THE world watched Russia last weekend as its people voted to decide the future of the nation and its leadership. There is little question that the impact of this vote on other countries will be significant. Given its potential to contribute to world progress, that troubled yet vital nation deserves--and needs--our prayers.
Through the news media we have learned much about the ``villains" and the ``good guys" in the current conflict. Yet Christ Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel, said, ``Judge not, that ye be not judged."
If we accept his wisdom in our prayers, we see that praying for a particular party to win would be futile. The situation in Russia--as in other great nations--is far too complex for us to know what will be best for the future. If, however, we turn from solely human analysis to God, the one divine Mind, and trust in His government, we will be resting our prayers on firm ground.
Human conditions can change, individual players in a complex process may have mixed motives. But throughout his ministry Christ Jesus made clear that God's purpose for man is always good. Trusting in God's direction--and praying to see His government expressed--enable our prayers to go beyond the human situation to the deeper needs, ones we may not even know about. This occurs because the real need is spiritual.
Spirituality is needed more than ever when fragmentation and factional disputes seem so much in charge. A knowledge of God as Mind, for instance, helps bring to light the spiritual fact that there is just one Mind (as there is one God). Since the Bible tells us that God and man are inseparable, it follows, then, that man can never be separated from divine intelligence. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, speaks at length of God's g overnment. In one place she says, ``Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government." This statement is a wonderful guide as we pray for the world in general and Russia in particular.
Under Mind's government, order and intelligence prevail because the nature of this Mind is infinite wisdom. Mind, being God, is also Love, and this means that Mind's purpose is always beneficent. When chaos seems in control, our prayers to know that Mind is omnipresent good will help to restore order. We may see hints of divine Mind's government in the intelligence that keeps the world's transportation systems moving, that guides supply and demand, that causes birds to know when to migrate, ocean tides w hen to turn. Individually, we may see divine intelligence helping us solve problems in school, at work, or at home.
Each of us expresses this divine intelligence because in truth we are the sons and daughters of God. It is natural for us, as His spiritual offspring, to be intelligent and to behave wisely.
The ability to express Mind is true of people around the world. In our prayers, then, we can know that all are in fact God's spiritual offspring and that all can partake of divine intelligence as they make their choices. This intelligence is not swayed or manipulated by skilled politicians. It is not confused, angry, spiteful, or ignorant. Spiritual intelligence includes wisdom, love, peace, and goodness. And each of us is capable of expressing it. In this way, we prove that ``man reflects God's governme nt."
As is the case in much of Eastern Europe and the other republics of the former Soviet Union, Russia's future at this moment may still look confused or even doubtful. But under Mind's government, good can and will prevail.