Praying for those facing hunger and starvation
A Christian Science perspective: Divine Love treasures, cares for, and deeply loves one and all.
It was an image that’s all too familiar. A group of desperate women sat on the ground holding malnourished babies. They looked toward the camera without energy, simply flicking the flies off their little ones and waiting. The picture was one of helplessness and despair. As I watched the newsreel, I asked myself, “Is this what God intended for His children?” I was convinced it was not.
As my heart yearned for these neighbors on the other side of the world, I started to pray for them. I was drawn to focus on the idea of God as Spirit, as the Bible says (see John 4:24). My understanding of the nature of divine Spirit is that it is infinite, unlimited, and has enough justice, forgiveness, and resources to care for each of God’s children.
This sense of the Divine as just and loving is what inspires many people today to work so tirelessly to help others. And in the Bible we read of many instances that evidence God’s care for us, where individuals were nourished in times of famine. In Moses’ day the children of Israel received daily rations of manna as they crossed the desert (see Exodus 16). In Elisha’s time, 20 loaves of bread and a few ears of corn fed a crowd (see II Kings 4:42-44).
Centuries later, Christ Jesus met the need to feed a multitude when only scant provisions were available. Before distributing what seemed a desperately limited supply, Jesus thanked God for His boundless provision and passed out what he had. All were fed, and leftovers were collected (see Matthew 14:15-21).
In her major work, “Science and Heath with Key to the Scriptures,” Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy sheds light on how Jesus’ powerful proofs of the infinite love and provision of God point to the spiritual truth that divine Love meets the needs of each of its dear children. She writes: “It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good” (p. 494).
While we might not be able to feed thousands from a few loaves and fish, as Jesus did, we can begin to grasp the basis on which he did it – through his understanding that each individual was uniquely known to and loved by God. He said: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? ... Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6, 7).
So whenever circumstances seem to suggest that we, or others, are unknown, unimportant, or unworthy, we can push back with the assurance that each one is a uniquely cherished child of God. Each and every one of God’s children has dignity and worth.
And if that’s how God knows each of us, our prayer for those struggling across the world can affirm with gratitude how our infinite Father-Mother God is supplying boundless love and provision to all His, Her children, and trust that this can help bring to light healing answers to today’s human needs and the energy to act on them. As we keep abreast of the issues that need resolving and, perhaps, offer funds and time to help, let’s also be sure to pray for our hungering neighbors today. Divine Love treasures and deeply loves one and all.