A guest post written by Graham Bothwell from La Cañada Flintridge, California
We live in a world where we face an onslaught of observations and conclusions based on scientific and engineering research. It’s easy to be convinced that life is entirely organic and physical; that our health is governed primarily by physiological and environmental conditions; that prayer is of little or no value in most circumstances — or perhaps prayer might be appealed to as a last resort.
On the other hand, numerous people have discovered that prayer is a good day-by-day tool for maintaining health. Each one of us has a purely spiritual side, which truly governs us; we can think of prayer as aligning our thought with what is spiritually true about ourselves.
For example, it’s generally accepted that contagious illnesses spread between people when the relevant conditions of exposure are present. On more than one occasion I’ve avoided such situations effectively. What comes to mind is a number of instances in my place of work where multiple staff members were absent because of a widespread illness, and people were speculating about who might get it next.
I started to feel the symptoms myself, but quickly recognized what was happening, and turned my thought firmly to understand that divine Life, or God, the infinite good that knows nothing unlike Himself, is the Creator of my life. With this realization, the symptoms dissolved, and I was able to continue with my work, unafraid and safe, interacting normally with others in the office.
In those instances, what I experienced was unlikely to be mere positive thinking; it certainly wasn’t just the immune system doing its job; and I doubt that one can reliably say things would have happened in that manner anyway, — multiple experiences of this kind indicate a pattern of specific response to prayer.
The late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century pioneer of spiritual healing, Mary Baker Eddy, was pointed in her conclusion about the mental causation of physical effects. When asked by the New York Herald about her approach to contagion, her response was, “If I harbored that idea about a disease, I should think myself in danger of catching it.” She held an unambiguous, spiritual viewpoint associated with her extensive work in curing many forms of illness.
It’s encouraging today to see so many people convinced that their health is not necessarily dependent upon physiological explanations and treatments, and that there are other approaches available to provide a sound basis for stable, healthy, life experiences.