Fighting wildfires in Texas with a rain of prayer

A Christian Science perspective: The call for prayer in Texas inspired this Texan to pray for the shower of God's saving grace.

As wildfires continue to rage across Texas, having already consumed more than 1 million acres and having left hundreds of homes in ruins, Governor Rick Perry asked Texans to pray for rain.

Yes, a contingent of raindrops storming in to aid the army of dedicated firefighters would certainly feel like a Godsend. The drought conditions in the state have fueled the flames to a point that they seem to have their own unstoppable life, one that rages out of control and without mercy, without any kindness toward the land or toward Texans.

The call by the governor to pray is certainly a right one, for what but the power of God Himself could truly quench the seemingly unquenchable? Yet, while rain may bring some relief, can it of itself show compassion? Can it reason with the flames? Can it undo what has already been done? For this, the work of a higher Mind is needed.

The level of destruction, of people left without homes and with lost belongings, is devastating. Living in Texas, I’ve felt the pull to ride the wave of fear and to fan the flames of helplessness and worry, and to feel grateful that I’ve been out of harm’s way. But the picture of despair and desperation, of being chased by a monster that moves too fast for us to outrun, is really not what I need to be seeing or attempting to fix. And I believe we can draw upon the power that moves mountains, quiets storms, and douses infernos: God.

As I was thinking more about how I could pray about this attack on our state and its people, I was alerted to the word “animate.” Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, described “Creator” as “the animating divine Principle of all that is real and good” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 583). To animate is to give life to, to fill with courage, to inspire to action. And our Creator, God – as perfect Love, the Principle of all, of every element, every creature, every aspect of the universe – grants a life only to that which He proclaims, proves, and abides by. He is Life itself. Destructiveness is not of God, so it can’t be animated.

I’ve found it helpful to see nature as controlled by divine wisdom. This wisdom articulates harmony, beauty, and active glory. It expresses God’s qualities. Not one of us, as the son or daughter of God, can be animated by terror, worry, desperation, carelessness, hopelessness, or any evil. Each of us is given life that is in harmony with God. Therefore, we actually abide in a place of peace, growth, safety, serenity, intelligence, poise, energy, authority, trust, faith, and comfort.

These ideas are helping me combat in my own thoughts and prayers this catastrophic occurrence. I can know and hold to the fact that God as Principle can stamp out unprincipled destructiveness. I am also taking hold of these ideas in my own life and for others in my experience and in the world. I’m remembering that “perfection does not animate imperfection” (Science and Health, p. 243). God alone governs and controls, with goodness and love. One God has power over our land and our thoughts.

So today I am doing my duty as a Texan and praying for rain – the refreshing and natural shower of Love’s animating, uplifting, and saving grace.

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