For centuries, humanity has been taught that Prayer is one of those “hit or miss” scenarios, something which we say to one another to reassure us of the presence of God and at times a last resort offered to the dying. But few people expect it to do anything except maybe a few well meaning evangelicals.
These days it is not something en vogue – I have seen people looking angry at the mention of the word Prayer and the word itself brings up pictures of religion which none of us wants to face. Cold dark institutions and people who claimed to have the last word on God usually through a stern morality. In short, punishment and Prayer seem to be two sides of the same coin for most.
Some people have managed to find ways to talk about it in a non offensive way “I will send energy your way” or even “I will send positive thoughts”. Usually well meaning but without any real conviction although these positive thoughts are undoubtedly acting better and reaching a higher place than the cold hand of supposed ecclesiastical authority.
I think a good place to begin with Prayer is to realize that the word itself is loaded with unreal expectations of mortal hopes and dreams and is frankly offensive to many. It is yet again proof that “God has left the building” and we need to find new ways of talking about spiritual things with a new language and a new view of what it actually is: without the man on throne idea but as a scientific rule.
If we define Prayer as “re-framing a situation” into a loving one, its not so hard to work with. The word itself has been kidnapped and used to force us to pray to a Godhead who may or may not heal us. But yet, if we re-frame that, into “a desire for good things for you in your life” – then it can´t offend many especially if accompanied by a science.
The problem with religion these days is not the idea of God´s presence or indeed the world because both of these things can be redefined by metaphysical science, the problem is the language we use to discuss it and work with it. For most people Science means evolution and Christianity means religion. This blog has been set up in a such a way to show the history of the Christian Science movement but we all must acknowledge that the material side of this movement, the outward building, people and thinking are vanishing along with its precepts. The CS Church is set to become a museum along with many other protestant Churches which are selling their property to build hotels. The CS Church sold part of its land to a hotel in recent years and contractually insisted that the hotel would not allow pornography or pharmaceuticals – which is the spiritual equivalent of a dying animal taking a last bite in a rage to save itself from death by its predator.
Mecca in Arabia is no different with skyscraper hotels towering above the Prayer complex. Then we have the sale of relics of saints on Ebay – bones and bits of corpses used in veneration within Catholicism. Lets face it, Religion is dying no matter what bit of it we label ourselves with. It is no wonder then that we don´t want these people anywhere near us, let alone “pray” for us.
The founder of Christian Science Mary Baker Eddy wanted a reformation of the Churches of her day, she never wanted her own Church – she met with many clergymen for discussion but was scorned. She made a statement that Christian Science, within 100 years “will take them (the Churches) one by one” – she wasn´t far wrong there, but her words were perhaps interpreted by some as meaning that the CS movement would grow stronger. When in reality what she meant was that the understanding of God as a non corporeal Godhead would appear. Many Churches now have reshaped themselves to avoid the kitsch 19th century Godhead idea in favour of a more meditative experience. Yoga, Tai chi and simply meditation and affirmation is in vogue now and often used as an accompaniment to religious ideas and often replacing them in Church buildings.
Mrs Eddy´s prophecy of “within 100 years” did not quite make the mark though and it looks like even the word Christianity or Prayer will need to be sacrificed on the altar of Love before a “new thought” will arise from its ashes likely as a natural process of healing, a metaphysical science. not as a religious idea.
We should not be sad when Churches before our eyes vanish or do not re-open. For God was never in them they were simply manifestations of a presence among us, of Love which can never be lost. God was “practiced” by loving acts in CS Churches. But the language of how to talk about these things without Churches or Bibles will certainly be mourned. Prayer on the other hand will become as natural to us as eating – already many of us know how our thoughts can hurt others whether silenced or voiced and what label we put on that remains to be seen especially when it is known that affirmative thoughts within a rule of science can heal.
The word Prayer then like most other religious ideas is likely to vanish. Yet we will still be sending Loving thoughts and these will be the ones which will heal and bring about a new earth. We are not losing anything, in fact we will be left with something pure. But this will no longer be through an agent of stone or stained glass and many of us including myself will miss the decor but not the stand up fights at member or clergy meetings.