Prayer that brings comfort and peace of mind
When we hear of frightening events driven by unsettled thinking, can our prayers help? Understanding God, Love, as the only power and intelligence brings a healing clarity to our thinking.
The mass shootings that have recently taken place in the United States have struck very close to home, particularly since I live about 100 miles from Uvalde, Texas, where one occurred at an elementary school in May. Such events are frightening and may cause us to feel as though our children are targets and that we can’t keep them safe.
Some suggest that prayer is what is needed, while others suggest that prayer is not enough. But I have found that the approach that brings the most comfort and hope is radical, scientific prayer – prayer that goes beyond pleading to a random, inconsistent, and inscrutable God who both gives and takes life at any given moment, to a growing understanding of God as knowable.
The metaphysical basis of this practical, scientific prayer is explained through the work of the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. She combed the Bible to discover the spiritually scientific laws governing God’s creation. Through inspiration and extensive research, she discovered that God is Spirit, whose presence fills all space; God is Love, who governs His creation’s action; God is Mind, who expresses all legitimate consciousness.
Mrs. Eddy also discovered that the child of God – man, in the language of the Bible and the lexicon of her writings – is the spiritual image and likeness, or expression, of God. This spiritual man (which includes everyone) is the pure, innocent, immortal idea who reflects divine Life and is inextinguishable. Any other sense of man as a fallible, volatile mortal is not the God-created man.
The Bible says: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). All power belongs to the one creator, whose omnipotent goodness drives all being. Therefore, there can be no opposite power to God. Because God is Love, Love must be omnipresent. So hidden evil, where hatred or malice seems to operate, is a suppositional opposite to this Love, and cannot ultimately prevail. This can be difficult to accept in the wake of tragedy; yet even a glimpse of this spiritual reality lifts crippling fear.
Mrs. Eddy writes in her primary work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “To fear sin is to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in man’s relation to God, – to doubt His government and distrust His omnipotent care” (p. 231).
Christ Jesus proved the practicality of these ideas in his healing ministry. He knew and trusted the clarity of Mind that God’s child naturally expresses when he healed a mentally disturbed man. The “unclean spirit” the man was manifesting gave its name as “Legion,” indicating many problems. Jesus’ spiritual sense enabled him to see beyond the mortal appearance to a spiritual image of intelligent Mind, incapable of reflecting anything less than the mental clarity of God. This had healing effect; by the end of the account, we read that those in the city and country came to see the man “in his right mind” (Mark 5:15).
In recognizing the “sound mind” we have as God’s intelligent creation, we can pray to see the man of God’s creating, “in his right mind,” reflecting the one divine Mind. On this basis we can also pray for our own peace of mind, which helps to keep us from being consumed by unproductive anger or fear when we hear of nightmarish events emerging from a mortal sense of life. The more we see clearly the totality of the divine Mind’s power and goodness, the more we feel the light finding its way into our thinking. This lifts us out of a dark mental state that would keep us from moving forward in productive, healing ways.
This is the light of divine Truth, God, which I have found comforts our hearts as nothing else can. I pray this spiritual light will comfort our extended neighbors in places touched by gun crime, our global family in Ukraine, and you and yours, too.