After initial news reports about hurricane Harvey, I checked in with a friend from Houston to see if she was OK and to let her know that she and her family were in my thoughts and prayers. She responded that they were fine, but added, “Keep praying. It’s working.”
How do you pray following the effects of a massive flood? Many biblical characters acknowledged the power of prayer to deliver them from the impact of catastrophic events, including storms, earthquakes, floods, and fires. Their knowledge of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence enabled them to see their safety in God.
We can feel paralyzed in the wake of extreme weather events if we think that there is nothing we can do to help. But no matter where we live, our prayers to see God as the supreme power, as only good, and as loving and caring for creation at all times, can effectively help our brothers and sisters rise above seemingly overwhelming circumstances in trouble spots around the world.
The words of Psalm 91 have been so helpful. They encourage me to lift my thought and acknowledge that all of God’s children dwell “in the secret place of the most High ... under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalms 91:1).
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded her religion on the Science, or law, of the all-powerful Love that Christ Jesus proved, wrote: “In divine Science, man is the true image of God. The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow ...” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 259). Whereas a mortal thought model would keep man bowed down to a material body and an earth capable of frightening conditions, the reality of man made in the image and likeness of Spirit, God, actually shows man as having dominion over material circumstances.
In praying to see this dominion expressed by my fellow man, I’ve found it helpful to start with God as the divine Father-Mother of all. I know that God loves each and every one of His/Her children. And because God and man are inseparable, there is no place where God’s tender care cannot reach or be tangibly felt by people or animals. Psalm 91 continues, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (verse 2). God is divine Spirit, an ever-present source of guidance, strength, protection, and safety for all. “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands” (verses 11, 12).
In the weeks and months to come, many may ask if there is anything else we can do. I am so grateful to see the many donations of time, money, and goods that are already pouring in toward recovery efforts. And I am urged to continue praying that these resources honestly and efficiently get to where they are most needed. Understanding God to be all-wise divine Mind and man to reflect that Mind, I also pray to support the ability of those involved in decisionmaking or policymaking to make wise and prudent choices.
We don’t need to be deluged by difficult conditions. Instead, we can acknowledge the uplifting power of God’s saving grace in every circumstance.
A version of this article ran in the Aug. 31 issue of The Foxboro Reporter.