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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  Prayer And Your Child's Health

PART 4: KEEPING YOUR CHILD HEALTHY

PRAYER AND YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH
Guest Article - Dr. Jer Master


Dr. Jer Master, Ex-Professor of Paediatrics at Mumbai’s Bai Jerbai Wadia Children’s Hospital, is a Christian Scientist and firmly believes that Prayer can help preserve the well being of our children and cure their ailments. In this article, she talks of how parents can turn to a Power that is greater than medicine or any human system.

For more than two decades, I worked as a practising paediatrician. At a friend’s suggestion, I started studying Christian Science, without really expecting it to change my thinking or my work in any way. As I read, I received healings myself. When confronted with children who were desperately ill, a sentence or a phrase or a concept from the book Science & Health With Key To The Scriptures would convince me of the spiritual identity of the child, cared for and protected by God.

It is normal and natural for parents to pray for the health of their children. Whatever their religion, and whether or not they are atheist, they do it instinctively. Before children are born and after, parents often find themselves turning to a higher power whenever they are concerned.

This higher power, this Supreme Being is God. God may be called by different names but the fact remains that only one God created us all. Our children are God’s gifts of love to us, which we must accept with deepest gratitude. Children are meant to be a joy to us, and they are.

Prayer is often thought of as beseeching God for His help, without there being any certainty of its outcome. But there is a way of praying scientifically, that allows us to be as sure of a right result as when we solve a mathematical problem correctly. This way is called Christian Science. It is a therapeutic system emphasising spiritual healing through prayer.

Mary Baker Eddy, an American woman, discovered it in the latter part of the 19th century. Chronically ill since her childhood, receiving no permanent relief from the systems available in her day, widowed at 23, and a single mother, she often prayed to find relief from her problems. In 1866, she was seriously injured. As was her custom, she asked for the Bible. She read an account of a healing performed by Christ Jesus, which gave her an insight that brought about a sudden recovery. Through her lifelong study of the Bible, she realised that there was a spiritual law on which Jesus’ healings were based. She was able to use that law to heal people who came to her with a variety of problems. Many children were cured of disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. She taught others to heal, and eventually wrote the book Science & Health With Key To The Scriptures, which is the textbook of Christian Science.

In most scriptures, God is referred to as Father, and has masculine qualities like strength, power, dominion and support attributed to Him. But since God is the only creator, He/She is Mother as well, with qualities such as gentleness, tenderness, selflessness, patience and kindness. 

Our children therefore have one real parent — their Father-Mother God. The role of human parents is to reflect and express the qualities of the divine parent.

In Science & Health With Key To The Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy interprets the first line of the Lord’s Prayer as given in the gospel of Matthew thus:

“Our Father which art in heaven,

Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious.. .”

The book offers many ideas with which we can pray and bring up our children well.


Love — The Greatest Keeper Of Health
Parents sometimes differ strongly on methods of child care, a situation which leads to upheaval in the home that is unsettling for the child and results in insecurity. If we think of God as both father and mother, there will be no scope for dissension. 

Parents often also worry that their children are not eating enough, or not eating the right foods, or not gaining weight according to age-appropriate milestones. While the book offers guidelines on children’s normal diets, the important thing to remember is that the chief nourishment required by a little child is large amounts of love from his parents.

Love, spelt with capital L, is a name for God. This divine love truly nourishes.

There is no formula for prayer. A sincere turning to God, acknowledging that Love is the parent of the child, makes a big difference to the child’s welfare. It brings a sense of serenity that calms parental fears. Then the focus shifts from proteins and vitamins to love, and the joy and strength it brings.


Healing Illness Through Prayer 
Can prayer have any part in the healing of a child’s illness? I am not talking here of desperate situations where everyone starts praying for divine intervention.

A young mother I know would heartily say yes, prayer does work. Her two-year-old son had a bout of diarrhoea, a condition fairly common in our country. She prayed to know that God creates all that is good; He did not create conditions that could be harmful to any of His beloved children... The mother continued her prayer by understanding that God controls everything in His universe, even her child’s health. There was no involuntary action stimulated by something injurious, because He is the only source of all action. In Science & Health, it says, “Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard and check its perpetual and harmonious action.” Mind, spelt with a capital M, is another name for God, mentioned in this book. 

As the mother prayed with these ideas, she was freed of her own fears, and became confident of God’s control, power and love for the child, present right there and then. The improvement in the child’s condition began almost immediately, and by the next day, he was his usual cheerful, active self and completely normal.


Eliminate Fear Through The Love Of God
Healings like this one are happening all over the world every day. The important thing is to let go of fear; then we can actively trust God. Fear indicates that God is forgotten, or not appreciated as an ever-present help in trouble. The antidote to fear is divine Love. We are never afraid in the presence of those whom we know love us. This love is power, the strongest power that exists; a power that is tangibly available here and now.

The fear that is felt about children is because they are considered to be small, frail, physically immature, vulnerable mortals. But that is not the way God created them or sees them. Spirit, spelt with a capital S, is also another name for God. Therefore, all that He creates is spiritual, without any physical component. Since God is Mind, what He creates is mental, in the shape of thoughts, concepts, ideas. That is what children are; they are the spiritual thoughts of God. They are held in the divine Mind, sustained by it and retained there in their inherently perfect state, from which they are never moved. They are completely safe with their Parent, God.

The awareness of these truths enables us to take wise steps to safeguard our children, while at the same time freeing us from undue anxiety. Our children’s true identity is not comprised in their body, but in the spiritual qualities inherited from God — purity, innocence, joy, liveliness, honesty and intelligence. These qualities cannot be injured or damaged in any way; no germs can get to them, no inflammation attack them. These qualities are not static, but unfold continuously, smoothly and actively. This identity is eternal, whole, beautiful and utterly lovable.


Understanding God Is Essential For Healing

People often talk of faith when considering prayer. But the prayer that works requires more than faith; it requires the understanding of God, and the expression of love. Faith is necessary, it is a first step, but it is not enough, until it is based on an understanding of God. When we get to know the nature of God, He no longer remains a mystery. We can humbly pray to Him every day, affirming His greatness and majesty, His tender love for ourselves and our family, and know that His care surrounds us at all times in all circumstances.

We can truly be grateful for all the good He has already given us, and continues to shower upon us. This gratitude is itself a powerful prayer, which enables us to see and concretely demonstrate His presence as an active influence in our lives, blessing our children.  
  




16 June, 2014

 
Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
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1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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