“That question involves a great deal,” said Katherine, smiling. “Briefly, it is reaching out for and appropriating that which is already ours.”
“Yes, knowing that all good belongs by right to us, as God’s dear children; and acting as if we knew it, by gratefully accepting it,” Katherine explained. Then observing the puzzled look on her teacher’s face, she went on:
“Let me illustrate. You asked for your dinner. I have brought it and set it before you. All you have to do is to reach out and partake of it to satisfy your hunger. How inconsistent it would be if you should ignore these facts and keep on saying, ’Katherine, I want my dinner; please, oh, please give me some food, for I am starving.’”
“How ridiculous that sounds!” said Miss Reynolds, laughing. “I begin to comprehend what you mean and that the old way of praying is only a halfway prayer, while begging and supplicating God to keep His promises impugns His righteousness.”
“Exactly,” Katherine assented, then added: “Prayer is really twofold—asking and taking, praying and doing; knowing that God’s promises mean what they say, and confidently expecting their fulfillment.”
“Do you always have this confidence when you have difficulties to meet, Kathie? I should think it would not always be easy to ‘know,’” thoughtfully observed Miss Reynolds.
“No, it is not always easy to have perfect trust; in that case every demonstration, or answer to prayer, would be instantaneous. One needs to be patient and persistent, the same as one needs to go over a difficult mathematical problem many times before getting a correct answer, but never doubting that it will follow right effort,” Katherine explained. “Of course, there is a great deal more that might be said about the subject,” she added, “and if you will read the chapter on ‘Prayer’ in our text-book you will get a far better idea of it than I have given you.”
“I will read it this afternoon if you are not going to use your book,” Miss Reynolds replied.
“I have another copy, and you may keep this one for a while,” and Katherine flushed with pleasure at the woman’s manifest interest in her beloved Science.
“Thank you; and now”—glancing archly at the almost empty dishes before her—“don’t you think I have done ample justice to the generous repast you brought me? I only hope it won’t bring on the fever again.”
“Oh, faithless and perverse generation!” quoted Katherine, with smiling reproof. “It will not,” she added, positively; “remember your ‘God-given dominion.’”
“I will try, dear; I am very grateful to you, Kathie, and to God, for the wonderful transformation of the last few hours,” said Miss Reynolds, with starting tears. “If it were not for this feeling of weakness I believe I could dress and go down to supper to-night.”
At that instant there came a tap on the door, and on going to answer it Katherine found Mrs. Seabrook and Miss Williams, another teacher, without.