My heart and my prayers go out to the people of Japan today. I pray that they feel the presence of a benevolent Father-Mother God despite the picture around them. I pray for them to feel the conviction that suffering isn’t a human condition brought about by a so-called “act of God,” but that God’s voice of calm can be heard amidst the roar of earthquake and tsunami, guiding one safely.
In 1994 when the Northridge earthquake hit my town in California, the assurance of God’s love quieted my thought so that I could hear what steps I needed to take to secure my own well-being and that of others. It buoyed my spirits and solidified my conviction in the power of Love, another name for God. This allowed me to perceive other people’s needs and to express the strength, hope, and comfort they yearned to feel.
At such times, I find it most helpful to begin my prayer with God, with a deeper understanding of His nature. I take refuge in identifying God as another name for good, recognizing that in order for my prayer to glorify God, it must glorify good. This helps cut through the shock of events to the fact that, as divine Principle, God perpetually governs by law. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and the like, suggest a departure from that law, but God’s forever law remains harmonious, life-giving, and impossible to overturn.
Christ Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is right at hand – within reach of everyone! To come to feel this assurance, our prayer must begin with such a rarefied view of God – a God who is supreme, pure Love, infinite, and almighty – that we can’t be fooled into believing in a destructive force that can oppose this gracious Principle.
In her textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy articulates where effective prayer starts. She writes: “To grasp the reality and order of being in its Science, you must begin by reckoning God as the divine Principle of all that really is. Spirit, Life, Truth, Love, combine as one, – and are the Scriptural names for God. All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God” (p. 275). Acknowledging that all substance and intelligence, cause and effect derive from God, stills the tempests of thought and of destructive forces, just as it did for Jesus. Turning to divine Love for wisdom guides one’s every step, giving purpose to that step and leaving an indelible footprint for others to follow. This powerful prayer puts down every claim to the contrary.
In the days to come, inhabitants of the Pacific “ring of fire” region most often hit by earthquakes and tsunamis deserve this assurance. Too often, victims of disasters are told that they have brought it upon themselves, holding them responsible as both cause and effect. This is simply not true! It doesn’t compute with Jesus’ promise of the kingdom within. God, Father and Mother, neither labels Her children – and we’re all God’s children – as perpetrators or victims. Every idea of God is valuable and valued because God shapes every idea as Her image and likeness.
My prayer, today, is for every individual in that region and in other regions of unrest to hear God’s guidance, feel God’s love, experience God’s grace. That is their divine right, a fact that no earthquake, tsunami, threat of nuclear meltdown, or fire, has the power or presence to overturn!
Reprinted from spirituality.com.