First Church of Christ, Scientist, La Cañada Flintridge, California
Wednesday Meeting Readings
- James 5:16 pray
pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- Job 22:21-23, 26-28
21Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.
22Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.
23If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.
... 26For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God.
27Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
28Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
- I Sam. 1:1 (to 3rd ,), 2-15, 17-20, 24-28 (to ;)
1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim–zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah,
... 2And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.
4¶ And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
5But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
6And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.
7And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
8Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
9¶ So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord.
10And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.
11And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
12And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth.
13Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
14And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
15And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.
17Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
18And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
19¶ And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.
20Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.
24¶ And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young.
25And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
26And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.
27For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
28Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord;
- I Sam. 2:21 4th And
And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.
- I Sam. 3:1-10
1And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.
8And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.
9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
- Phil. 4:1, 4-7
1Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
... 4Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Mark 11:15, 17 (to ?)
15¶ And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
... 17And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?
- Matt. 6:1, 5-8
1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
5¶ And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
- Rom. 12:2 be, 9-12
be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
... 9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy
- SH 4:27-30
- SH 1:6-7 (np)
Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from 12trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds.2
2:1 What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to make ourselves better or to benefit those who hear us, 3Right motivesto enlighten the infinite or to be heard of men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes, the desire which goes forth hungering after righteous-6ness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return unto us void.
- SH 3:25-26 (to 1st .), 27-32
If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are in-sincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pro-30nounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings.
- SH 4:3-16
What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, Efficacious petitionslove, and good deeds. To keep the com-6mandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has 9done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
12 The habitual struggle to be always good is unceas-ing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the blessings they bring, — blessings which, even if not 15acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness to be partakers of Love.
- SH 7:8-10, 14
- SH 8:14-22
If we feel the aspiration, hu-15mility, gratitude, and love which our words express, — this God accepts; and it is wise not to try to deceive ourselves or others, for “there is nothing covered that 18shall not be revealed.” Professions and audible pray-ers are like charity in one respect, — they “cover the multitude of sins.” Praying for humility with what -21ever fervency of expression does not always mean a desire for it.
- SH 9:5-11
The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these 6questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of Summit of aspirationthis asking? Do we pursue the old selfish-ness, satisfied with having prayed for some-9thing better, though we give no evidence of the sin-cerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer?
- SH 11:27
Prayer cannot change the unalterable Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual 30desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of audible expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life.
- SH 13:5
In public prayer we often go beyond our convictions, 6beyond the honest standpoint of fervent desire. If we Public exaggerationsare not secretly yearning and openly striv-ing for the accomplishment of all we ask, 9our prayers are “vain repetitions,” such as the heathen use. If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we ask; and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward 12us openly. Can the mere public expression of our de-sires increase them? Do we gain the omnipotent ear sooner by words than by thoughts? Even if prayer is 15sincere, God knows our need before we tell Him or our fellow-beings about it. If we cherish the desire hon-estly and silently and humbly, God will bless it, and 18we shall incur less risk of overwhelming our real wishes with a torrent of words.
- SH 9:17
Dost thou “love the Lord thy God with all thy 18heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”? Practical religionThis command includes much, even the sur-render of all merely material sensation, affec-21tion, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity. It involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master, 24and material sense and human will have no place.
- SH 14:31-24
3 So spake Jesus. The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but Spiritual sanctuarylets in Truth, Life, and Love. Closed to 6error, it is open to Truth, and vice versa. The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses, but He knows all things and rewards according to 9motives, not according to speech. To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, 12that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.
In order to pray aright, we must enter into the 15closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and Effectual invocationsilence the material senses. In the quiet sanctuary of earnest longings, we must 18deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We 21must “pray without ceasing.” Such prayer is an-swered, in so far as we put our desires into practice. The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and 24let our lives attest our sincerity.
Hymn 194: “No mortal sense can still or stay The flight of silent prayer”
Hymn 237: “O may we be still and seek Him”
Hymn 151: “In speechless prayer and reverence, Dear Lord, I come to Thee”