Many times it’s been said that today, Nov. 6, represents a momentous day of decision for America. What could be of greater moment than a nation choosing its next leader?
To me, there is something that holds higher import, though it may seem meek and insignificant – like the last red rosebud I noticed in my garden today, no bigger than a hazelnut, ready to burst open between its pale green sepals, defiant of the coming frost.
It’s a simple four-line prayer, springing from my heart, written by Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Monitor. It’s found in the “Manual of The Mother Church” (p. 41). It opens with Jesus’ words, taken from the Lord’s Prayer:
“ ‘Thy kingdom come;’ ” Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of that phrase is, “Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 16).
How wonderful to be assured that God, good, is with me and all of us, here and now, filling all space, and utterly infinite in lovingkindness and grace. This all-embracing intelligence is in charge. How fortunate that you and I are a vital part of this holy creation – this kingdom of Spirit, Life, and Love – as God’s image and likeness, or spiritual reflection. This phrase lays the foundation for the requests that follow:
“let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me,”
Dear Father, let me be an instrument of Your sovereign power, which is ever good. Help me be an agent of Your design, Your will. Open my eyes to see how You control everything, from the littlest seedling to the health of nations.
“and rule out of me all sin;”
Divine Love, banish whatever is unruly, ungodlike, in me. Cast out any sense of willfulness, self-justification, self-blindness, high-mindedness, anger, and fear. These belong not to Your creation, to me, or to anyone in truth, but are lies about Your creation, which Christ, Your quickening Spirit, destroys. Remove them from my thought, for Love itself knows them not. I reflect Thy love and Thy love alone.
“and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!”
May all of us, near and far, be strengthened in love. May we be made more tender and responsive to others, learn to bend as freely as a willow tree in the breeze to Your guidance and direction. Help us trust more consistently in Your law of good, Your Word. This is the true government, unimpeachable, imperishable, and eternal. Amen.
You may be reading this while riding on a train, waiting to enter a voting booth, standing in line with a stroller, or nestled in an armchair, preparing mentally for the day. Wherever we are, the meekness and might of such prayer, when earnestly felt, aligns thought with God’s reality. Can it improve our world in practical ways, as conventional wisdom implies that a vote at a polling booth can? Indeed, the prayer to God that flows from spiritual understanding and humility “availeth much,” the Bible promises (see James 5:16). The Scriptures also state, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7), implying that humanity’s progress and prosperity proceed from the inside out.
In the measure that individuals govern themselves righteously through God’s guidance, in that degree will the larger community, neighborhood, city, and nation advance in justice, virtue, and freedom. God’s unerring control is a concrete reality just waiting to be understood, acknowledged, and lived.
Truly, the beneficent reign of divine Love is near and nigh. Like the tiny, brave rosebud in my yard, whose unfolding petals look like two hands clasped in prayer, the season and promise of our Father’s love stands quietly by. As another biblical prophet once uttered: “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:26).