What is Watching?

“What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” — Christ Jesus (Matthew 26:40)


Table of Contents

Watch Booklets

  • True Government Watch Booklet
  • Praying and Watching to Bless All Children Booklet
  • Only Good is Contagious Watch Booklet

    • Watches: An Explanation

      Adapted from Watches, Prayers, and Arguments & Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps by Gilbert C. Carpenter

      In the home of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, those whom she called mental workers were instructed to sit quietly in their rooms and watch and pray, usually for an hour at a time. These periods she called watches, after the Master’s query, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?”

      Students came to her home (Pleasant View) to serve, but in the process received the highest, most practical training there could be. One of their sacred responsibilities was to do watches. Mrs. Eddy indicated that the success of her church and mission was largely dependent on such work. “This Cause must be carried by silent argument, just the same as you carry it physically. This is the great duty for Christians that they must do, or be accountable to God for leaving it undone.”

      Gilbert Carpenter states Pleasant View “was the only spot on earth in which every activity was used to restore spiritual thinking. A student who failed to do his tasks from the standpoint of spiritual thinking, therefore, deserved a rebuke and received it. The ultimate of the entire teaching of Christian Science is to restore to man his consciousness of divine Mind as his only Mind. Whatever was done in Mrs. Eddy’s home, apart from the divine Mind, was a wasted opportunity, a sin of omission, that God rebuked through her. The same proposition holds true in the home of every Christian Scientist who desires and seeks to pattern his home after hers.”

      Although Pleasant View was destroyed, it can be thought of as a state of consciousness – where one strives to use every activity of daily life to establish the divine Mind as his only Mind. As such, eventually every student of Christian Science must go to this Pleasant View as part of his endeavor to find Truth.

      Mrs. Eddy was helping the students in her home to attain a state of consciousness where God is recognized as supreme by giving them watches to work with. We can make our own homes a Pleasant View, and these watches will help us in this direction when we use them eagerly every day. Isn’t it exciting to know that we may learn the same lessons and receive the same blessings – if we are faithful.

      To master a language, you must first learn to read it; then you learn to talk it; and lastly you will learn to think it.

      We first learn to read Science and Health, our text book, with the eyes of belief, then with eyes of understanding; then we are ready to begin to demonstrate it and explain it to others. But Mrs. Eddy has given to us Watches, which you will find in this book, to teach us to think Christian Science continuously. This thinking is doubly important. It is not only the way of salvation, because substituting the belief in mortal mind for God’s Mind is salvation, but the Watches include also a vast benefit to the race, and the solution to the world’s problems, including healing the sick. But for us it means attaining permanent right thinking, instead of occasional right thinking, as important to the working Christian Scientist, as piano practice is to the student, determined to become a pianist. It is also like a child learning to cook. Although the main object is to learn to cook, yet the family and friends are nourished and enjoy the food the child prepares.

      Use these Watches as Mrs. Eddy instructs, and you will in a measure reap the reward that many received in Mrs. Eddy’s home. She usually asked an incoming student: “How much of Christian Science do you know?” They soon learned the answer, which was: “Only what I can demonstrate.”

      “Never off guard, always ready to demonstrate” should be the desire of every Christian Scientist; and these Watches will enable you to do just this.

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      No Formulas

      Adapted from Watches, Prayers, and Arguments by Gilbert C. Carpenter

      A formula is a superstitious belief in the efficacy of the repetition of mere words. When Mrs. Eddy found students using the repetition of mere words without the spirit, she declared that they were chattering the letter of Science like mockingbirds. She explained that the apathy, the lack of love and Christian vigor, came of seeking only the letter of Truth and stopping there, because it cost so much more to gain the spirit thereof.

      Arguments in Science are like the match one uses to light the gas in the stove. It is the gas that bakes the cake. Arguments become a formula when one tries to heal by their means as if one tried to make the cake with the match.

      In Science and Health page 454 we read “Remember that the letter and mental arguments are only human auxiliaries to aid in bringing thought into accord with the spirit of Truth and Love, which heals the sick and the sinning.” She furnished the tools of scientific thought and work, but she told her students always to go to God for the wisdom to use these tools correctly, as well as for the love to put into them the unction necessary.

      We seek God’s wisdom to direct us and God’s love to inspire us. No student should apply mere words, statements or arguments mechanically without the spirit or directing wisdom of God or else we shall break the letter and the spirit of the By-law in the manual forbidding the use of formulas: article 8 sect. 9.

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      Test of our sincerity

      Watching Point 369, from 500 Watching Points, by Gilbert Carpenter

      WATCH that you bear in mind the three tests God in His infinite wisdom puts us all through, so that you may be able to pass them with honors. The first test is the need to learn to seek God for His own sake rather than for our own, so that we may praise Him by reflecting His Mind. In this way personal and inferior motives are put down.

      The second test is the willingness to forget self and one’s own desires, in order to help others. This means to be willing to be in service twenty-four hours a day, with no vacation from God and His work.

      The third test is the necessity to bleed sweet under affliction, to love more for every hate and persecution. The sugar maple bleeds sweet sap when you gash it. The genuine Scientist can be detected by this fact, namely, that he bleeds sweet, not sour, when afflicted.

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      Mrs. Eddy’s home, a forum post by Mary Singleterry from 03/03/2013

      Adapted from Mary Baker Eddy, Her Spiritual Footsteps, by Gilbert Carpenter

      Just to emphasize the great importance Mrs. Eddy placed on watching in her own home – she and her household watched every morning from 9am – 10am; there was another afternoon Watch done in unity from 3pm- 4 pm and another done in the evening from 8 pm-9pm. During the late night hours an individual Watch time was assigned to her students each watching for an hour until dawn.

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      The Importance of Watching, a testimony

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      The January 2016 issue of “Love is the Liberator”

      Read online here

      This issue’s theme is “The Importance of Watching.”

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      Watching and Praying

      Date Audio Links
      March 13th, 2016 Click to play here or view on YouTube

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      An example from a “Watch Workshop”

      Some time ago, we had a few “Watch Workshops” where members called in early to a Unity Watch and worked together to handle different claims. Click here for the notes from one of the calls.

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      In Collectanea, Mary Baker Eddy gives the following two instructions in regard to Watching:

      “WATCH — . . . sit down and first get yourself into a consciousness of your power with God, and then take up the Outside Watch. Sit until this is clear, — if two hours.” (Emphasis added.)

      “WATCH — . . . take up the Watch every two hours as long as you live or until you can make the right side real to your consciousness.” (Emphasis added.)

      Why the Inside Watch is More Important than the Outside Watch:

      The Bible story of Esther tells of a young Jewish woman who marries the Persian king who had conquered the land of Babylon. As queen, assisted by Mordecai, her cousin and guardian, she saves the remaining Jews from a plot to destroy them.

      When Mordecai refuses to pay homage to Haman, a high official, Haman becomes infuriated and plots to destroy all the Jews. Mordecai reports this plot to Esther. Esther tells him to “Go, gather together all the Jews in Shushan, and fast ye for me, three days: I also will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

      After the three days, Esther goes to the king to reveal Haman’s plot, and Haman is hung on the gallows. Esther’s faith and courage saves her people.

      Esther had to overcome the initial shock of receiving the information about Haman, and this took her three days to do: this was her inside watch. Only then was she able to fulfill all the requirements of a good outside watch, directly influencing the outside world for good, informing the king directly in his presence (that is, exposing error boldly and effectively in the Presence of God, not by letter alone but by Spirit-inspired letter).

      It is not difficult to imagine that when Esther first heard Mordecai’s warning concerning Haman, she had to resolve in her own mind not to make the problem so big, so overshadowing, that it became foremost in her consciousness, screaming for attention to draw her thought away from the true God. She had to rebuke this great error directly, “You are not God! You cannot draw my mind away from Mind. Neither are you a god, for there is none beside God! I am the image and likeness of God; and as there is none beside God, there is none beside me either, except the Presence of God. You are not even a thought, because only God’s thoughts have substance and reality.”

      But it took Esther and her handmaidens three days to get it right: to cast off personal sense, to starve it out (God’s chosen fast), to refuse to be overwhelmed by error and to align completely with Mind, to render irrelevant in her own mind the subject of Haman’s genocidal intentions, his seeming unlimited power and freedom to act upon them. Three days to render thought of Haman as nothing, three days for it to be miniaturized, then micro-miniaturized, then finally annihilated into absolute nothingness as she obeyed the First Commandment to “have no other gods before Me.”

      1. As thoughts of God’s omniscience became more real to Esther than all of Haman’s schemes, voiced and unvoiced, all of Haman’s thoughts dissolved into oblivion, as well as all thought of Haman himself.
      2. The more real the thought of God’s omnipotence became to Esther, the more powerless and helpless Haman became.
      3. As thoughts of God’s omnipresence became more real to Esther than Haman’s presence in the palace, Haman’s absence became more real than his presence. By dwelling only in the secret place of the Most High for many hours, crying silently, “‘Be Thou exalted, O God, alone in my consciousness,” all Haman-consciousness fell into insignificance, like Dagon falling in self-destruction before the ark of the covenant.
      4. Queen Esther refused to speak the slightest word or take the least human action to try to “steady the ark” by human effort. Instead, she chose to prostrate herself at the throne of God, like Mary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus. And, by getting out of God’s way, she released the Infinite, omniactivity of God Almighty. Thus, all the intricate gears of Haman’s murderous plot ground to a halt, then reversed their direction: to destroy all her enemies, as no activity exists in opposition to God.

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      From the October 2nd, 2016 Roundtable

      These Nine Satanic Statements originally appeared in The Satanic Bible, © 1969. In the Roundtables, we will be working out how to watch against these claims.

      1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!
      2. Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
      3. Satan represents undefiled wisdom instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
      4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!
      5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!
      6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!
      7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!
      8. Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
      9. Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as He has kept it in business all these years!

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      Jesus’ command to watch — Readings from the Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 Testimony Meeting

      Click here for more.

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      Sign up for an Individual Watch time

      We also have an Individual Daily Watch Schedule that allows members to work together to make sure there is a watcher from this church working to know that God’s Will is governing, at all hours of the day. Click here to see the times available, and to find out how to sign up. Thank you!

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      The Daily Watches

      Each week a new Daily Watch is selected from 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter. Click here to see the current Daily Watch.

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      Ask a Practitioner

      The Practitioners from this church can help with any of your questions. Click here for more information on how to contact them.

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