Elise Moore speaks to an audience member after
one of her talks on texting God. Photo by C.B. Hanif
By C.B. Hanif
On its surface, “Texting God: Effective Short Prayers,” might sound like the latest high-tech way of connecting with the Creator.
Instead, the March 7 workshop at the Spanish River Library in Boca Raton was a detailed primer for one and all on prayer, sprinkled with vignettes illustrating the healing power of such devotionals, however brief.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boca Raton, sponsored the hourlong program. The capacity audience of more than 150 on a Monday evening included several recognized healers from the congregation.
Guest speaker Elise Moore followed her prayerful intro with a short lesson on — what else? — how to text. She explained for the few novices in the room that, “Instead of talking, you type these teenie little keys and magically your phone delivers the message.”
Moore’s real message was well-received and much more substantive as she proceeded to examine prayer every which way. “If you really like long prayers, that’s OK,” she said.
“But we’re going to talk about how to make your short prayers more effective.”
Prayers said aloud, vs. said silently? “When you’re praying out loud, for it really to be effective, keep it humble,” she said. “God knows what you need, and as long as you’re humble about it, out-loud prayers can be very effective.” As for the silent prayers that she called “your private communion with God,” she said, “Remember that God is speaking to you, so remember to be still, and listen.”
Of some oft-used short prayers that can be effective, Moore cited three:
“Help!” — The key to the “Help!” prayer, she said, “is to establish in one’s thoughts the conviction and confidence that God is good and there to help you,” per Genesis 1:27 and 31.
“Thanks.” — Moore said: “Don’t wait until the evidence is there. Don’t wait until the situation has changed. Give gratitude to God first. Jesus did that. Jesus thanked God — and fed 4,000 people.”
“No.” — The key here, she said, “is when you know that God is all-powerful, then what you’re doing is you’re saying ‘No’ to anything else.”
Moore also made frequent references to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the book by Mary Baker Eddy. Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston in 1879, Eddy is noted for her groundbreaking ideas on spirituality and health.
Moore’s family came into Christian Science when her great-grandmother was healed of tuberculosis in Biloxi, Miss. Moore now lives in Nashville, Tenn., has been in Christian healing ministry for more than 25 years and has an international ministry (see email@example.com).
Moore made excellent use of biblical verses, interspersed with cases of remarkable, prayerful healing, to underscore her program’s premise. Some favorite short prayers exchanged during an exercise with her audience included God is love; Trust God in everything; Fear not, pray only; Peace, be still; and “There is no spot where God is not.”
Concluding her talk as she began it, Moore encouraged everyone to know “that God is with them. God is loving them. God is caring for them. There is no one beyond God’s help. God is able to lift each one up.”
Frankly, this workshop wasn’t what this technophile and regular prayer was expecting. But I’m praying for more.
C.B. Hanif is a writer and inter-religious affairs consultant. Find him at www.interfaith21.com.