Prayer for Syrian refugees

A Christian Science perspective.

As I watched on television the Syrian refugees pouring out of their country, reaching the borders of their neighbors in Jordan and surrounding countries, needing the shelter and food the United Nations was desperately trying to provide, I was prompted to pray for them.

My prayer began with a hymn, No. 278 from the “Christian Science Hymnal”:

Pilgrim on earth, home and heaven are within thee,
Heir of the ages and child of the day.
Cared for, watched over, beloved and protected,
Walk thou with courage each step of the way.

I could affirm that God, who blesses His creation, was right there blessing each one with courage and strength. Our supreme and only God is Love, and such a God would not punish His sons and daughters by thrusting them out of their true home – the kingdom of heaven, the spiritual harmony and peace that is their birthright. No one can be outcast from omnipresent Love, God; God is one with His creation.

Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Noah, and others all proved this. Men and women throughout history have demonstrated this oneness. Separation from God or from Life and Truth’s benevolence is out of the question.

All men, women, and children are “rooted and grounded” in God. The Bible states, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19). So we can deny evil’s claim to victimize people and produce fear, confusion, lack, or homelessness.

Whether the beloved of God – be they Christian, Muslim, or Jew – call Him God or Allah, He is one God. His will for each of us is not displacement or victimization, which deprives us of our home, peace, or supply. God’s plan for us is good, because God is all good. The Bible says, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Praying for God’s will to be done is not a blind faith, but a certainty that this omnipotent will is already done. We don’t have to bring it into being. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done...” The word “will” is described by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in two ways: Materially it’s “the motive-power of error; moral belief; animal power.” Spiritually it is “the might and wisdom of God” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 597).

No evil, aggressive action of mortal mind, the opposite of divine Mind, God, can push or drive anyone from the kingdom of heaven, from the Father-Mother God’s continuing plan and purpose for all. The belief in a mind apart from God is powerless. We can declare it powerless, knowing that cruelty and malice are not the truth about any of God’s creation. God, who is merciful and kind, cares for His sons and daughters.

Whatever causes innocent individuals to flee for their lives, God corrects with His law. God’s law redeems and saves. Mrs. Eddy states, “God’s law is in three words, ‘I am All;’ and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law. God pities our woes with the love of a Father for His child, – not by becoming human, and knowing sin, or naught, but by removing our knowledge of what is not” (“No and Yes,” p. 30).

Despotic tendencies come from the belief in many mortal minds, and this mistaken view of man as material and carnal can be eradicated through the action of the divine Mind. The desire for freedom and right government is a righteous one. Eddy states, “Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression” (Science and Health, p. 227).

Our Father-Mother God sustains and maintains each of us. We are not at the mercy of matter, or mortal mind’s cruelty. Injustice, conflict, fighting, and hostility are the lie about God’s harmonious universe.

To me this verse from II Samuel conveys God’s care for all His creation: “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore” (7:10). “The Message,” by Eugene Peterson, says it this way: “I'm going to set aside a place for my people Israel and plant them there so they’ll have their own home and not be knocked around anymore. Nor will evil men afflict you as they always have.... Finally, I’m going to give you peace from all your enemies.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to