Praying about world leadership

Prayer can lift our thinking out of negativity and frustration about world leaders and contribute to a broader transformation of thought that supports healing change in the world.

Jose Luis Alvarez Esteban/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Christian Science Perspective audio edition
Loading the player...

I have endeavored to include our world leaders in my daily prayers. But when I realized recently that I was thinking negatively about certain leaders, I saw that I was actually working against my own prayers. In order to pray to support better, more just solutions emerging to national and global problems, I felt I needed to gain a clearer sense of what was spiritually true about all leaders.

In Christian Science, a starting point for prayer is understanding that there is but one Mind, one intelligence, which is God. However, the negative thoughts I was contending with meant I was believing in many minds and conflicting personalities instead of seeing the truth of this spiritual fact.

The discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before Truth can be understood. This sense is assimilated only as we are honest, unselfish, loving, and meek” (p. 272).

I was not keeping my thinking honest, unselfish, loving, and meek. Instead I was allowing myself to be tempted by all the negative news and conversations around me. I needed to see everyone – without exception – as God’s child, made in His image and likeness, as stated in the first chapter of the Bible (see Genesis 1:26).

I thought, too, about the story of St. Paul’s transformation as recorded in the Bible. As Saul, he really believed he was doing the right thing in violently persecuting the followers of Christ because he saw them as a threat to his religion. But when he encountered the Christ, he made a complete turnaround. And, as the Bible account shows, his transformation was so significant that “straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20).

Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, “Saul of Tarsus beheld the way – the Christ, or Truth – only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right” (p. 326). This woke me up to realize that unless I was striving to base my views of each leader on a spiritual sense – an understanding that each person is truly made in the image of God – I had only an “uncertain sense of right,” which is no more helpful than any opposing human views. Our views are the right ones only if they are based on what is true of God and His wholly good creation.

I find it helpful to remember that even though there were few Christians at the time of Saul’s persecution of them, it’s likely that despite their fears some of them must have been praying to see their persecutor in a more spiritual light, as Jesus had done when he forgave his persecutors on the cross. These collective prayers must have supported Saul’s openness to a shift in consciousness, which allowed the light of the Christ – defined in Science and Health as “the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness” (p. 332) – to shine in his heart and make a 180-degree change in his outlook.

Similarly, each of our prayers is needed and effective to open hearts – maybe even our own – to the healing message of the Christ. Gaining more spiritual views of others, including world leaders, can support a broader transformation of thinking and make a difference in our world.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Praying about world leadership
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today