Recent events in the news have brought to mind how helpful it is to pray both while planning a trip and while traveling, whether at home or abroad.
As a lifelong Christian Scientist, I’ve found it natural to pray by quietly turning in thought to our heavenly Father, as Christ Jesus taught his disciples to do. I often begin by affirming God’s presence and all-power for good, and our inseparability from good, as God’s spiritual creation (see Psalms 100:3). A favorite Bible passage promises, “Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace” (Isaiah 55:12).
Prayer was particularly helpful when my family was traveling in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the 1960s. Making the necessary arrangements was complex, and every effort to plan certain segments of the trip before leaving failed, for one reason or another.
Mary Baker Eddy (the founder of Christian Science and of the Monitor) says: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).
As we prayed about the situation, even though not all the details had been figured out, we felt led to go forward with the trip – grateful for the travel arrangements already made and knowing that God would be with us each step of the way. Our true identity is inseparable from God – who, as the Bible indicates, is infinite, embracing all and knowing all that is good and true. There isn’t anything outside of God’s infinitude, His allness. Therefore, as His likeness, His expression, we all have the innate ability to know what we need to know, when we need to know it.
While traveling, we continued to pray each day for guidance, acknowledging God’s loving care for every one of His children. Mrs. Eddy points out in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” that “God is infinite, therefore ever present, and there is no other power nor presence” (p. 471). To me, this is a reminder that we, God’s spiritual expression, are always in God’s presence. We can acknowledge this spiritual fact and avail ourselves of divine guidance and care wherever we may be. God, as the only power, is the true source of everyone’s well-being.
Praying in this way during our travels, we saw how beautifully protected we were by listening to God and not willfully forging ahead with our original plans. Our needs were perfectly met each step of the way. For instance, when it was time to leave Yugoslavia, the thought came to us to see if we could rent a car to drive to Germany, since all flights were fully booked. There was a rental agency near our hotel, and it turned out that a car from Germany had just been dropped off. Because the people who had rented the car before us had paid a huge one-way drop-off charge, we were told that there would be no rental fee and we would only have to pay for gas, if we took the car back to Germany. I saw this as evidence of the accuracy and precision with which God, divine Love, inspires solutions that meet everyone’s needs.
Our travels that summer strengthened my trust in God, and in the decades since, I’ve had many other experiences showing me that we can rely on God wherever we are. Science and Health tells us: “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). Individuals everywhere can turn to God, be receptive to divine inspiration, and experience Love’s blessings.