What if we all took a moment to pray to feel and express more of God’s love in our communities and our world, today – this year’s World Day of Prayer – and every day? Here’s an article that illustrates how powerful such prayer can be.

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People in over 170 countries are uniting today in this year’s World Day of Prayer. The focus is on women and children. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, loved them both. And she loved to pray. She wrote, “True prayer is not asking God for love; it is learning to love, and to include all mankind in one affection” (“No and Yes,” p. 39).

Twelve days before my wife, Joanne, and I were married, Joanne agreed to babysit a friend’s two children. Joanne’s two small boys played with her friend’s children, and in the evening she tucked them all in bed together.

A few days later, Joanne’s friend anxiously let us know her daughter now had chicken pox. This friend offered to care for Joanne’s boys during our wedding if they became ill. Joanne assured her that her offer was generous but that all was well. She told her not to feel guilty or be afraid; we would see her at the wedding.

Then Joanne and I prayed together, affirming that God, who is infinite Spirit, never created or allows suffering. There were anxious moments when fear tried to sneak into our thoughts. Yet the fear of contagion only forced us to go deeper in our prayer to discover spiritual laws upholding our health and God’s unending goodness and love. Divine Love had motivated Joanne to babysit, and divine Love embraced this precious little girl as well. And as the Bible says, perfect Love casts out fear (see I John 4:18).

To us, then, it was no surprise that the wedding took place as planned. Joanne’s boys participated in the wedding, untouched by that contagion. Joanne’s friend and her family were also at the wedding, and her daughter looked great.

As we pray, today and every day, let’s learn to love more, “and to include all mankind in one affection.”

This also aired on the March 6, 2020, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.

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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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