Practical results from the Lord’s Prayer

A Christian Science perspective: God’s ever-present goodness can be tangibly felt in our lives.

In the economic downturn of 2008-09, our family business of many generations was forced to close its doors. This left me not only feeling great loss, but unemployed. I had invested most of my personal savings into trying to save the company and was virtually penniless.

Although the future seemed bleak indeed, like many others I have found that moments in quietness and contemplation of God can bring renewal and healing. So I humbly turned to prayer.

Centuries ago, Christ Jesus spoke of the importance of creating this quiet space by entering into our “closet” (see Matthew 6:6). I understand this to be a mental state that shuts out the jumble of “what-ifs” and worries.

I really needed that closet! Clamoring fears were trying to make me feel I was outside God’s love and care. The Lord’s Prayer came immediately to thought, and one line in particular stood out: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, gives a spiritual interpretation of this line: “Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 17). I wanted desperately to see more clearly that God, our loving Father-Mother, was caring for me – feeding me with infinite love, as it were – and would supply my need.

I humbly prayed with this beloved prayer. Yes, I wanted assurance that I would have the day-to-day necessities of life. But even more urgently, I wanted to know more of God’s grace, to better understand and feel His ever-present goodness.

Echoing the biblical Psalmist, Mrs. Eddy writes: “In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as ‘a very present help in trouble’ ” (Science and Health, pp. 12-13). Praying to discern everyone’s relationship to God, divine Love, shed light on God’s love for me as His spiritual idea, untouched by loss and devastation. I spent morning hours with the Christian Science Bible Lessons, which helped me learn more of God’s love and provision for all.

Soon I found temporary work to help with living expenses. As I continued a search for more gainful employment over the ensuing months, fear and depression tried to take hold. But when they did I would affirm that God is ever present as the source of all needed good, and that God’s love can never be taken away from anyone.

My growing confidence in this unchanging, universal Love reshaped my thinking from hopelessness to an expectation of good in my life, and the fear and depression dissolved. As this happened, a new and rewarding full-time job opened up in a most unexpected way.

This experience has given me the confidence to consistently rely on God as a loving, caring Father-Mother. Ever since, I’ve felt more tangibly that we are all “cared for, watched over, beloved and protected” (“Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 278).

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.