A Christian Science perspective: Gratefully recognizing God’s goodness equips us to embrace the world in prayer.

A while ago, I received an email from a woman in Africa. She was asking me to pray because a relative of hers had been kidnapped. He hadn’t been released and she was afraid for him.

I told her that I would earnestly pray. I took a deep breath and opened up my thought to God. This wasn’t an emotional, dramatic thing. It was more of a confident trust in God’s goodness and a desire to more fully understand God as entirely good.

I thought of this verse in the Bible: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). The goodness the Bible is talking about, I realized, is the goodness that is God. Simply to acknowledge that God’s goodness operates, and in fact operates unchallenged, is powerful prayer. More than just holding a good thought for everyone, it’s drawing unreservedly on God’s prevailing, loving, and active care for all.

It came to me that this person who had been kidnapped, and every one of us, is held safe – completely safe, in fact – in the goodness that is God. Our true nature is spiritual, the creation of the infinitely loving God. Divine Love can subdue even the worst motives and lift us out of the deepest fear, no matter what corner of the world we’re in. We all have the natural ability to feel and experience God’s goodness.

Early the next morning, I received an email indicating that thanks to a tip, the police had found and arrested the kidnappers. The person they had taken had been with them but was now free and safe. Needless to say, I was thankful to hear this!

I’ve found it is so worthwhile to recognize gratefully the divine goodness that is active at every moment on our behalf. The more we do this, the more equipped we feel to embrace the world in prayer that affirms our right to see and feel God’s loving allness in tangible ways.

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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.”

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