PEACEMAKING (and peacekeeping!) is surely among the worthiest of activities on our planet. A compassionate look at the world will tell us that. Few could fail to be moved by the images of the so-called little wars raging around the globe. We yearn for every last gun to grow silent! Everyone hurt by war is a member of the family of man--brothers and sisters to all of us. It is natural for us to want to help end conflict wherever it occurs and to support those who are doing just that.
Prayer offers the spiritual means for ending conflict and for keeping it ended. And each one of us can pray. Our prayer can support the establishment of peace both in our own individual lives and in the world's troubled spots.
Perhaps the biggest need is for a broader knowledge of the spiritual impetus that forms the foundation for all successful peacemaking, be it within the individual or among warring factions and nations. God is constantly making the spiritual fundamentals that bring peace available to His children--to us. God is good and rules with love. In the Bible, in incident after incident, verse after verse, we find the one God who creates His children in His own likeness, living in harmony with one another.
This means that peace is natural to man, who is spiritual, and gives us an overwhelming spiritual rationale for peace, both in our own lives and on a world scale. But we need to do more than talk about peace! To help the peacemakers of the world, we need to be peacemakers in our own lives. The spirit of Love and Truth that God is sending forth into the hearts of men and women everywhere is what really makes peace. When we seize the power of that spirit of Love and live it in our lives, our prayers for the world's peacemakers have God-given power and validity.
This spirit of Love that makes peace is perhaps best known through the life of Christ Jesus. He said, as Matthew's Gospel records, ``Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God'' (5:9).
How can prayer help when it seems to be just one man or one woman praying, far away from war? The best answer I've found to this question comes from thinking carefully about the nature of God. God is infinite Spirit, so He exists everywhere, at all times. His love communicates itself throughout His entire crea-tion. Man, as the child of the loving and all-powerful God, is governed by this spirit of Love and Truth. When we pray, we recognize God's presence and the power of divine Love within each individual and in every place. Our prayer can (and should) praise what is already true. It glorifies God as the governor of all, and it magnifies His nature, His goodness and love. First and foremost, though, our prayer dissolves conflict in our own lives. Then we can extend our prayer to include the world.
In an article titled ``Other Ways Than by War,'' reprinted in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, underscores the real basis for peacemaking. She says: ``The government of divine Love is supreme. Love rules the universe, and its edict hath gone forth: `Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' and `Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Let us have the molecule of faith that removes mountains,--faith armed with the understanding of Love, as in divine Science, where right reigneth'' (p. 278). Today, by giving our praise to the goodness of God and to the power of His love, we can add our mighty ``molecule of faith'' to the work of the world's peacemakers.