Absolute Faith vs Blind Belief

Absolute Faith vs Blind Belief

Models used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Donna Clifton

I vividly remember the first time someone made a disparaging remark to me about the power of prayer to heal. Having been raised as a Christian Scientist, I was used to turning to God in prayer whenever a healing was needed. I took it for granted that my prayers—and those of my parents—would always be effective. As a child, long before I understood much about God’s law that governs us all, I simply trusted that because God is all-good, all powerful, and all-loving, healing would always result from my prayers.

So I was taken by surprise that day when someone I scarcely knew made a sarcastic comment to me about praying for healing. I was a freshman in college and had been planning to go somewhere with a group of friends but at the last minute declined because of a severe headache. A friend in the group who knew I was a Christian Scientist informed the others that I wouldn’t be going with them because I need to stay behind to pray for a healing.

Immediately one of the young men in the group that I had just met spoke up and said, “Well, pray hard!” in a very sarcastic voice. Several of the others laughed at his remark. I didn’t reply, not knowing what to say just then. But I did get healed through prayer that day, just as I had many times before.

Why is it so difficult for some to believe that prayer heals? I think it’s because 1) they don’t know what prayer is, 2) they have been taught that healing results from medical treatment, and 3) they don’t understand that “God is a very present help in trouble” as the Bible states (Psalms 46:1). Christian Scientists have learned that they can certainly trust God, not only with physical problems, but also with any problems that need healing – relationships, employment, bad habits, etc. We also know that it isn’t blind belief that heals. Neither is it repetition of words nor any “magic” phrases that bring healing.

In her book, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy describes prayer as an “absolute faith that all things are possible to God, —a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.” (S&H 1:2) She distinguishes between absolute faith that is based on an understanding of God’s power to heal and “mere belief” (or blind belief) which denotes no understanding and is not a reliable means of healing.

As a young child, I could put my faith in God through simple trust in His goodness and omnipotence. But as I grew older, I realized that I needed a deeper understanding of God’s healing power. And as I gain this understanding day by day, I continue to have healings. Once after a long cross-country flight, I again faced a debilitating headache that prevented me from even sitting up or eating anything. I asked my sister to read to me from Science & Health, and while I listened, I acquired a better understanding of how God’s law governs me and everyone, and that my health is not precarious.

Suddenly the headache was gone, and I felt strong and completely well. The healing was so instantaneous that it was as if a light switch had been flicked on and light flooded the room, vanquishing the darkness. I realized that listening for messages of healing and accepting them was a form of prayer, and that was what healed me.

This kind of prayer is based on the spiritual understanding of God’s healing power and of our true spiritual nature. And this understanding leads to healing.

Now that I’m wiser about how prayer heals, if I were to meet up with the same guy whose sarcasm had disconcerted me that day in college, I would reassure him that prayer really does heal, and that I am a living testament to that fact. Spiritual healing is the proof of God’s healing power.

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.


  1. says

    How clear and distinct is this message. And thousands of us could testity from our own experience that scientific prayer – based on a clear recognition of God’s WILLINGNESS and POWER to eradicate discord of any kind – does heal surely and consistently.

  2. Rhonda says

    Yes, I can attest, prayer does heal! Through studying the Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, I have learned how to pray and get healing results. I have found that healing isn’t hap-hazard but is consistent, resulting from effective prayer. It is also useful in so many areas of my life…business, personal relationships, health, finances, and everyday challenges. I highly recommend it.! (=

  3. Pamela says

    Thanks Donna, for that blog. I agree prayer certainly does heal but I think the reason some people don’t believe in prayer that heals is that they have never experienced it. Some people only believe what they can see and feel physically. Like the doubting Thomas who said he would not believe that Jesus was risen until he saw him persoanlly. When Jesus came into the room he told Thomas to put forth his hand and touch him. Jesus told Thomas that because he had seen Jesus he believed, but then Jesus said, “…blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:27)

    I like the saying, “If you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.” That kind of says it all for me. And for those of you who read these comments, Listen up! PRAYER DOES HEAL, and I’ve had many healings to prove it.

  4. says

    Thank you Donna. I had much the same experience growing up. Many healings resulted from the provable truths of Christian Science. When I was old enough to call a Christian Science Practitioner by myself, I was frequently healed by the time I hung up the phone. A science can be proven by anyone, and much like the science of mathematics, this Science is always available for anyone needing help!

  5. Tracy says

    Wonderful article! I made my goal for 2012 to get over my shyness about telling people that I pray for physical healings because I’m a Christian Scientist, and I think this post will help me immensely. I am never sure how to tell people when they offer up medicine if I’m not feeling well, and I’m always a little afraid that I’ll get the same snarky response if I am forthright about how I turn to God. But reading this has given me incredible confidence that I can be honest about my own methods of healing and that I don’t have to worry if someone publicly disagrees with me. Thanks for writing such a great article Donna :)

  6. Kathie says

    As I learn more about Laurance Doyle, a respected physical scientist and Christian Scientist, I so appreciate his strict adherence to Principle and to that which is true – and the provable demonstration of the understanding thereof, which is the result of scientific prayer . This is the result of enlightenment, not blind belief. And we know that Jesus was the “most scientific man who ever trod the globe.” Thanks, Donna, for standing up for primitive, healing Christianity!