Prayer for elections

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Four people were arrested this week in Denver as suspects in a possible plot to shoot Sen. Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges.

While the Denver US Attorney later concluded that because of the suspects' drug addiction they were not capable of carrying out their plan, reports of such a plot are a call to prayer. Prayer for government officials and potential government officials can't be taken lightly. Whether we agree with their politics, family, lifestyle, income and investments, their answers or non-answers – or anything else that is necessarily made public – it's important to remember the biblical basis of loving our neighbor as we would have them love us. If we were in their shoes, wouldn't we want their prayers? Wouldn't we want to feel safe, secure, and comfortable – to know that the prayers of the people are reaching out to us and for us – securing the safety of not only ourselves, but our families?

This prayer, far from being selfish or pointed toward one individual but not another, one political party but not another, or one country but not another, is truly an undivided prayer for all. We can begin this prayer by remembering the biblical truths that naturally include the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not covet," "Thou shalt not steal," "Thou shalt not bear false witness.…" (see Ex. 20). These biblical teachings enable us to mentally rise up against hatred, fear, and disagreement, and conquer these elements of thought within ourselves and others with love and trust in divine Mind, God.

Daily prayer for government officials worldwide can be based upon a statement by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. In her desire for everyone to support a righteous government, she wrote under the title "Prayer for Country and Church": "Pray for the prosperity of our country, and for her victory under arms; that justice, mercy, and peace continue to characterize her government, and that they shall rule all nations. Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His righteousness" ("Christian Science versus Pantheism," p. 14).

No matter what political party we may support, the higher road is to lift thought to the spiritual truth that God is in control not only of the election, but of all events that lead up to this and all elections, as well as all events after elections. But more, our prayers for the prosperity of our country – no matter what country we're from – ground our thoughts in divine Mind, God, the unerring governor of all.

God's unerring direction in each government, His flawless guidance, and His loving control can be seen and felt. And the more we appeal to this loving, governing divine Mind, the more we'll see Him in action right where evil, dishonesty, or hatred appears to be. The Bible teaches, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10). Yet, look at the resistance we face in being still. It seems so much easier to rush around, to think others will do the praying, the defending. But this mental defending for another is something we all can do. In the long run, those who have learned to be still and know that God is God are blessed, and they bless others also.

So, instead of getting alarmed over reports of planned plots to do harm or calmly resigning ourselves to such activity, we can rise up and pray." And in so doing, we can help prevent activity that goes against biblical truth, even as we are supporting peace in our individual nations and the world.

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