. Now that does not mean just certain churches. Putting God first makes things work. Work, family, vacation, even fishing!

Here is an example:

For several years I lived in a log cabin on a very large ranch about 20 miles from Ocala, Florida. A beautiful aspect of this ranch, named 7 Springs Ranch, were the 13 artesian springs that formed a crystal clear river called Gum Slough. One weekend my brother, Gary, my dad, and a family friend, H.B. Howell, were staying with me. We had a fishing trip planned for early Saturday morning. But we decided to read through the Christian Science Bible Lesson before heading out with the canoes. This was a first for H.B. We all enjoyed taking turns to read out loud. No big deal, just putting God first before all things.

My dad and I were in one canoe. Gary and H.B. were in another canoe. We all had a wonderful day of fishing and enjoying the wilderness that surrounded the river. We met up back at my cabin in the late afternoon. I will never forget the enthusiasm of our friend, H.B. “Man that is the way to start every fishing trip, with God!”

He and Gary had caught 26 bass and had the time of their lives. After they cleaned all the fish we had a big fish fry. Just like the disciples we found that listening to the Master and casting on the right side, the side of the Christ, results in fruitful, harmonious activity. Put God first and reap the benefits.

My dad and I had thrown all our fish back. But with Gary and H.B.’s fish there were more than enough for all. And then a very interesting event occurred. Gary and H.B. cleaned their fish on the shore of a little lake or pond right by my cabin. After fileting the fish they threw the remains into the lake for a little alligator that lived there. Now some of these fish carcasses contained milt and roe. And the eventual result was that this mixing resulted in a great birth of baby bass. A lake that was completely devoid of fish previously was in a few months filled with bass. They fed on thousands of tadpoles that were in the lake. And created a wonderful fishing lake.

Section 8: Watch, work, and pray, practical communion for today.

The last section finishes our prayer them with citation B18: “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;” (James 5:13-15)

And, “Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind.” (S26 | 1:6)

“Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.” (S27 | 326:20–21)

“Our Eucharist is spiritual communion with the one God.” (S28 | 35:25–26)

Let prayer be your practical way to a day filled with God. Be willing, ready, and expectant of the Christ filling your every activity with Light. You will find yourself placed exactly where God would have you be when He would have you be there.

After returning to Florida from a year-long lecture tour in South America, I was receiving lots of practice calls from Brazil. In an effort to communicate more clearly I decided to take an intensive, five-day-a-week Portuguese class at my Alma Mater, the University of Florida. I really prayed about taking that class. And one day I was feeling that perhaps that it had been a mistake. It was taking a lot of my time and I was wondering if I should withdraw from the class.

I was enjoying the class, but I did not want to negatively affect my practice. So I prayed, Father let me know if this is my place. That afternoon after class I was walking with a girl named, Carrie, and guy named, Joe. We were talking as we walked. Carrie talked about living in north Alabama as a small girl. She would go to Summerville, Georgia for her ballet classes. When she said that I asked if she ever saw an insurance office on Summerville’s main street with the name Bob Guffin on the window. Carrie then said, “Sure that was the office of the husband from my mom’s Christian Science teacher.”

(Still get’s to me to this day). I said with my voice trembling, “Carrie, that was the office of the husband of my Christian Science teacher.”

“Oh my God, I can’t believe it. I was just talking to my mom last night and told her, “Mom I really feel like I need to talk to a Christian Science practitioner.”

I said, “Carrie, I am a Christian Science practitioner.”

It is one of those experiences that I think of when I might be doubting, Am I really listening? Prayer, watching, working, listening. I guarantee if you do you will find yourself one with your Master, one with the Christ, and there is no celebration of communion more practical and real than the demonstration of divine Presence in your daily life.

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CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at

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