Many years ago, when working in law enforcement, I was in a situation where a crowd formed very quickly and began throwing bottles and rocks at us. Immediately, I turned to God for help. Although I don’t recall the specifics of my prayer, I do remember praying to feel unity.
The order was given to us to “hold our ground.” At first, I thought we should either move forward or retreat to cover. However, I did follow orders, as did the other officers.
There’s a deeper, spiritual sense of “holding our ground” that I am also familiar with. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this news organization, says, “hold your ground with the unshaken understanding of Truth and Love, and you will win” (p. 417). In this instance she is specifically referring to healing sickness, but I’ve found this idea helpful in situations of all kinds, including conflict.
Christian Science explains that there is no legitimate power opposed to God, who is divine Truth and Love. “Winning” to me means seeing the Christ, the Truth that Jesus demonstrated, all around us. The Christ-idea comes harmoniously to each and every one of us, helping us realize our real, spiritual identity as God’s children – unified, peaceful, safe.
This realization enables us to neither retreat nor charge, but instead to steadfastly hold our position – hold to the goodness and harmony of God’s creation. Divine Love is ever present and all-powerful, here to guide everyone in taking the right steps. Each of us can affirm God’s allness anytime, anywhere, in any set of circumstances. And taking this prayerful stand supports a peaceful outcome.
This proved to be true in that situation with the crowd. None of us were hit by the debris being thrown at us, and suddenly the crowd dispersed. To me this experience showed how the light of the Christ, God’s saving power, is always shining right where we are, revealing God’s children to be safe, protected.
It’s a message I’ve taken to heart thinking about protests that turn violent, looting, and other unrest we see these days. While protests, when peaceful, can be a valid expression of discontent with the status quo, for those wanting to make a difference, taking to the streets isn’t the only option available. Praying more diligently and consistently is an important step.
There’s a passage in Science and Health that helps us understand how to pray effectively. Mrs. Eddy referred to the “humble prayers” of Jesus, who demonstrated God’s healing and saving power in profound ways, as “deep and conscientious protests of Truth, – of man’s likeness to God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love” (p. 12).
Each of us can take part in this form of action – in prayer that is a spiritual and mental protest against the notion that any problem is beyond the reach of God’s healing power. Such prayer opens the door for the light of Christ to shine, even in the darkness.
Some more great ideas! To read or share an article for teenagers about trusting God in uncertain times titled, “How I’ve been praying during COVID-19,” please click through to the TeenConnect section of www.JSH-Online.com. There is no paywall for this content.