Crime-Stopping Prayer

WE were astounded. The space where my husband and I had parked our car an hour earlier was empty.For a moment we reacted to our loss with incredulity and despair. Then we quickly turned to Scriptural law, "Thou shalt not steal. We were far more accustomed to observing how this ancient moral law--one of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus--impels people to be honest. How were we to respond now to such apparent disobedience to this law? Through prayer, we had already been healed many times by relying on God's law of supreme goodness. Knowing that His law is the only true motivating power in men's hearts and minds, we prayed for God, divine Love, to lift us above the belief that man can be subject to or victimized by criminal tendencies. My husband called the police to report the incident. Several factors, however, made the situation appear hopeless: vehicle theft was common in our region, which was close to an international border; certain easily removable components of the interior could readily be sold for cash; the police were overworked and had little time to search for stolen cars. It seemed we might never see our car again. We continued to pray to replace each of these fears with what we understood of the spiritual facts governing God's creation. For example, we knew that ever-present Love has no boundaries that would give crime an opportunity to hide and flourish. Nobody can escape the jurisdiction of the all-seeing and all-knowing divine Mind, God. We prayed to see more clearly everyone's genuine identity as man, created by God to be upright and fully satisfied. We rejected our initial hopeless attitude by following the Psalmist's counsel "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. We prayed to understand better that man possesses abundantly all he needs. As God's likeness, man is spiritual and complete, incapable of lawlessness. Our study and practice of Christian Science had taught us to trust Biblical precepts for practical solutions to daily challenges. We had seen over and over the effectiveness of reasoning from the standpoint that God is divine Spirit, the only Mind, and that man, individually and collectively, is the full expression of the all-loving, law-giving, and law-enforcing God, divine Principle. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, urges: "Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God's own way, and let human justice pattern the divine. Gradually we were able to do this and to recognize Truth to be unerring intelligence, maintaining control over all cause and effect. Under God's omnipresent and omnipotent government, there can be no lapse from His standard of obedience, justice, and mercy. Very late that night--or, rather, early the next morning--the police telephoned us. A lady had heard a car engine idling in her driveway. No one was in sight. When we recovered the car from the police, we found everything intact except for a damaged lock and missing ignition switch. The most important part of this experience for us was the spiritual closeness we felt to God during this renewal of our faith in the validity of His law "Thou shalt not steal. We saw more clearly that God, divine Mind, acts as law enforcer as well as Lawgiver. We were grateful for this tangible proof of the effectiveness of scientific prayer in everyday life.

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