Can a prayerful stand for justice and freedom make a difference? As one woman found when faced with an oppressive situation at work, the answer is yes – and this can offer hope and inspiration for our prayers in support of those championing positive change in Belarus and elsewhere.

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My husband and I have dear friends who live in Belarus, which is experiencing protests on an unprecedented scale in the aftermath of an election widely believed to have been rigged to favor longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko. It would be disheartening to think that all we can do is stand by and listen to the news, with no way to support the cries for freedom.

But through my study and practice of Christian Science I’ve seen that there is strength in active, prayerful protests for spiritual truth – in prayers based on the idea of God as the all-loving and all-powerful divine Principle. Mary Baker Eddy put forth this understanding of God, and how this spiritual Principle truly governs each of us, as she studied the instruction and effective, healing works of Christ Jesus.

This idea of God and healings that have resulted in my experience have given me confidence that we can rely on the power of prayer to bring release from oppression of all kinds, including physical, emotional, financial, and even political oppression.

Though nowhere near the scale of the circumstances in Belarus, I experienced at one point in my career how such spiritual understanding can make a difference when a change of the old guard is needed. I was working in what seemed a very oppressive environment. There was little joy expressed. Employees felt their abilities and ideas were stifled. Management’s communication often came across as abusive, and their actions inappropriate.

I began to pray every day to better understand God as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient – in other words, supreme, always present, and all-knowing.

As God is omnipotent, there is no other legitimate power, ego, or personality to rule against God’s children. Infinite Love does not share governance, will, power, or strength with any other supposed will. Infinitely powerful good, God, reigns.

God is also omnipresent divine Truth. Evil, including oppression, would suggest that God can be absent. But Mrs. Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” explains: “Because Truth is omnipotent in goodness, error, Truth’s opposite, has no might. Evil is but the counterpoise of nothingness. The greatest wrong is but a supposititious opposite of the highest right” (pp. 367-368). God is everywhere. Divine Truth and Love are never absent.

As the one divine Mind, God is omniscient. Despite contrary appearances, there are not many competing minds warring against each other. All of God’s ideas, or children, express this divine Mind, which includes only harmony and inspires solutions. In a collection of smaller writings, Mrs. Eddy states: “Immortal Mind is God; and this Mind is made manifest in all thoughts and desires that draw mankind toward purity, health, holiness, and the spiritual facts of being” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 37).

I knew that this was the spiritual reality, even though what was happening at work didn’t line up with it. So my prayers affirmed that we could all, including the administration, feel the peaceful, harmonious governance of God, divine Love. This helped me feel calm and certain that a solution would come forth.

And it did, very quickly. After a couple of weeks, during which I had been prayerfully protesting in this way, one morning our boss came in with a surprise announcement that some in management were voluntarily retiring early. And the reason given? “They wanted their freedom.” The atmosphere at work turned around completely. We had all been set free.

This experience illustrates to me the basic point that needs to be seen in regard to the much more severe circumstances in Belarus. It helps me trust that prayer based in divine Love’s omnipotent, omnipresent care for all His children can support those standing for change in that nation (and beyond). God’s supremacy and law of good is here, and powerful enough to lift injustice and fear.

A Bible promise assures us, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is” (Ezekiel 21:27). Children of Belarus, be assured, the divine Father-Mother of us all is present everywhere to impart justice, wisdom, peace, and prosperity to all, including to your warm and tender hearts. This is your divine right. We kneel in prayer with you.

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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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