What happened next was simple and effective. And I hope to explain it so that it helps others pray in a way that not ony helps alleviate the pain, but gives a sense of the dominion that God has given us over these kinds of situations.
As I paced the floor, I felt I couldn't even think to pray. But then I thought of something a Sunday School teacher once shared with me: "God is closer to you than your very breath." That's pretty close.
In fact, God and I are inseparable, indivisible. This intrigued me. I kept on with this reasoning. Right where the pain seemed so very real, there was the thought of God. It was as if God wedged into my thought. I listened for ideas from God. As I listened, I quieted my own preoccupation with the pain. I realized that there was a new conversation going on and this conversation spoke about harmony. It reminded me that I was God's own child, made in Her image and likeness.
I was able to separate myself mentally from the pain as I thought about God. Then it made sense to me that this pain was not about me at all. Gone was the blaming that I had been doing for not working out more, or for agreeing to do the more difficult stretches on a windy day. I was made in God's image and likeness, and God was larger than any pain. I was gaining an image of how God must know me: whole, strong, capable - in Her image and likeness. I could see that pain was no part of me. I understood what is said in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "God, the divine Principle of man, and man in God's likeness are inseparable, harmonious, and eternal." (p. 336)
First there was the pain, but when I let the thought about God wedge into my thinking, I got some traction. I kept listening until the only thing I really heard was God. I could feel the muscles relax. And although I still felt the pain, I was no longer afraid. Going further, I saw myself as not being governed under material law, but under divine law. Within moments, I was able to go to sleep. The next day, I was able to use my arms normally, until all pain was gone.
I really experienced what a special hymn* sings:
I feel Thy touch, eternal Love,
And all is well again:
The thought of Thee is mightier far
Than sin and pain and sorrow are.
I was so grateful - not just because the pain had gone, but because I was able to see that pain has no place or permanence. How grateful I am to know that we don't need to be manacled by pain, but that there is an answer through prayer!
*Hymn 134 of the Christian Science Hymnal