No and Yes, by Mary Baker Eddy
Books by Mary Baker Eddy

page 473


   All prayer that is desire is intercessory; but kindling
desire loses a part of its purest spirituality if the lips try to

NO 39

express it.  It is a truism that we can think more lucidly
and profoundly than we can write or speak.  The silent
intercession and unvoiced imploring is an honest and potent
prayer to heal and save.  The audible prayer may be
offered to be heard of men, though ostensibly to catch
God's ear, - after the fashion of Baal's prophets, - by
speaking loud enough to be heard; but when the heart
prays, and not the lips, no dishonesty or vanity influences
the petition.
   Prophet and apostle have glorified God in secret prayer,
and He has rewarded them openly.  Prayer can neither
change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but
it can and does change our modes and our false sense of
Life, Love, and Truth, uplifting us to Him.  Such prayer
humiliates, purifies, and quickens activity, in the direction
that is unerring.
   True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to
love, and to include all mankind in one affection.  Prayer
is the utilization of the love wherewith He loves us.  Prayer
begets an awakened desire to be and do good.  It makes
new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and
power.  It shows us more clearly than we saw before,
what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows
us what God is.  Advancing in this light, we reflect it;
and this light reveals the pure Mind-pictures, in silent
prayer, even as photography grasps the solar light to portray
the face of pleasant thought.
   What but silent prayer can meet the demand, "Pray

NO 40

without ceasing"?  The apostle James said: "Ye ask,
and receive not, because ye ask amiss, to consume it on
your lusts."  Because of vanity and self-righteousness,
mortals seek, and expect to receive, a material sense of
approval; and they expect also what is impossible, - a
material and mortal sense of spiritual and immortal
   It is sometimes wise to hide from dull and base ears the
pure pearls of awakened consciousness, lest your pearls
be trampled upon.  Words may belie desire, and pour
forth a hypocrite's prayer; but thoughts are our honest
conviction.  I have no objection to audible prayer of the
right kind; but the inaudible is more effectual.
   I instruct my students to pursue their mental ministrations
very sacredly, and never to touch the human thought
save to issues of Truth; never to trespass mentally on individual
rights; never to take away the rights, but only
the wrongs of mankind.  Otherwise they forfeit their
ability to heal in Science.  Only when sickness, sin, and
fear obstruct the harmony of Mind and body, is it right
for one mind to meddle with another mind, and control
aright the thought struggling for freedom.
   It is Truth and Love that cast out fear and heal the sick,
and mankind are better because of this.  If a change in
the religious views of the patient comes with the change to
health, our Father has done this; for the human mind
and body are made better only by divine influence.

NO 41

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