When a catastrophic situation occurs in a country, it can impact the mental well-being of those affected by it. Here in Australia, for instance, many residents continue to feel extreme distress relating to the recent disastrous bushfires. Those interviewed by reporters struggled to hold back their tears at the loss of homes, businesses, jobs, farms, livestock, forests, and native animals. What’s more, the road to recovery looks long and difficult.
When disaster strikes, it’s important that people receive expressions of heartfelt caring: a helping hand, a comforting hug, a message of hope and reassurance, and – most importantly, from my point of view – tender-hearted thoughts and prayers for everyone’s well-being and recovery.
The caring messages shared by kindhearted people around the world, who let Australians know they were not alone in their hour of need, brought me comfort and hope. It was heartening to realize that every moment of the day and night, somebody, somewhere, was giving supportive, caring prayer. This certainly inspired me to add my prayers for those who were impacted by the fires.
My prayers acknowledged that God, the divine Father-Mother of us all who is also infinite Love, is always on hand to aid those who need help, as well as those who want to give help. The Bible says that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (II Corinthians 1:4, New International Version). From the comfort and healing I have experienced throughout my life, I know that right now, at every moment, God is taking care of His dear offspring. No one is left out. No one can be lost to God, divine Love and Life. Everyone is included and therefore has an innate capacity to feel infinite Love’s tender comfort, which lifts grief and lights the path forward.
Prayer affirming this as the spiritual reality requires us to align our thoughts with the great heart of divine Love. It enables us to stand firm in the face of trauma by revealing God as good, and His goodness as universal and constantly on hand to bless.
I’ve also found it helpful for such prayer to include gratitude for the immediacy and effectiveness of God’s love in bringing relief and healing. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, explains in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494). When we’re open to divine Love’s care, we discern inspiration that brings comfort, healing, and progress.
Recently, when bushfires were occurring near where a friend was located, I phoned my friend. I wanted to let her know that I was thinking of her, and to assure her that she and everyone was wrapped up in God’s protective care. Following our conversation, I prayed with her, affirming that no matter how dire the situation, divine Love is ever present to meet one’s need for safety. Later my friend told me that she had been able to remain calm throughout the situation, which she attributed to my caring call and to prayer.
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote of the power of keeping one’s thought “filled with Truth and Love,” which are synonyms for God, noting that “all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210). When prayer comes from our heart and is inspired by divine Love, it is truly a blessing. Wherever we are in the world, we can participate in generous, caring prayer that expresses God’s love, radiating God’s healing goodness, care, and comfort.