Calming stressful situations through prayer

We find the peace of mind to pray – even in stressful situations – when we understand God as Love. And the inner peace we find radiates outward to help calm others and bring solutions.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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I’ve sometimes wondered how we can heal spiritually when things like conflict and stress can be such big distractions. What was it that enabled Christ Jesus and others in the Bible to see through the noise of everyday life in order to heal?

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8), which “The Message” paraphrase of the Bible renders as, “You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”

For me, getting into my “inside world” means praying. And seeing God in the outside world indicates realizing the results of my prayers. But how do we find that quiet inside world when the distractions of the outside world are swirling around, seeming to cause worry, stress, and conflict?

Christian Science teaches that there is a spiritual law of divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, – the law of divine Love” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 19).

I’ve found it especially helpful to center my prayers around the concept of God as Love. And because this Love is God, it is the most spiritual Love one could ever feel – it is perfect Love. I’ve often reasoned this way: Love created you and me and everyone. So how would it be possible for something created by Love to experience something unlike Love – for example, stress? Wouldn’t that be a contradiction? Can the ultimate Love allow any discord? Where could stress possibly fit into a life created by and governed by Love?

It is these types of ideas that give me a better sense of who I am and a concrete way to overcome the noise – the stress and conflict that can seem to be part of everyday life – and really pray. I find I can do this when I recognize our inseparability from God. Science and Health says: “Let us rid ourselves of the belief that man is separated from God, and obey only the divine Principle, Life and Love. Here is the great point of departure for all true spiritual growth” (p. 91).

Once when I was traveling to a meeting, my flight was delayed due to a mechanical issue. What was supposed to be a quick fix turned into a much longer wait than I’d anticipated, and it seemed unlikely that I would be able to make my connecting flight.

After we took off, I discovered I was surrounded by others talking and fretting about missing their connections, including a very chatty passenger next to me. Emotions were running high, but amid the chatter, I quietly turned to God in prayer. I prayed to know that everything was being guided perfectly by God and that nothing could separate any of us from God’s care or from the spiritual law of divine Love, which includes harmony in all things, even in seemingly uncontrollable situations.

Not only did my prayers help to calm me, but a calm seemed to settle over everyone on that flight. Once we landed, the flight attendant began calling out connecting gates, and there was a mutual agreement by everyone on the plane to let those making connections get off first. There was also a tangible air of compassion, politeness, and respect being expressed as passengers helped each other leave as quickly as possible. A flight attendant told me that my connecting flight was waiting to take off until I got there. I easily made it to the gate and arrived safely at my destination.

When we recognize God as our entirely spiritual creator, who is the ultimate definition of Love, and we understand our relationship to that Love, we find our own inner peace as well as ways to extend that peace to others.

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