Anyone who keeps track of world news is aware of ongoing efforts by opposing parties in different parts of the world – the Middle East, Afghanistan, regions of Africa, and North and South Korea, just to name a few – to come to the table for renewed peace talks. Instead of looking at these efforts as just another of many well-meaning, but fruitless, attempts to resolve longstanding issues that have defied resolution, we can support these efforts with expectancy and confidence. Regardless of the political positions taken by those involved in such talks, and regardless of the history of failed attempts, there’s no reason to be without hope.
We can’t all be at the conference table, may or may not speak the languages, and don’t know all the details. So how can we support efforts toward peace? One way is by expecting that good will come out of any honest and sincere efforts to bring peace. Instead of being in a mental state of hopeless negativity, we can hold ourselves to supporting and anticipating good, and have confidence in everyone’s honest efforts. Like a farmer who expects seedlings to push through the soil, we can remove the stones of despair from our own mental field, providing a welcome environment for good to come forth. We can rule out of our thinking the heaviness of hopelessness, the wet leaves of failed attempts, and the shadows of low expectations.
We can each support peacemaking through prayer. For which country or situation? Everyone will have his or her own checklist. One thing is to know that God, divine Love, supports and sustains every honest effort for peace that dwells in the heart of humanity. Through our prayers we can trust that the sincere, unselfish efforts of those involved have the power of divine Love behind them to bring those efforts to success. The desire to do right and to live in peace is not an accidental, random figment of one’s imagination. The desire to find peace is born in the heart of divine Love and has infinite power behind it.
We can also support peace by expecting good results. The farmer expects seeds to just grow and bear fruit. We can pray with a sense that all the good efforts of those at the peace table are not in vain. Also, that our prayers are not in vain when we have right motives. Praying to cherish peace as God-given and attainable will help us expect that peace is possible.
Trusting God, the source of all good for all humanity, keeps our thought open to seeing that good. If the farmer sees plants coming up in one part of the field, that gives him or her confidence to expect other parts of the field to blossom. Our fellow citizens of the world deserve the same peace and harmony that each one of us is able to experience in our daily lives, even if only to some degree.
We can support peacemaking by protecting the honest efforts of those seeking peace. If peace talks are derailed, we can pray to realize that good deeds are not in vain. Our prayers for protection can include the conviction that God is the power behind honest, earnest efforts at doing good. God, divine Love, guards all right ideas. We can help the human process by keeping our thought in a protective and noncritical mode where divine Love reigns.
Our prayers to support peacemaking, to expect good results, and to protect them can be made repeatedly. We can pray often; we can be engaged. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, had a great sense of expectancy and hope for peace in the world of her day. She wrote, “For many years I have prayed daily that there be no more war, no more barbarous slaughtering of our fellow-beings; prayed that all the peoples on earth and the islands of the sea have one God, one Mind; love God supremely, and love their neighbor as themselves” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 286).
We can mentally keep the door open to supporting every honest effort for peace every time we hear or read about peace talks, whenever and wherever they are taking place. This will make us an active part of the peace process.