Spiritual alertness and divine guidance bring protection

A Christian Science perspective: Prayers for divine direction away from harm.

I had just left a friend’s home in central London and decided to explore various streets and neighborhoods nearby. I wandered from street to street enjoying myself. At one point, however, I realized that something was very wrong. There were no people anywhere to be seen and no cars passing by. This was not natural for the time of day or part of town. I felt an urgent need to pray.

Through the years, I have found great comfort and help by turning thought to God, divine Mind, for guidance and direction. Knowing that divine Love (another name for God) is everywhere present, I have learned that there is no place I can be where God is not. Understanding God to be Love, and that He fills all space, shows that He is constantly loving and caring for His creation, which includes everyone.

The Psalmist tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1).

I stood still for a few moments, affirming my inseparability from God and listening for His loving direction. The thought kept coming to me that I needed to be alert and get out of the area as soon as possible. I asked divine Mind to guide me, because I did not know where I was at that point and had no map or guidebook with me.

As I looked around, I felt impelled to take a certain street. While walking, I continued to pray.

As a life-long student of Christian Science I knew that man – each one of us as God’s creation – is spiritual. We dwell in God, the divine Mind, eternally safe in God’s care. Therefore I did not have to be afraid.

The words of a favorite hymn of mine came to mind:

... listening for Thy voice,
I hear Thy promise old and new,
that bids all fear to cease:
My presence still shall go with thee
And I will give thee peace. (Violet Hay, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 136, © CSBD)

I was led to take several different streets, and suddenly came to an intersection that was barricaded and filled with police and other emergency vehicles. An official using a megaphone told me to walk slowly toward them. He later wanted to know who I was, how I had gotten there, and why I was out on the street. He said the area had been blocked off because of an active bomb threat, and that people had been told to stay off the streets. I had not heard an announcement and apparently had already been inside the affected area when it was closed off on all sides.

After extensive questioning, I was told I could leave, but to be careful throughout my stay because the Irish Republican Army had increased its activities at that time and people were on heightened alert.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states in the chapter “Prayer” of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble.’ Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (pp. 12-13).

Every man, woman, and child has direct access, through spiritual intuition, to divine Mind’s direction at all times. No one is ever truly alone or left to his or her own devices. All can be strengthened and protected by God’s angels, His guiding thoughts, no matter where they are.

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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.”

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