Can Prayer Heal an International Impasse?
INTERNATIONAL relationships are complex and have widespread implications. They often involve so many people and issues it may hardly seem possible that prayer could make much difference. We don't need to inform God of the people and issues involved, though. God is infinite Mind; His wisdom and intelligence encompasses all that is real and eternal. His law, which to our view works as an adjustment in human affairs, is already in operation. In the book of Isaiah, God tells us, ``Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.'' Christ Jesus understood that God's law of good is available in every circumstance. That is why he could heal. And that is why he could say when he knew his betrayal and crucifixion were imminent, ``O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'' Though he might have to suffer temporary humiliation and pain, he knew that only good could come from following the dictates of the divine will.
A student of Christian Science who was part of a presidential mission after World War II saw how potent prayer can be in international relations. The mission was to make a reparations survey of two countries. Those in control of the area had agreed to the visit, but when the group arrived, permission for travel was denied. After ten days of fruitless negotiations the ambassador became ill; it looked as if the mission might have to be abandoned.
The Christian Scientist was sure, though, that the law of God was effective and could be applied to this impasse. Whatever the result might be, he wanted more than anything else for God's law to adjust the situation. And he saw in Christ Jesus' life proof that the law of God adjusts the most hopeless of human situations.
He knew that because God is Spirit, the man of God's creating -- the only man there really is -- is spiritual, wholly subject to the laws of God. The laws that gave Jesus his unequaled success two thousand years ago are still in operation today. The Christian Scientist realized that no nation -- or individual -- could escape the power of God's law.
During his days of prayer, the Christian Scientist drew special strength from this idea in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ``Mind is the source of all movement, and there is no inertia to retard or check its perpetual and harmonious action.'' He was certain this law applied to this political impasse.
When the mission seemed close to failure, he sent a cable to a Christian Science practitioner, asking the practitioner to pray with him about the situation. When the practitioner received the cable, he joined the Christian Scientist in prayer to see God's law in operation. By evening the ambassador had recovered and the mission had been cleared to go ahead. The mission completed its work in both countries.
Not many of us will ever be part of a presidential mission, but that doesn't keep us from praying about such things. We may also face impasses in our ordinary activities -- on the job, at home, or even during recreational activities. Wherever the impasse, we can remember that the law of God can adjust circumstances in the right way. We can remember the words of James when he said, ``The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.'' Listening for God's direction can bring correction to the most difficult situations, even to impasses in international relations.