Prayer can resolve economic hardship

Even in what seem to be dire situations, leaning on God’s will instead of our own agenda leads to progress, as a woman found when her family’s business was in danger of bankruptcy. 

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My husband’s business had been struggling for a while and was now in serious financial trouble. Our competition was taking advantage of this, undercutting our prices and taking our customers. Vicious accusations were leveled against us. Furthermore, our suppliers were raising their prices, and we fell behind in our payments, causing them to close our accounts.

It seemed that nothing was going to save us from bankruptcy. Then our business faced three months of total inactivity when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and we were in danger of losing our home.

When things began looking desperate, we asked a Christian Science practitioner to pray for us, and we began to feel the effects of his prayers. It eventually dawned on my husband and me that we needed to stop all worry and merely human efforts – which had done little to resolve matters – and to pray instead. Every day we affirmed God’s allness and endeavored to see that divine Principle, not human will, was governing every aspect of our business. With humility, we listened – really listened – for God’s “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12).

At the time, I was the First Reader of our branch Church of Christ, Scientist. During the service one Sunday, the words “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10) kept coming to me. This is from the Lord’s Prayer that Christ Jesus taught his disciples. After the service I had a chance to think more deeply about what it actually means to let God’s will be done. The human mind always suggests that we need to take some action in order to disentangle ourselves from a problem. But this action, when based on human reasoning or willfulness, can be misguided.

In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes, “Will-power is but a product of belief, and this belief commits depredations on harmony” (p. 490). “Depredation” is an act of robbing or plundering, and it occurred to me that my husband and I were actually robbing ourselves of harmony by insisting that the day-to-day affairs of our business be conducted our way. It took humility to stop the human striving, all the pushing and demanding, and let God’s will be done, trusting that our business would unfold according to the divine Mind.

As I prayed, I saw that the business was actually an idea of God and was under God’s – Mind’s – harmonious control; it reflected the uninterrupted activity and completeness of divine Life, the honesty of Truth, the integrity of Principle, the cooperation of Love (Life, Truth, Principle, and Love are synonyms for God used in Christian Science). There are no vacuums in God’s kingdom, and no holes to fill, since divine Love fills all space. And there can be no competition or jostling for position, since each of us is God’s eternally cared-for child; we all have what we need and move at God’s direction. God is the source of everyone’s good, being the one, abundant supplier, providing and maintaining an infinite and uninterrupted chain of supply.

Would-be stumbling blocks were overcome through daily prayer. Eventually, prayer inspired us to take specific steps. One by one, our customers started to trade with us again. Our competition reached out to us for assistance, and the aggression we had felt from that sector dissipated completely, leaving a harmonious working relationship that continues today.

Then, last year our province of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, experienced severe weather and flooding, and our supply depot was destroyed. It seemed no supplies would be coming to the coastal area where we were, and the suppliers had no idea if they would ever begin to trade again. Surprisingly, we received a call from the last source I would have expected – our competition. They said we could buy the products we needed from them. How blessed we felt!

I continued to pray to know that nothing could be added to or taken away from the continuous flow of good, and soon our suppliers were back in operation, to the amazement of all.

I share this experience in the hope that it will encourage those who are struggling in these challenging economic times, as it illustrates God’s care for all of His children.

Adapted from an article published in the Feb. 6, 2023, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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