Concord ExpressA Christian Science Study Resource
7:1 The only civil sentence which he had for error was, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Still stronger evidence 3that Jesus’ reproof was pointed and pungent is found in his own words, — showing the necessity for such forcible utterance, when he cast out devils and healed 6the sick and sinning. The relinquishment of error de‐prives material sense of its false claims.
Audible prayer is impressive; it gives momentary 9solemnity and elevation to thought. But does it pro‐Audible prayingduce any lasting benefit? Looking deeply into these things, we find that “a zeal . . . 12not according to knowledge” gives occasion for reac‐tion unfavorable to spiritual growth, sober resolve, and wholesome perception of God’s requirements. The mo‐15tives for verbal prayer may embrace too much love of applause to induce or encourage Christian sentiment.
Physical sensation, not Soul, produces material ec‐18stasy and emotion. If spiritual sense always guided Emotional utterancesmen, there would grow out of ecstatic mo‐ments a higher experience and a better life 21with more devout self-abnegation and purity. A self-satisfied ventilation of fervent sentiments never makes a Christian. God is not influenced by man. The “di‐24vine ear” is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.
27 The danger from prayer is that it may lead us into temp‐tation. By it we may become involuntary hypocrites, ut‐Danger from audible prayertering desires which are not real and consoling 30ourselves in the midst of sin with the recollection that we have prayed over it or mean to ask for‐giveness at some later day. Hypocrisy is fatal to religion.
8:1 A wordy prayer may afford a quiet sense of self-justification, though it makes the sinner a hypocrite. 3We never need to despair of an honest heart; but there is little hope for those who come only spasmodi‐cally face to face with their wickedness and then seek to 6hide it. Their prayers are indexes which do not correspond with their character. They hold secret fellowship with sin, and such externals are spoken of by Jesus as “like 9unto whited sepulchres . . . full . . . of all uncleanness.”