In celebration of the recent rescue of 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave, today’s contributor reflects on spiritual ideas that helped her in a dangerous situation and have inspired her prayers for others facing similar challenges.

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The whole world has rallied around 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach, who were rescued last week after having been trapped for nearly three weeks when heavy rain drove them deep into a flooded cave. Hearts around the world soared when they were found, and then quickly sank with each prediction that was made about the chances of getting them out in less than four months, if at all. Numerous things could, and did, go wrong, and the odds were daunting. Those involved in the rescue operation expressed courage and selflessness, including a former Thai Navy SEAL who died and other expert divers from Thailand and all over the world who contributed to the rescue.

But even if we have no such expertise to offer, we still have a role to play when we hear of harrowing situations. Whenever we fear that human means and answers might fail, I have found value in immediately turning to the Bible, which conveys the healing Word of God and can inspire our conviction that a higher help is at hand for those in danger and for those aiding them. I love these trusting words in the book of Psalms: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (61:2). This plants hope on the rock of Truth, which Christian Science explains is another name for God, and this helps lift us from doubt and fear.

I’ve experienced in my own life how going to God in humble prayer for answers guides us to safety – physically and mentally. For instance, some years ago I found myself lost and alone in the middle of the ocean after I became separated from both the boat and the divers I’d been with while scuba diving. The biblical idea that we’re never truly alone or without help because God is always with us brought hope and comfort, and calmed my thought. In this mental peace, a clear idea came to me that enabled me to safely and successfully find the boat and then help the captain locate the rest of the divers (see “Never ‘lost at sea,’” Aug. 8, 2017, CSMonitor.com).

As we commune through prayer with God as infinite, divine Mind, and acknowledge His goodness and ever-presence, we can hear inspiration that guides, protects, and comforts, and feel that the source of our safety is close at hand. Such guiding inspirations are described as “angels” in the Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy. She defines angels, in part, as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect” (p. 581).

These intuitions guide us in ways we may never have imagined possible. Answers appear, new ideas present themselves, thought expands past limited human reasoning into the recognition of the boundless possibilities of the infinitely intelligent divine Mind, God. This brings help and peace when we need it and also inspires our prayers for others who may be lost or in danger, too.

This kind of prayer was a spiritual dimension of caring I felt I could bring to the situation in Thailand when the outcome seemed so far from certain. Ideas from the Bible brought me a calm conviction that the goodness of God, exemplified by all those helping, could prevail over uncertainty or the fear of failure. They lifted my thought to a recognition that the boys and their coach were loved and cared for by the divine Mind, which would guide and support those helping so heroically. Here are some of the biblical ideas I found comforting and inspirational as I prayed:

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.... Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.... Fear not: for I am with thee: ... bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:2, 4-7).

Such insights can bring help and peace whenever we need it and also inspire our prayers for others who may be lost or in danger. Whatever we face, or hear about others facing, we can let this promise encourage us: “And the Lord shall guide thee continually.... Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save....” (Isaiah 58:11, 59:1).

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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.”

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