“It’s a sign of the fragility of the world economy,” reported the Monitor, “that the debt problems of Greece, a nation the size of Ohio, can throw global markets into turmoil." Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain – the weakest economies in the European Union – are fighting for survival in the turbulent European crisis. In Spain, where I live part of the year, economic problems include a 20 percent unemployment rate and outstanding mortgages of 600 billion euros from the construction boom several years ago. Answers appear to be out of sight.
I know that even a grain of caring impelled by God’s all-power can open the way for prayer to have a direct healing influence on Spain, and can help support all right efforts of the EU to find solutions to problems for all struggling economies.
Turning to God as the one infinite Father and Mother shows that God never created turmoil, deprivation, or stagnation for any of us as the Creator’s dearly loved children. Disunification and destabilization are not the product of a God who is inexhaustible Love – omnipresent and omnipotent.
I turn to the Bible often and gain inspiration from the natural trust in God that characterizes the prophets. Their stories always remind me that there are answers – even if they aren’t apparent on the surface – for every human difficulty, including economic ones.
One helpful example involves the prophet Elijah. The land of Gilead was in a major drought, with no rain predicted in the near future. Elijah was accustomed to following God’s direction, so when God told him to go to a particular city, to a widow who would give him food, he went. When he arrived, he discovered that she had so little flour and oil that she was planning to make it into a small cake for her and her son to eat, with the expectation that they would die from hunger after that. Being obedient to God’s promise that the woman would take care of him, Elijah first told her not to be afraid. Then he asked her to make him a small cake from the supplies she had.
At first, it appears uncompassionate to ask something from someone in such great need. But to me, Elijah was honoring God’s power and being obedient to God’s direction. He was also rejecting evil as having any power to cause lack of any sort. The woman was obedient and made the cake for him. And as God had promised, their food supply was undiminished for days for Elijah, the woman, and her household – even without the rain. Right where there was no water, right where Elijah was needing sustenance and the widow was struggling with poverty and concern for her family, the power of infinite Love, God, was operating nonstop, regardless of material conditions.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science and the Monitor, shone a light on the meaning of the word “prophet” in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She described “prophet” as “a spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth” (p. 593).
Prayer enables us to see spiritually as Elijah did – to see and live in accord with divine Spirit, the one and only source of abundant goodness, progress, and power. This spiritual sense of life dissolves fear that blinds us to God’s care for each of us. Where infinite Love is at work, there is no debt to swallow up, delay, or halt growth. Where Love is at work, useful employment and intelligent management of finances are always possible.
Becoming conscious of these spiritual facts through prayer can help us know that God’s direction is not austere, is never taking from one to give to another, but is filled with tenderness. As I pray to know that infinite Love is showing the leaders of Spain workable solutions, I recognize that this same omnipresent God is at work with all the leaders in the EU.
This permanent unity – Love inseparable from every man, woman, and child – is not fragile and can never be broken. Just as prayer for our own family challenges must inevitably bless all families, prayer about the problems at our own front door will have an influence for good across the globe.