Prayer specialist gets too comfortable

Comfort zones can be large or small. With the arrival of “specialization,” comfort zones began shrinking noticeably. A specialist in food preparation might starve in the woods if they have no survival skills.

Specialized jobs limit opportunities. Foreign Service Specialist can work at one of over 265 posts overseas and in Washington D.C. and other parts of the United States. That’s not a lot of opportunity for 7 billion people.

Specialization is undeniably a powerful social and economic tool, but it has its drawbacks. When I started studying Christian Science and learning how to ply the tool of prayer, I began devoting more and more time to the practice. After recognizing and experiencing its powerful healing force, it occurred to me that to specialize, or focus solely on one goal, could be very debilitating. Specialization breeds helplessness, dependence, and ignorance. It can eventually undermine any sense of responsibility when we stop doing other things for ourselves.

I took back my skills. Thankfully, I had a non-male-chauvinist dad and he taught me how to operate heavy equipment, change the oil, and perform basic mechanical exercises. My mom taught me that I could learn how to cook and sew and take care of children.

Although I love praying for myself, the family, or others from the public who requested prayer, I still need to get off the prayer chair.

If a tire needed changing, I’ll change it. If a neighbor needed help putting up a wall, I’ll grab a hammer. If the bathroom needs cleaning, I’ll get the cleaner and scrub.

The human mind is a fickle agent. It thinks limitedly and remembers limitedly. Christ Jesus is referred to so often as the healer and teacher, we may forget he knew how to build a house.

Yes, dedicated prayer is useful and valuable and I won’t quite it, but it can’t take over my life, my thought, and my career. To pray all day is to shrink that comfort zone down to an incapacitating size that squeezes inspiration out.

If you feel like prayer isn’t working as fast as you’d like, re-evaluate your skills. To be able to pray a long time, and for many people, may have weakened the effect of your prayer because you stopped doing things for yourself. And, those people who you are praying for, may not be responding as quickly because they are so busy cooking for you, feeding you, and cleaning up after you.

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