Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we ponder the relationship between pain, suffering and prayer.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Pain, Suffering and Prayer
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The
effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James, Chapter 5, verse 16.
Brothers and sisters, the fact that we desire to be released from suffering and pray for that release is
proof that we are conscious of having a spiritual life. If this were not so, pain and suffering would
not be an object of prayer. Although prayer may not cure physical ailments, "it has contributed
enormously to the enjoyment of abundant health and to the cure of numerous mental, emotional, and
nervous ailments. And even in actual bacterial disease, prayer has many times added to the efficacy
of other remedial procedures. Prayer has turned many an irritable and complaining invalid into a
paragon of patience and made him an inspiration to all other human sufferers." So even though
prayer may not cure physical ailments, it does have some positive effects. Prayer must have the
power to change our attitude towards physical ailments as well the power to cure numerous mental,
emotional and nervous ailments that are not organically based.
Afflictions that come within the province of prayer must not be based upon a distorted value system.
When a person's value system is distorted, behaviors and attitudes are also distorted, leading to
disastrous personal relationships. As the individual attempts to actualize this value system, it causes
distortion of his emotional and psychic life. It causes disappointment. Only truth can be actualized.
There are quite a few disagreeable experiences in life, and our first reaction is to reject them. But
well-adjusted individuals learn that this is folly. We can't reject an experience that we are a part of.
We may try to do so in our minds, refusing to come to grips with a situation that requires adaptation
and adjustment, but this temporary reality is not coordinated nor reflected on the outside. Somewhere
in our early experience this error asserted itself, inviting us to attempt to reject or distort reality. But
however we came to walk on this road of maladjustment, this error will continue to play havoc until
we choose the road of truth.
True prayer reveals the truth of life. Prayer reveals the values that are eternally true, not temporal
values that are no more than scaffolding upon the way to supreme values. I emphasize true prayer
because that is the only kind of prayer that is effective in changing our value system. True prayer
seeks the truth and is willing to accept it once received. Jesus said that he is the truth, the way and
the life, and if we follow him, we will know the way of truth. False prayer seeks to actualize its own
temporal value system. Since it is not seeking truth, it does not recognize or receive it. True prayer
must maintain an attitude of submitting the human will to the divine will. True prayer reveals a
landscape where there are no losses of true values and meanings. Prayer reveals the eternal reality
of truth, beauty and goodness.
What about prayer and the organic illness that it does not cure? How is it that prayer creates a calm
and patient attitude in those who suffer from organic illness? Prayer is a spiritual technique for
exchanging our will for the will of the Father, as revealed in His Son, Jesus. Having achieved that
exchange, the human self begins to view temporal afflictions like the eternal Father who, through
his Son, Jesus, also experiences these temporal afflictions. As the human will now subjected to the
divine will views the landscape of eternal values and meanings, it sees no afflictions. It sees no
losses. It only sees an eternal landscape where the spiritual, the intellectual and the material are in
eternal harmony. While the temporal fact of affliction plagues millions of peoples, the vision of the
eternal is so comforting and inspiring, that the self is willing to calmly bear its temporal affliction,
for in the scheme of eternal living, it is hardly a footnote. We are destined for a supernal spiritual
Regardless of the suffering and pain associated with the temporal life, and as hard as it may be to
grasp, all of these things work out for the eternal good of the individual. The constant communion
with the Father, ever seeking to do his will, is sustaining and is revealing of His goodness. To seek
to do the Father's will is the secret to acquiring the moral and spiritual power necessary to maintain
that peace that passes all understanding. Yes! Organic illnesses must be borne, but these lose the
power to determine the value system and sustaining meanings of that value system, as the sense of
triumphing victory increases in the soul, and causes the soul to declare that God is good. After all,
the Father loves his children even as the earthly father loves his material children despite the
difficulties of temporal life.
This concludes today's message on understanding the relationship between, pain, suffering and
prayer. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.