THE current news reports about drought in the American Midwest, in Africa, and India leave a great number of people with a feeling of helplessness. It's at a time like this, when human efforts prove insufficient to meet our needs, that many at last turn to prayer. There is a general feeling that if there is a God, His help may be forthcoming. But few have great conviction on this point, and therefore both prayers and effects appear tentative. Yet this need not be so. The Bible records the affairs of those who were convinced that God is not separate from His creation. Indeed, they found evidence that the universe is subject to the law of God. Through their unwavering trust in Him, famine was lifted, drought ended, plagues were destroyed.
Christ Jesus taught us to pray, ``Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.''1 Such prayer, undergirded by an understanding that God's power and will are supreme, cannot result in the continuation of evil but must lead to its removal; for heaven signifies the operation, presence, and authority of complete good.
God is commonly called the Almighty, and if we actually acknowledge this important spiritual point, that God is Almighty -- almighty good -- we have taken the first step toward seeing evidence of this truth. To actually believe this with all the heart, as Jesus taught -- to see its spiritual unquestionableness -- enables us to witness God's will being done in earth as it is in heaven. The prophet Jeremiah wrote: ``Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.''2
Effective prayer does not plead with God to be good; instead it acknowledges that God is ever-present, omnipotent good. Because God is omnipotent good, there isn't, in truth, any other force or power besides Him. There is no other cause. Therefore everything, including the weather, can be understood as subject to the control of God. Because God is ever-present, He is never absent. Therefore His goodness and the activity of good can never be absent from His creation. And because God is Spirit, the true nature of His creation is spiritual, harmonious in every aspect, and this understanding can lift our lives out of the effects of drought.
When we come down to it, drought is a denial of the power and presence of God and His goodness. But God cannot be denied. The entire life of the Master, Christ Jesus, revealed the transcendent might and presence of God. His understanding of this preeminent spiritual fact restored harmony and right action in peoples' lives. Suffering ceased. Good prevailed.
God is the only creator, and whatever is created by God is subject to Him and manifests His goodness. The book of Psalms records the blessings that flow from understanding this: ``Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.''3
The Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ``Prayer can neither change God, nor bring His designs into mortal modes; but it can and does change our modes and our false sense of Life, Love, and Truth, uplifting us to Him.... It makes new and scientific discoveries of God, of His goodness and power. It shows us more clearly than we saw before, what we already have and are; and most of all, it shows us what God is.''4
Prayer is needed today, and prayer that discovers and acknowledges the power of God, bringing all good now, will help relieve the world of drought and will rain showers of blessings on mankind. 1Matthew 6:10. 2Jeremiah 17:7, 8.3Psalms 147:7, 8. 4No and Yes, p. 39. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I would seek unto God...who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields. Job 5:8,10