In a recent attack in Nigeria, the clerics of a mosque responded not with hatred, anger, or threats, but with continued prayer. Responding with prayer is not easy for anyone in the face of hatred, destruction, rubble, and death. But prayer that uplifts thought and turns it to God, good, the infinite Spirit, is the most effective response we can have. Becoming more conscious of the presence and power of divine good, we are capable of expressing goodness in our own lives and broadening its influence in our communities and countries.
Each of us can exercise moral and spiritual conviction and stand up prayerfully for the rights of humanity. What does this mean? It means to prayerfully support each individual’s right to freedom, security, safety, life, and peace. To pray for individual rights, we can pray to God, the author of our rights, and gain an understanding of God that dissolves fear and hatred in our own thought and lives. Fear and hatred are dissolved only by God, divine Love. They are replaced with His goodness and compassion when we grasp these higher ideals and assimilate them into our thinking. Our prayers bring the needed healing because they acknowledge God as the source of all good and the only power. Being free from terrorism and bondage is not only a human right, but also a divine right established and upheld by God, because He created us, and His goodness defends the rights of each of us. Our freedom is not man-given. It is God-given.
Christ Jesus certainly stood up for human and divine rights when he halted anything that terrorized mankind – storms, sickness, and sin. He saw that evil went against God’s loving laws, which establish good for His creation. He understood God to be the only power, and this understanding enabled him to rebuke anything that went against God’s law of good. We’re told of a story in the Bible that records Jesus on the top of a mountain rebuking temptation that tried to convince him of a power apart from God. He at last turned to the evil speaking to him and said, “Get thee hence, Satan.” And the evil left him (see Matthew 4:10, 11). Jesus understood that power, life, and strength are in God, good. As Jesus prayerfully and forcefully faced down each one of these threats, they were dissolved. This is how he overcame the temptations and grew closer to God, divine goodness.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “God has built a higher platform of human rights, and He has built it on diviner claims. These claims are not made through code or creed, but in demonstration of ‘on earth peace, good-will toward men’” (p. 226).
As our understanding of the power of God – good – grows, we will not be subject to the terrorizing acts of others and the threats of terrorism. Because we are children of God, made in His likeness, our human and divine rights are not at the mercy of evil. They are defended by the only power there really is: God.