While the tragic explosion in Jakarta last week is an obvious setback to those combating terrorism in Indonesia, it does not erase the very substantial progress in fighting terrorism – progress that's been ongoing since the 2002 bombings in Bali that killed over 200.
Progress on the prayer front plainly needs to be ongoing as well. Prayer, by individuals anywhere on the planet, can reach out to the Almighty as the source of protection and security. Could prayer, filled with a conviction that the presence of the Divine makes a practical difference, have the potential to enhance counter-terrorism efforts? Absolutely.
Prayer has the capacity to spiritually enhance the safety and security of each individual in a terrorist-prone region. The book of Job in the Bible gives a powerful starting point for such prayer when it says, "Thou shalt be secure, because there is hope" (11:18). Think of that. The Bible not only promises security, but suggests why one can expect security. "Because there is hope." That's why security is realistic, is obtainable.
But if there is security because there is hope, one might ask, then why is there hope? The answer is both simple and profound. There is hope because there is God. The God of promise and of fulfillment who the author of Job glimpsed, the God who is both the divine Life and immortal Love that Christ Jesus so magnificently knew and proved, the God who meets humanity's needs today for comfort and protection as people learn how to turn more completely to Him in prayer – that God is why there is hope. And that hope is why there is security.
The key for progress on the prayer front is not simply to agree that prayer is a good thing, and then go on one's way. The key is to actually do it. To actually pray. To pray relentlessly. To understandingly and unflinchingly turn one's thought and one's heart to divine Life and Love in the same way that the master Christian did.
If you're a Bible reader, you may recall a terrorist episode that crashed in on Jesus. At one point in his ministry, a hostile mob encircled him with the intent of throwing him from the brow of a hill. Was he without hope? One can only assume from the outcome that his hope and confidence remained unshakable. His prayer-based security unfolded in the most unexpected of ways. He apparently simply became invisible to them and went on his way (see Luke 4:14-31).
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy discovered that the safety and security emanating from divine Life and Love are so certain, so reliable, so consistent, as to be scientific. She wrote in her primary work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal being is found only in divine Science" (p. 232). As people commit themselves to a prayer-based response to terrorist acts, they'll find those prayers serve as a spiritual underpinning to people on the front lines of the campaign to thwart terrorism. They may even glimpse the scientific certainty that because there is God, there is hope. And because there is hope, there is security. We can at least begin to prove this today.