In many places in the world today, businesses are said to be running low on all kinds of goods and services. “You name it, and we have a shortage on it,” is how the CEO of one large United States manufacturer describes it (Brendan Murray, Enda Curran, Kim Chipman, “The World Economy is Suddenly Running Low on Everything,” www.bloomberg.com, May 17, 2021). He added that customers are trying to get everything they can now because they expect the shortages to extend into next year.
We can choose a very different, inexhaustible resource to double down on. And that’s prayer. Not a prayer that asks for things, but a spiritual understanding that challenges notions of limitation, including the notion that we’re sliding inevitably toward acute imbalance between supply and demand in the wake of the pandemic and that it will take time to replenish and recover.
Biblical accounts provide proofs that prayer can make a powerful, immediate difference – and my own experience has shown me this, too. One example of supply meeting demand a number of years ago was when our family unexpectedly had to move out of our home at a point when there was a critical shortage of affordable housing in our area. We were also in a financial position that appeared to restrict our options. But as we began our home search with prayer, we saw it was less about finding a house than about learning where our true security and supply lay – fully established in God’s, divine Love’s, enduring care.
We found encouragement in this promise from the Apostle Paul: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). We took to heart this unshakable conviction that divine Love’s abundant provision is available to everyone through the eternal Christ, the healing nature and power of God.
Letting this prayer lead the way, we found a home that met our needs for many years. All the details of the purchase fell readily into place, including the full resolution of our financial shortfall.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, saw this spiritual fullness as continuous and reliable. She wrote, “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).
What are the “daily supplies” that spiritual ideas give us? Aren’t they the God-given intelligence, moral courage, and spiritual resilience that enable us to find practical answers to claims of lack and imbalance?
I have found that such qualities, inherent in each of us, come to light as I pray, because the spiritual ideas that give us these daily supplies comprise an understanding of God. Mrs. Eddy’s key text on Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” states, “It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony” (p. 390).
God is ever-present, completely spiritual Love. And Love sees us as its own children, made in God’s image, expressing the divine perfection. In proportion as we understand this, we can prove it. We can by degrees demonstrate abundance in the way most profoundly exemplified by Christ Jesus in feeding thousands of people with a minuscule amount of food (see John 6:5-13).
Jesus showed us that we can experience dominion over the flawed, matter-based assumptions that go along with shortages. Jesus looked beyond the limited, conventional thinking of the disciple who said of the five loaves and two fish at hand, “What are they among so many?” The result was that more food remained after everyone was fed than they’d had beforehand.
This narrative illustrates so vividly that true substance is spiritual and comes from God, who is Spirit itself – and that man in God’s image and likeness, fully and firmly established as God’s reflection, is abundantly blessed with the substance of Spirit. This substance, already present in all its fullness, nullifies the ingrained but mistaken opinion that material shortages can threaten or delay our ability to move forward from any challenge. Our understanding of this finds expression in the tangible proof that God’s inexhaustible nature supplies the ideas that, in turn, meet our human needs today.
Adapted from an editorial published in the Aug. 30, 2021, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.