Prayer that trumps economic politics

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Washington has been scrambling. Can a workable solution to the economic crisis move within its reach? In the midst of a hotly contested presidential election, could bipartisanship trump politics? Could political posturing give way to genuine problem-solving? Could partisan bickering be stilled so consensus could emerge?

If getting the right answers – and therefore the workable solutions – seems an uncertainty, maybe one should consider another question. Does prayer trump politics? Does the prayer in which one turns unreservedly to the Almighty have a way of humbling the biggest egos, stilling the most determined maneuvering, quieting the noisiest grandstanding?

Yes. There is something positive that ordinary people can do. They can do it before and after consensus is reached. People far from the levers of power in Washington or on Wall Street can take this step. And they can keep taking it as long as needed. They can pray. They can turn unreservedly to the almighty God, who is also the one Mind, the one supreme Knower and source of intelligence. Not only does such prayer bring peace of mind to the one praying, but it also unifies. It helps bring sanity and clarity to key discussions taking place, even if far away. That can happen because, even if you are thousands of miles from Washington, the God you are praying to is not. He is both present with you, and present with those making decisions.

The storm-quelling authority of God, of the one Mind, is already there, already at work, already transforming wrongheadedness to right-mindedness. The Psalmist put it this way: "God is greatly to be feared (some translations say "revered") in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them" (Ps. 89:7-9).

That divine power outlined in a psalm of the Old Testament is illustrated in an episode in the New Testament. Jesus stilled a storm at sea. Maybe the vividness of that moment helps us glimpse the stupendous, and stupendously calming, power at work in genuine, Christly prayer. That storm-stilling power is as applicable to a political tornado as it was to a literal one. Prayer is the means by which people can draw on divine power. Prayer is what God provides us. He gives it to us so we can stay in touch with Him. It is ours to use in our quest to come closer to Him. It is ours to employ whenever we individually or collectively face the smallest or the largest of challenges.

To be sure, silent prayer deep in a person's heart is one of the quietest, least heralded actions he or she could take. But that dimension of prayer is a plus not a minus. Politicians may feel compelled to array themselves against even a good idea if an opponent presents it. But it's unlikely they would array themselves against someone's turning to the one all-knowing Mind. So the healing action of prayer goes forward unimpeded.

Mary Baker Eddy, a spiritual visionary from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, discovered that the power of God was consistently reliable. She realized that this spiritual power, illustrated most clearly in the ministry of Jesus, was scientific. She called her discovery Christian Science. In her primary work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she wrote, "One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself;' annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, – whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed" (p. 340).

Now, realize that in prayer, and you've done something wondrously helpful. You've engaged in the prayer that trumps politics.

Adapted from

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