Continuing at the summit of prayer
WHEN a large number of new emigrants came to our area, I felt the need to gain a broader sense of God's tender mercies, in which there is always enough good to go around. My outlook had to shift from a narrow focus on differences in culture and economic status to our common creator. This was one way I could express genuine caring. I saw that I could pray to see every person as having equal access to God's infinite resources and standing equal in His sight. I could repudiate the uncertainties that seem to confront us with a recognition of each individual's actual, spiritual identity. The Apostle Paul pointed to this reality when he said: ``Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.''1 Actually, we were brethren! And fear couldn't change that spiritual fact.
Insufficiency, inadequacy, maladjustment, may be predicted for many or appear to be their lot in life. But prayer can play a practical role in changing that condition for the better. It can help us see more clearly -- and so help us prove in human experience -- that man, as God has actually created him, cannot be restricted or deprived, because he reflects the fullness of the divine nature. Our true selfhood is not partially whole, partially good, partially free, but represents the completeness and satisfaction of divine Mind. To put it simply, man is the child of God, now and forever. There are no breaks in between. The opposite may seem true. Yet each day provides an opportunity not to ignore suffering but to see more clearly the spiritual reality of God and man that can help to heal it.
Our individual and collective relationships are purified and strengthened in the measure that we clearly perceive the true nature of man to be spiritual, embodying every Godlike quality. Humbly praying to understand and know God and man as they really are helps reveal the surety of God's harmonious control over man.
As divine guidance is more widely and consistently sought, and as we glimpse higher views of man, prejudice, distrust, intransigence, will have less apparent force to delay rightful solutions. Prayer based on the Science of Christianity is demonstrable, and it can aid in resolving not only family but global conflict. It can replace animosity with a desire to have healing, not by our desperately petitioning a higher power to change someone or something but by our realizing God's goodness and power to be a trenchant reality that is tangible, active, and right at hand -- ``a very present help in trouble,''2 as the Scriptures remind us.
The communion with God that brings about healing is not only silent prayer; it might also be considered as a Christlike way of life dedicated to proving the infinitude of God's love for man. Misunderstanding, hatred, revenge, though apparently dominant at times, can be lessened as we live the Christlike love that heals and as we come to realize that such evil elements are without origin, force, or existence in God's sight. Evil cannot in reality compete with God's, divine Love's, allness. ``Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.''3
This does not, of course, mean that we can ignore crime, terrorism, violation of human rights. No, we confront these. A spiritual understanding of God imparts the conviction that malicious intent cannot circumvent God's law of unopposable good. It cannot sabotage God's will, the inseparability of God and man, or the presence of His Christ.
On the eve of his crucifixion, Christ Jesus said, referring to his immediate followers, ``Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one.''4 We too can pray ``that they all may be one,'' and make a healing contribution to world peace.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.''5
To live in harmony with this spiritual solution to human problems is to continue at the summit of prayer.
1Romans 8:15, 16. 2Psalms 46:1. 3Jeremiah 23:24. 4John 17:20, 21. 5Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 467. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2