More bombs went off here in London on Thursday. Thankfully the detonators failed, or failed to detonate the explosives.
Is it time for more prayer from all who prayed diligently during and after the attacks on July 7? Yes, the prayer - perceiving the spiritual law of safety that God provides to His children - that many Londoners and others around the world have undertaken in recent weeks needs to continue.
But is it also a time to take a mental step back from events and trust the effectiveness of those prayers already prayed? Yes, I believe it is. I have come to learn that when I pray for good for myself or for others - for healing of illness or injury, for restoration of harmony in a distressed relationship, for supply that seems to be lacking - I expect tangible, as well as spiritual, good to result. That is, when I understand that God never withholds the goodness that seems to be lacking, then I expect that goodness to become practically apparent in appropriate forms of health, happiness, and provision. This is what has happened time and again.
However, often there is a period when all kinds of thoughts try to creep into the mental space between the prayer and the practical proof of God's goodness, trying to convince me that prayer might not have been effective. It might be a question as to the value or sufficiency of prayer, or uncertainty as to whether I have prayed enough, or in the right way, or even if there really is a God to make such prayers pertinent.
That's when I need to persist and affirm to myself the effectiveness and sufficiency of what has been done, and to know that understanding prayer is the most powerful force in the universe. Then peace comes within, and, as I have so often seen, change comes without. This declaration of the effectiveness of prayers already prayed is what I feel is needed now for London and the world.
I know that there are people all over the world, as well as here in the British capital, who have been responding to the bombings by applying healing ideas from the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," ideas such as, "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things" (page 129).
Thinkers throughout the world have looked deep into the realism of God's control of the true, spiritual universe, which includes everyone. And they have felt the touch of Christly conviction that safety is an eternal given for one and all. They have glanced through evidence that falsely predicts vulnerability, fragility, and tentativeness for God's creation. And their hearts have found peace in the presence and power of the Christ, bringing practical reassurance.
Now I look around my dearly beloved London and think of other great cities around the world, and I see the need to affirm with clear conviction the efficacy of the world's prayers since July 7. That is, that the consciousness of safety as a spiritual given, and the experience of safety as a practical provision from God, have been significantly forwarded through the mental insights gained in global, heartfelt prayer. We are in a better place.
Mrs. Eddy once wrote that "The elbowing of the crowd plants our feet more firmly" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," page 339). The experience of millions of Londoners has definitely been that their city's feet are more firmly planted, so great has been the unity of the popular and political response to the tragic attacks. The famous British "calm in the midst of chaos" has been demonstrated by London's multicultural citizenry, and this weekend foreign tourists from throughout Europe and other continents were enjoying spending time in Piccadilly Circus, just as usual.
On a deeper level, the convictions of prayerful thinkers have been planted more firmly than ever on the rock of Christ, the spiritual foundation of Truth, and God has been seen more irrefutably as All-in-all. Prayer has exposed the strength of good and shone a spotlight on the consequent powerlessness of evil, in multitudes of openhearted thoughts.
Now is the time to trust those prayers to be effective - not only as able to protect us in times of danger, but also as able to secure the evidence that safety is divinely established and humanly provable.