Constant prayer

September 22, 2023 | 52 comments


Prayer is a healthy activity. It keeps thought inspired, buoyant, in a happy, grateful place, which allows one to feel more of God’s dominion.

Since prayer brings great benefit, it stands to reason that the more you pray, the better off you are. But how is on-going prayer possible when there are often so many other demands on our schedule?

Here’s a definition of prayer by Mary Baker Eddy that makes it possible. “Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 15). Aw, a prescription for constant prayer!

In breaking down this sentence:

Self-forgetfulness isn’t about self-neglect. It’s about putting God first. Listening to divine Mind for direction, finding one’s good in doing good, finding love in expressing divine Love, finding joy in bringing joy to others.

Purity is a clean state of thought. It’s spiritual mindedness, charity, love, morality, and spirituality.

Affection is kindness toward others. It’s thoughtfulness, patience, lending an understanding ear, acting with compassion, goodwill, and forgiveness toward neighbors.

Prayer is not words. It’s the life we live. A life lived with God is a constant prayer. And it brings healthy happy results!

52 thoughts on “Constant prayer”

  1. Thank you very much indeed, dear Evan for your clear and understandable explanation of how to pray constantly what Mrs. Eddy demands of her students, of us all! Sometimes I had the longing to pray more effectively, I asked , so as the disciples asked Jesus, please God teach me how to pray!
    thank you very dearly Evan, that you gave a wonderfully practical and doable answer! 🙂

  2. They who seek the throne of grace,
    Find that throne in every place:
    If we live a life of prayer,
    God is present everywhere.

    In our sickness, in our health,
    In our want, or in our wealth,
    If we look to God in prayer,
    God is present everywhere.

    Then, my heart, in every strait,
    To thy Father come, and wait;
    He will answer every prayer,
    God is present everywhere.
    (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 341:1–3)

    1. “If we look to God in prayer,
      God is present everywhere.”
      Thanks Maggie to remind it us!

      Prayer is not words. It’s the life we live. A life lived with God is a constant prayer. And it brings healthy happy results!
      Thank you Evan for this important approach, at the end of the day it’s not the words that make a difference.

      The jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker made a statement:
      “ if you don’t live it you can’t play it”

    2. Dear Maggie, I always loved this hymnal 341, as God, Love feels so near, everywhere with us and caring for us. Thank you for posting it!

  3. Thank you dear Evan for your explanation of prayer today.
    I particularly love the line…prayer is not words, but the life we lead..’
    This is so important as many times the first time we encounter these teachings it is thought to be an instant fix for a human problem . Then, we find that the most important results are those of studying and seeking continual revealing of our true existence , forever living the principle of divine Love. I look forward to the comments todays blog encourages. Happy prayerful weekend all❣️

  4. These words on prayer are ‘spot-on,’ Evan! They are practical, do-able, and will be so helpful to many of us in carrying on our daily lives with harmony and joy, and caring deeply for all who we encounter! Others will be blessed and we will be blessed! Constant prayer has glorious ‘ripple effects!’

  5. Thank you Evan. Thank you Maggie. Thank you all. The first statement that Prayer is a healthy activity” has lifted my thought to this idea that constant prayer takes away weariness, all sorts of oppression, and in effect brings, us peace, joy and lots of blessings.

  6. Habits of thought and spiritual perception produce profound results. MBE defines Believing as: “BELIEVING. Firmness and constancy; not a faltering nor a blind faith, but the perception of spiritual Truth.” (p. 582) Elevating thought above the human experience, seeing wherever possible the ideas and characteristics, the qualities comprising what seems to be material existence, is daily prayer. A tree does not contain Spirit, but it and all “nature” reflect the ideas comprising its true being, permanent and eternal, like numbers or notes. The spiritual universe, governed by Principle, imbued with Love, is our present home, and we can see it and express it and experience it all day. To me, this constitutes constant prayer. Evan’s quote from page 15 is all about love for Life, spiritually discerned.

    1. Thank you William!“A tree does not contain Spirit, but it and all “nature” reflect the ideas comprising its true being, “

    2. William E thank you for your comment. Could you expand on the practice of moving from seeing things as “things” to reflecting or seeing them as ideas? If that seems appropriate. I’d appreciate it.

      1. Dear Aggie…I will have a go at an explanation for you as I understand it .
        An idea is not physical or tangible . It cannot die or decay.
        Therefor e our fundamental understanding of moving from this perspective of idea to a spiritual stance comes as we study and further our faith .
        Ie. You can write the number 8 on a piece of paper , then burn the paper….but do you destroy the number 8? No.
        Another example is that you can look at your pet dog laying by your feet . You love his companionship, his love and obedience. But if anything happens to your pet this love cannot end as it remains with you constantly as it is his individual perpetual spiritual being.
        I’m sure there will be others here who could explain it more effectively for you. I just hope this helps shed a little light.Bx

          1. Such a great article! Love the practical applications she shares. This will be very helpful. Thank you.

          2. Wow dear “J”, that is a great article. I just needed these practical Truths Deborah is explaining so clear. Thanks very much for this very helpful and healing article!♡

        1. That’s a great question, dear Aggie. And to elaborate
          on your very good explanation, Barbara, and for the
          wonderful arrticle, J , … Thank you, both.
          … How I understand it. I think a “thing” is like seeing church
          or home as a physical structure, but True church or home
          is not an actual “place” -it is an idea, a thought, a “feeling”
          of Love, a presence of God’s Being … which is always with
          us wherever we are or go…somewhat like a turtle in its shell.
          But its “thoughts” protect and shelter us Spiritually where
          we find refuge anywhere, not depending on actually being
          within a particular physical structure, although mortally
          that is important to be comfortable.
          I believe it is like Jesus stated, “all that I have is thine.” He
          didn’t mean his clothing or other worldly possessions he
          might have had were for the entire multitude, although he
          gave to a select “few”, probably what he “physically” had if
          there was a need. He told us to “go and do likewise”. I am
          so pleased to share what I have, even as modest as it is,
          like with the flowers that I share with neighbors passing
          by and with those whose images I love to share, also,
          which capture these awesome beauties into eternity.
          If there is a need, my heart is here. The comfort I am
          blessed with is a welcoming presence of God’s Truth.
          The Christ “Idea” … was with Jesus, just as it is with us…
          as a timeless, beautiful presence – now and forever.
          This is m y”take” … anyway.

          1. Thanks Carol gor the turtle representation!
            Like you said the physical place is not the most important but open and turning our radar/ radio to God, Spirit , that what’s that make a difference.

      2. Thank you all for your wonderful and helpful comments. I will sit with them, marinate in them as someone once said. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to find this avenue of communicating! Blessings to you all and to Evan for making this available.

        1. Aggie thanks for your good question about how to see “material” things in their true nature as spiritual ideas and qualities of God. Many great comments have been shared. Also, glad to have you here on SV, you are right that it is a wonderful uplifting place.

          Mrs. Eddy says, “Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul.” (Science And Health p. 269). I once heard a CS lecturer say that he went around practicing this concept by looking for example at a tree and reminding himself that it is an idea of a tree, or seeing a house and reminding himself that it is an idea of a house. Meaning that tree is really solely an idea of God, made up of qualities such as vitality, life, continuity, beauty, peace, protection etc. and house is only an idea that is an expression of safety, warmth, comfort, love, etc.

          I’m glad that our conversations on SV continue over the weekend and when the post from Evan seems to be delayed. We have what we need when we need it. Love to all.

          1. Thank you dear Rose for this lovely and true comment of you to Aggie!
            I do agree totall with you in everything you mention in your comment, and also specially with your last sentence! Much Love!

          2. I love the Truths you share(d), Rose. So very factual
            and clearly and dearly expressed. Lovely! And I, too,
            am so grateful for the weekend comments that I find
            so nourishing and nurturing while we await Evan’s
            next wonderful teaching of Love he so generously
            gives to us. …
            And Pp, thank you for your so true comment… and
            turtles certainly are unique. I think another one of
            God’s beautiful sense-of-humor creations, like
            giraffes, kangaroos, zebras, etc… I see them as
            caricatures of His smiles.

          3. Today I went outside and practiced some of what you shared Rose. I stood under our Japanese maple and let ideas, qualities of God that it presented to me. Resilient. Patient. Rooted. Sturdy. Dependable. Generous. So many more. I think this is what you all having been talking about. Am I right? Thanks again for the helpful words.

  7. Thank you! This just what I needed to hear. In Matthew 6:5-6, we are reminded to ‘pray in secret’. I feel like this is exactly what Jesus meant by secret. Live your prayer, not flaunt it.

  8. Thank you so much for this inspiration, Evan and Everyone.
    As I sit alone, worrying about the fortune this water pump/power situation
    is costing (-they are coming Mon. again to hopefully resolve the issue, but
    not being able to use water freely), after working so hard, but having had
    so many seeming struggles through life, wishing I were able to relax and
    not have any worries…
    I look at this photo of perrfect joy, feel the Love expressed here, look at the
    peacefulness and love of the dogs together, (who are so sensitive, so have
    to try to hide any feelings of angst, lest they get upset) …
    I look out at the beautiful scenery, the fields, the mountains, … the sun is
    shining, the flowers so pretty that God has shared, the birds are at the feeder
    and I have SO much to be grateful for!
    This feeling of constant prayer is beautifully comforting, like a warm blanket
    on a chilly evening, with God-given affection and peace. Like on that lovely
    Christmas morn, Christ is here, walking with our each and every footstep,
    sitting by our side, through the trials … into the harmony of nature’s dance…
    into peaceful moments … that now bring to thought Mrs. Eddy’s sweet poem
    and hymn #161, Satisfied:
    “It matters not what be thy lot, so Love doth guide;
    For storm or shine, pure peace is thine, what e’er be tide…
    The centuries break, the earthbound wake, God’s glorified!
    Who doth His will – His likeness still – Is satisfied.”
    All of these wonderful spiritual thoughts are bringing peace. Thank you all
    so very much!!

    1. Hi Carol, I enjoyed reading your comments very much because they show how you are turning away from error thoughts that would want to put you in a worried state, and toward all the goodness and love and beauty that constitute your true being. That is bringing you Peace, the kind we can never really lose, but only seem to lose, because God is that constant Peace that underlies everything.

      1. Thank you so much, dear Rose, for your very kind thoughts. Sometimes it
        Seems that we are almost like under a spell with mortal’s way of thinking
        and it is so good when we can snap out of it, which, like you said, we
        really never were in, but sometimes it sure feels like we are. All of the
        wonderful thoughts shared here are of immeasurable help of comfort
        and Truth.

    2. Each number in the bill for the water pump rests on infinity. It is a symbol of God’s already in place infinite provision for you. That idea was in a Journal article by Barbara Cook Spencer about money that has helped me rise above feeling depleted as I spent money on necessary items. Also helped with being fearful of low bank balances or a false feeling of security at what I considered a comfortable amount in the bank.

      Once (before I read the article!) I was in despair on my front porch. We were down to our last $20 and no money coming in for quite a few days. I was planning on spending $16 on kitty litter and $4 on gas and hoping I could stretch our food supply. Then some former co-workers of my husband called and wanted to get together for lunch while in town. He said no at first because of finances. But I knew there had been much kindness and brotherly love shown by this group so I talked my husband into going. He said the lunch would be around $15 and he would put the rest into gas for the car. So I prayed on the porch about the much needed kitty litter. I said, “God, I prayed about taking the cats and you said to take them. You’re the one who led them to us and I know somehow you will take care of them.” Just then the mail truck came by. There was a card from a grateful client who knew I loved cats. Enclosed was a gift card for $25 to the pet store where I bought the kitty litter! The best part was feeling so loved by God and comforted in the idea of being able to trust His constant care. This lesson, held close to my heart, has helped with much bigger financial needs and decisions which have gone forward without fear and turned out harmoniously.

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Kay. It is lovely how things worked
        out for you both.
        The pump and installation, gratefully I have already paid for. I am
        praying it continues to keep working. They think the short in the
        wire may have burned out the original one. It is the electrical work
        that remains with the generator people, and she was quoting the
        emergency visit additional cost, of time already spent and
        forthcoming hourly rates, which really add up.
        With the way of the economy these days, (here, now $4 worth of
        gas is only one gallon), it is all concerning, but you are right, supply
        for this and other, way more deeper concerns are in God’s control
        with His unlimited supply of Good. I am glad things worked out
        for you and your husband harmoniously. You are both blesed.

  9. Dear Carol, These verses from the Bible came to me as I read you email – with its beautiful
    descriptions of the scenery you have to enjoy:

    Rest assured that He in whom dwelleth all life, health, and holiness, will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.
    (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 186:13)

    1. Thank you dear Maggie, for this very lovely sharing from Miscellany. It is so heartwarming
      and supportive in it’s message of supply. Beautiful… and I thank you for sharing. Yes, the
      scenery is awesome and is always changing and so picturesque. The description pretty
      much writes itself. : )

  10. “The Living Prayer of Affirmation” by Robert L. Gates:

    From the article posted yesterday (a conversation with Evan & Jeffrey Hildner), I liked Evan’s comment below, which made me think of affection toward others:
    “To “leave all for Christ” you have to drop any limited material viewpoint that denies the presence of spiritual perfection here and now. To see your neighbors as the perfect children of God, you have to let go of the physical view of them, of the belief that they are mortal and prone to imperfection. You have to drop any disease-belief that appears attached to them. You have to forsake all fears and doubts that deny they are the perfect children of God.”

    Thank you Evan. Wonderful comments and hymns, and a happy weekend to all. 🙂

  11. Thank you “J” for giving Evan’s healing, blessing thoughts of your yesterday’s link to Evans talk with Jeff Hildner. These thoughts sre wonderful and I love them, too. As you said yesterday, the whole talk is so humbling, and I also say phascinating!

    For today I found the lovely hymn 284:

    Prayer is the heart’s sincere desire,
    Uttered or und pressed;
    The motion of a hidden fire
    That trembles in the breast.

    Prayer is the simplest form of speech
    That infant lips can try;
    And prayer’s sublimest strain doth reach
    The Majesty on high.

    Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
    The Christian’s native air:
    His watchword, overcoming death;
    He enters heaven with prayer. ♡

    And thank you all for your inspired comments. ♡

  12. Thank you J for sharing that link to a very inspiring and thoughtful
    article. And, thanks to all for your comments.

  13. I came across a SV in the archives from back in 2018 with a topic similar to today’s. One commenter that day (Sue Rae) said, “…Jack Hubbell, CSB, whom many know as one of the finest of our CS practitioners and teachers, (now gone to other pastures), said in one lecture: ‘Knowing the truth is 10% of CS. Living it is the other 90%.’ He sure lived it!”

    SV Aug. 30, 2018

    I think praying without ceasing is an attitude of God consciousness, of trying (the best we can) to remember that God is ever-present and walking along with us moment by moment. So good to hear all these thoughts today, and thanks J for yesterday’s conversation with Evan and the article today. Blessed weekend to everyone!

    1. Thanks Rose for the archived sharing of the SV from 2018. It really complements today’s topic. Your comment, “I think praying without ceasing is an attitude of God consciousness, of trying (the best we can) to remember that God is ever-present and walking along with us moment by moment” is a keeper – love that thought!

    2. Wow, yes, thank you very much Rose, that you give us the reminder of Evan`s SpiritView from 30th August 2018. That is so very good explained by Evan!
      Am I happy for this wonderful SpiritView forum!!! 🙂

  14. Such beautifully enlightening thoughts and encouragement here,
    energizing Soul, where harmony blends into inspiration that is
    like faith we have in a grain of mustard seed, prayer that oversees
    our gentle leanings towards all that is Good. Rsending reassuring
    animations and pictures of pure loveliness where mossy banks
    supply us with refreshments of the heart, where our spirits rise
    above the doldrums of the mundane, where watch dogs help
    protect our thinking and reflective thoughts help to raise and heal…
    Thank you so much for all of the spiritual awakening comments and
    articles that are so very much appreciated. Such a blessing to be here!

  15. This ties in with the previous topic of seeking real wealth and constant
    I am hoping the electrical work will be completed this afternoon, as it
    is very rainy and windy here today. I have found that I have always had
    “just enough” to pay the bills as I trust in God’s supply for everything Good.
    I remember one year and having a sense of experiencing God’s supply…
    I had bought a little bag of those foil-covered candy coins to put in a gift
    for my vet (whom I had gotten to know pretty well and he was always so
    kind, being I had to take my rescue house bunny, at the time, to them, every
    three weeks to have his teeth clipped for 11 1/2 years, so he could chew).
    Somehow when it came time to wrap the gift, I couldn’t find the coins that I
    had purchased a while ahead of time. I knew that nothing is lost in God’s
    kingdom, but couldn’t imagine where they had gone. After prayers of knowing
    supply, which I was also needing at the time, I was led to look in my boot that
    was under the shelf, that I hadn’t used for a while and there were the coins!
    It made me laugh that supply is always ours even if sometimes it does not
    seem to be.
    Sometimes the Truth of our being Seems hidden from view, but God’s power
    and Love are always with us, illuminating our way and giving us strength to
    carry on.

    1. Dear Carol, thanks that you let us participate in your successive events.
      Yess, God is always with us , helping us in everything we need. If we put God first, we will have all we need as God knows what we have need of. Our Father-Mother God loves us all very much!!!♡

      1. Thank you for your caring, Uta. So appreciated and also for your
        comforting words of encouragement… I hope I don’t monopolize
        here too much or am too rrambling. Thankfully the gentleman
        was very pleasant despite the puddle in the basement he had to
        maneuver around to do what he had to do with the wires. I
        offered him a rowboat. LOL There was another 3 inches of rain
        last night and throughout the day… Next item up is trying to again
        figure out where the rain is coming in, but am grateful it isn’t
        coming in more, with all the rain we’ve been having. The bill was
        about what I had expected, is paid and I trust all is well now. So
        am very glad it is completed and am ever so grateful they found
        that wire when the did.
        You are so right, Uta, our Father-Mother God Does love us all
        very much!!! <3 (Sorry, don't have the technological heart on
        my computer that works here to echo yours).

        1. Carol, to give some comfort I tell you my story. The frontwall of my semidetached house let water come into my cellar when we had very strong rain. My cousin who is a plumber came and set the fundamentwall free from the outside and painted it three times with pitch and put a styropor wall against it. Now I thought it is safe against the rain. But it was not yet safe enough. My cousin came again and painted more pitch on another place and after that it is safe now and the rain isn’t anymore coming in.
          I did not specially pray for it , but I knew I was protected as each morning I study the weekly lesson sermon. That is always a blessing for a good start into the day and
          God is working with us. I am very grateful to learn more and more in Christian Science!

          1. Oh, Thank you so much for those helpful thoughts
            and ideas, Uta. I need to take another look, as I
            concrete-caulked filled some gaps but apparently
            there are other spaces that need to be done. I do
            happen to have some leftover styrofoam when
            they redid the roof and had not thought of that idea,
            and that might work along the foundation if I find
            that is where the seepage is, so Thank you!
            It is a lot like mortal mind…that tries to seep in to
            One gets all kinds of wonderful helpful ideas here,
            both practical and spiritual. Thank you, again, Uta!

  16. Thank you, ALL, for your contributions.
    I also enjoyed this, which is from the 1925 Christian Science Monitor that was shared in the archived SV that Rose mentioned.


    A number of ministers were assembled for the discussion of difficult questions. Among others, it was asked how the command to ‘Pray Without Ceasing’ could be compiled with, and one of the number was appointed to write an essay to be read at the next meeting.

    This being overheard by a maidservant, she exclaimed, ‘What!’ A whole month waiting to tell the meaning of the text. It is one of the easiest and best in the Bible!’

    ‘Well, well,’ said the old minister. ‘What can you say about it, Mary? How do you understand it? Can you pray all the time when you have so many things to do?’

    ‘Why, yes, sir,’ said Mary. ‘The more things I have to do, the more I can pray.’

    ‘Let us hear how you do this,’ said the minister.

    ‘Well,’ said the girl, ‘when I open my eyes in the morning, I pray ‘Lord, open the eyes of my understanding; while I am dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with righteousness; when I have washed me, I ask for the washing of regeneration; when I begin to work, I pray that I may have strength equal to my day; when I kindle the fire, I pray that God’s work may revive in my soul; as I begin to sweep out the house, I pray that my heart may be cleansed from all its impurities; when I am preparing and partaking of the breakfast, I desire to be fed with the manna and sincere milk of the Word; as I am busy with the children, I look to God as my Father, and pray for the spirit of adoption, that I may be His child; and so on, all day everything I do furnishes me with a thought of prayer.’

    ‘Enough,’ said the old minister. ‘These things are revealed to babies and often hid from the wise and prudent. Go on, Mary, pray without ceasing.’

    Christian Science Monitor October 31, 1925

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