Many of us spend time and effort maintaining the fabric and structure of our homes. But there is something else we need to do - pray for our home.
Home is such an integral part of our lives and is so precious to us that it is rewarding to take time to consider just what home really is. Careful study of the Bible - an invaluable guide - shows us that home is much more than a material structure. It is a state of consciousness, an expression of qualities. To establish the truest sense of home, we need to recognize that these qualities are spiritual--they express God. Such qualities as joy, peace, purity, lovingkindness, beauty, are indestructible; we can never be separated from them. And we have a right to see these spiritual qualities expressed in our experience , in the place where we live, whether it be a mansion or a cottage, an apartment or a boat.
When we begin to grasp the true nature of our home, we realize it can never be violated or destroyed, because its substance is spiritual. The familiar twenty-third Psalm closes with an affirmation of our true dwelling place - ''the house of the Lord.'' In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy n1 indicates the deep spiritual significance contained in this psalm. Using the synonym ''Love'' for God, she renders those closing lines: ''Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house (the consciousness) of (love) for ever.'' n2
n1 Mrs. Eddy is Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n2 Science and Health, p. 578.
Christ Jesus' life and teachings clarify the concept of our spiritual dwelling place. He taught that we live under the Father's care, right now. And, referring to God, the Apostle Paul tells us, ''In him we live, and move, and have our being.'' n3 Mrs. Eddy writes, echoing Paul, ''The real house in which 'we live, and move, and have our being' is Spirit, God, the eternal harmony of infinite Soul.'' n4
n3 Acts 17:28.
n4 Pulpit and Press, p. 2.
Recently our family had proof of how a growing awareness of the true nature of home directly protects the house in which we live. For a few days I had felt impelled to pray specifically for our home. I affirmed God's allness and immediate presence; I tried to understand more clearly that our consciousness of home was whole, established and perfect - that our home was constructed of spiritual qualities which are indestructible and undecaying. I denied the possibility that any harmful element could enter our home. As I prayed, I began to see that Christ, the divine idea of God, was the only influence, attraction, or force that could touch our home. I felt certain that all activity originates from God and is good. The familiar words of the ninety-first Psalm brought inspiration and peace to me, particularly verses 9 and 10: ''Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.''
While I was praying, I realized I had sometimes neglected this essential caring for our home, and resolved to be more consistent in the future. The importance of this resolve was underlined a few days later when the gas boiler began giving out fumes and appeared to be on the point of bursting into flames. This happened early in the morning, however, when we were awake. We were able to open all windows and doors and contact the necessary services. Within minutes the boiler had been dealt with. Both it and the house were undamaged. We certainly felt aware of God's presence that morning.
The clearer understanding of the spiritual nature of home that I had gained from my prayer had protected the cottage and the family. Prayer is certainly a practical means of protecting and caring for our homes. And each of us has divine authority for claiming the safety God gives. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psalms 90:1, 2