The world yearns for peace to break out in Afghanistan, a troubled land that has known precious little peace for thousands of years.
As I pray for Afghanistan, its brave and resilient people, and for my dear son-in-law who is a member of the international military force stationed there, I sometimes wonder if peace is indeed possible. Are some regions of the world, I sometimes find myself questioning, doomed to instability and misery?
Yet, with my whole being I know that there are no peoples who should be denied, or could be denied, the blessings of peace and prosperity, no matter what their history.
My study of Christian Science has led me to the conviction that the brotherhood of man is undeniable. We all are the sons and daughters of God.
This truth of the all-inclusive God includes Muslim, Christian, Jew, believers and unbelievers alike. Indeed, one of the names for God in the Koran is "All-Embracing" (Sura II, verse 115).
I lived for many years in several Muslim-majority nations, and found this beautiful name for God was often a foundation for happy friendships and collegial working together. Misunderstandings, whether in an academic setting or in the office, were often resolved when I prayerfully turned to God, yearning to see His all-embracing nature.
Recently, in praying for peace in Afghanistan, I was led to this biblical prophecy: "And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence ... and they shall know that I am the Lord their God" (Ezek. 28:26)
This prophecy was probably written specifically for the people of Israel during a period of foreign occupation. It occurred to me, however, that through understanding the all-embracing nature of God, I could see that this verse could be amplified as a promise to any suffering people. God's plan is not for instability and violence, but for safety and confidence, as this Bible verse promises.
God's peace can be supported through prayer. Armies of soldiers and teams of international development workers alone can't bring this kind of peace. All the Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism – emphasize the supremacy of the one God. Recognition of this divine All-power is inherent in their teachings and is a point of convergence for all of us.
All our prayers are based on this solid fact. Here, at this standpoint, is where we can work together for peace.
Those of us who aren't stationed in Afghanistan, as well as those who are, can take part in the establishment of a permanent peace through yielding to the all-embracing and all-powerful God.
Starting a prayer for peace with the recognition of and gratitude for God's all-power puts us on solid ground. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science, once remarked, "I once thought that in unity was human strength; but have grown to know that human strength is weakness, – that unity is divine might, giving to human power, peace" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 138).
Our prayers to see the divine power with more clarity will help provide a platform for the establishment of peace. And the all-embracing nature of God ensures God's peace for all humanity.
The Lord hath appeared
of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee
with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness
have I drawn thee.