Prayer's counterattack on cyberwarfare

A Christian Science perspective.

We all know the landscape of war has changed. Combat doesn’t just take place on the ground. Weapons of mass destruction aren’t easily detected or recognizable. There’s no doubt the events of 9/11 contributed to this massive awakening. And yet, perhaps the bigger threat is the idea that the world’s security can’t be adequately protected without radical new approaches.

Now, security experts claim they’ve found the first known “cyber-superweapon.” It begins in the digital realm and moves to the physical, with the aim of attacking and destroying a real-world target. The cyberworm, called Stuxnet, was detected in June of this year, stumping computer security experts. The Monitor reported, “Too large, too encrypted, too complex to be immediately understood, it employed amazing new tricks, like taking control of a computer system without the user taking any action or clicking any button other than inserting an infected memory stick” (Sept. 21).

In the few months researchers have investigated Stuxnet, they still don’t know where or how it originated. The article adds that they have found that, rather than simply spying, “Stuxnet is essentially a precision, military-grade cybermissile deployed early last year to seek out and destroy one real-world target of high importance – a target still unknown.” It would appear that the average citizen is helpless and at the mercy of security and cyber experts to find a solution to such a troubling scenario.

But consider this: We can employ a tool so precise, so exact in its trajectory, that nothing can withstand its power. That tool is scientific prayer, the prayer Christ Jesus employed when he healed the sick and raised the dead. The prayer whose best and most complete explanation is found in Mary Baker Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She was not oblivious to what threatens to undermine our security. “The looms of crime,” she observed, “hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, are every hour weaving webs more complicated and subtle” (p. 102).

Where can prayer begin to address these “webs”? First, we must be vigilant not to accept the premise that security is based on material planning and human power, or that our safety can be invaded ­­– even for a second. The true source of power and intelligence originates in the divine Mind, the Mind we each reflect, the Creator of all. Mind controls all action, and protects and preserves its ideas from modern and ancient snares. Like the prophet Elisha, who turned to God when he faced a stealth military ambush, we can pray, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (II Kings 6:16).

Evil will always try to hide itself, but true detection comes about through spiritual “seeing.” Each of us is “hard-wired,” if you will, with spiritual discernment – the ability to know what is good and acceptable, and to detect what isn’t so it can be destroyed. Whatever we need to know, Mind will be sure we know it! Science and Health offers this counsel: “Acquaintance with the Science of being enables us to commune more largely with the divine Mind, to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, to be divinely inspired, – yea, to reach the range of fetterless Mind” (p. 84).

Ultimately, there is no malicious thought “out there,” devising harmful schemes and bringing them to fruition. God is All, and God’s purpose is good and blesses all. To understand this is to realize everyone’s needs are met through divine Love. So there doesn’t need to be competition for resources. Nor is there anything to arouse fear and drive one nation or culture to attack another. This may seem all too optimistic, but the spiritual fact is that divine Love is omnipotent and fully able to withstand any hateful or hate-filled thought or action. And we drive out fear through love. Each of us dwells in the arms of divine Love, and there is no outside to this Love, where evil can affect the things we care about.

The world may frequently present us with instability and myriad reasons for fear. There’s nothing wrong with being alert to such threats, but we don’t need to be fearful or discouraged by them. The one Mind, omnipotent Love, is our­ – and everyone’s – protector, guide, and intelligence.

From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.

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