Dead-bolt locks, door chains, security guards, watchdogs, burglar alarms -- is this the only approach we can take to crime prevention? To the earnest Christian, prayer is a resource that comes to our rescue. Instead of being a form of escapism, Christian prayer makes us better, more alert citizens; crime fighters of the highest type.
Some time ago I moved to a city known for its wholesome atmosphere. But when I arrived I began hearing of an alarming increase in crime. I was concerned but knew that the answer was not in fretting or fearing. I began to pray about this community problem much as I would a personal problem. I thought deeply about Christ Jesus' petition in the Lord's Prayer: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." n1
n1 Matthew 6:13
I began to reason that the Almighty God can never be helpless. He is the supreme intelligence of the universe, the one Mind. His allness and goodness leafear another power, called evil. Crime is based on a warped conception of good, the premise that there is not enough good to go around, that happiness is found through the getting of material things, through sin, lust, greed.
God never leads into this quagmire of deception. Good can never be selfish -- bless one at the expense of another. Good is as infinite as God and last forever. No matter what the problem, God, Love, Mind, is available to all.
Not long after I had been prying along these lines, my wife and I went to concert, held in any auditorium that seated several thousand people. It was a packed house, and the enthusiastic audience gave the performer numerous standing ovations. apparently during one of them my wallet fell out of my coat pocket. It had a large sum of money, several credit cards, and only one form of identification listing our address and phone number.
When we got home and discovered the loss, we refused to panic; we both felt a conviction that God, good, was in control. Effort was made to phone the hall, but it was late at night, and no one answered. What had been done previously in trying to help meet a community problem could assist us now. The truths of God are never limited; they are timeless.
In the early morning hours, we were wakened by the telephone. It was the security guard at the auditorium, saying that he had found my wallet and that I could pick it up later. When I did, I found that nothing had been taken.
Jesus chose to contrast his own holy mission with that of crime when he stated, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." n2
n2 John 10:10
This abundantly good life is not the exclusive possession of a limited few. It is the divine right of all who turn to God for help and try sincerely to live Christianity. If our efforts to control crime through prayer seem ineffective, the underlying need is to persist, to recognize more and more that the power of prayer is not in mortal selfhood. God Himself is revealing His own nature as infinite good. This productive outlook on prayer not only protects us from harm; it can be an effective preventive for everyone. Speaking of the conclusive destruction of evil through spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy n3 writes: "During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection." n4 Persistent effort to maintain this mental posture is crime prevention of the best sort.
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 96-97.
Tomorrow: Protection from personal violence DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let every soul b e subject unto the higher powers. Romans 13:1