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Prayer for Burma – the aftermath

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

May 8, 2008



The tropical cyclone Nargis that struck Burma (Myanmar) a few days ago has been described as being even more devastating to this area than the tsunami that struck the region in 2004. Landing on the low-lying Irrywaddy River Delta, the storm had nothing to slow down its powerful winds. News reports at this time indicate over 20,000 fatalities, thousands more missing, and at least a million people homeless.

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Burma is governed by a military junta that's been reluctant to accept outside help, but the scale of the disaster has opened the doors to humanitarian aid. The junta still wants to maintain some control over who comes into the country and what kind of help is rendered. Prayer, however, is one form of assistance that all can offer.

Perhaps one of the first things to affirm is that God, Spirit, is the Father and Mother of each individual, no matter what his or her religious beliefs may be. Divine Love cherishes all of its children and is right now an ever-present help to those in need. Understanding that each of us is in fact spiritual changes the parameters of prayer. Instead of praying to a manlike God, we are turning to infinite Spirit, which is ever-present Love. With Love's guidance, each need can be met.

One of the difficulties that rescue workers face in almost any storm of this magnitude is accessibility – getting supplies to people, finding survivors, restoring needed services. The size of the problem as compared to the available material resources may suggest that there is no way the need could be met.

The Apostle Paul, however, articulated a powerful spiritual law that applies to this and other disasters. Paul's life was anything but sheltered, so he had ample opportunities to prove the truth of his words: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:35, 37). The love of Christ, which is God's love present here and now, is able to transcend divisions, suspicion, fear, anger, doubt. Christly love has no personal agenda and unites all in a higher good.

Even if supplies of food and water are limited, under God's care, those in charge can make good decisions and make the best use of what's available. Prayer can also guard against accidents during the rescue and supply effort. Under the government of the one Mind, each individual is able to respond to wisdom's guidance.

Christly love for one another can refresh workers who are searching for the missing or helping the injured. There may be times of confusion because the landscape is so changed, and our prayer can support continuing alertness of those coordinating the rescue. Our prayers, recognizing that the one Mind, God, is an intelligent and strengthening guide, can help enable rescuers to maintain their bearings and make progress in assisting those in need. Family and friends, searching for the missing, can also feel the tenderness of the Christ, easing sorrow and providing calm in place of fear. There is ample evidence that people can survive for long periods before being rescued, and our prayers can help. Christ is with them, pointing thought toward life and giving strength.

As the world has become more and more united technologically, these advances have also provided more opportunity for those who love their fellow men and women to join together in prayer whenever there is trouble. These prayers unite all humanity as one family in a way that can only bless and heal our world.

Adapted from www.spirituality.com.

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