The 40th World Economic Forum meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, has brought together some major financial thinkers, movers, and shakers to discuss the globe’s economic situation. It seems clear from comments made early in the meeting that there is still uncertainty and fear about what lies ahead for the world’s economies.
Those of us watching from the sidelines can also contribute to progress at the conference. The Bible includes sound examples of the value of prayer in relation to leadership and decisionmaking. Given the importance of the financial issues to people around the world, our prayers are an investment in everyone’s economic future.
Thinking about the interconnectedness of nations and economies from a spiritual standpoint reminded me of an image Jesus used in speaking with his disciples. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.... If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (John 15:1, 5, Contemporary English Version).
Jesus’ life and ministry represented Christ, the idea of God that speaks to everyone. It reveals that each of us is spiritual, inseparable from divine intelligence or Mind. When we are striving to think in spiritual terms about ourselves and others, we experience something of the oneness we all have with God as His sons and daughters. Then limitations decrease, hope shines brighter, decisions become more intelligent, and fear disappears. Christ is the proof of God’s love for each of us, and the Christ power is meant to bless all people.
In our prayer about the world economy, it can help to recognize that the voice of Christ can communicate to those attending the conference in terms they can understand, whether or not they are religious people. Mind is intelligent and doesn’t include warring factions or uncertainties. Mind’s guidance provides a unified and direct road to spiritual good for everyone – expressed in forms that are practical and meaningful.
There are, however, conditions that prevent people from hearing these helpful directions. In an article called “The Way,” Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, wrote, “Human pride is human weakness. Self-knowledge, humility, and love are divine strength” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896,” p. 358).
Pride can lead into some very dark pathways, encouraging unwise decisions while also suggesting to someone that he or she is too smart to be wrong or that if a mistake is made one can always get out of it at no cost. Prayer rejects such temptations as no part of anyone’s experience. The man and woman God created desire good not just for themselves but also for humanity. They accept only the influence of Christ, instead of a craving for personal pride and power.
Praying to identify the qualities of “self-knowledge, humility, and love,” we can help provide the “divine strength” that supports people who may need to make very tricky and far-reaching financial decisions. Self-knowledge helps protect them from destructive leadings. It provides spiritual discernment, reveals the path of Christ, and illuminates each step. Humility helps strengthen their willingness to follow Christ instead of acting willfully. And while it’s natural for people to love their fellow men and women, our prayers can reinforce this. In addition, we can take the time to love these individuals for their intelligence and commitment to finding solutions that will bless the world. Our willingness to love them will help shield them from the destructive criticism that threatens to impede good decisionmaking.
We can expect that Christ will speak to each participant of the conference, leading toward positive outcomes and intelligent choices for all. Their work – and ours – won’t really end with a conference, however. Continued prayer for the health of the nations and their economies will be needed, in support of a more stable future for all people.