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Forwarding the peace process

The pages of the Monitor have carried throughout the years many articles, interviews, and editorials on the topic of peace. These have informed and analyzed; they have also promoted ideas for possible steps toward a more permanent peace where conflict has flared.

This particular space, however - the daily religious article - is where the Monitor offers specific spiritual insight into the solving of problems through prayer.

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The complicated nature of some conflicts results in their being labeled as almost unsolvable. But we don't have to accept this characterization of the chal-lenge. ''With God all things are possible,'' n1 the Bible assures us.

n1 Matthew 19:26.

Even if a peaceful, just solution doesn't seem possible to us at the moment, we can each make a positive, potent contribution toward that end. We can acknowledge in our own way through prayer that human thought, turning to the Divine, can be led to envision ways of peace that it previously may not have been able to see.

For instance, where the interests of Muslim, Jew, and Christian come in conflict, we can recognize that these people do share a common monotheistic view-the conviction that there is one God.Holding to this conviction ourselves as it relates to a specific difficulty, and acknowledging God's infinite goodness, is meaningful, effective prayer. Although we may not know how the one all-wise creator is able to bless all and injure none in an equitable solution, we will still be helping the world to move closer to a just resolution.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and the founder of this newspaper, was highly interested in world events and in the universal power of prayer to affect them. Certainly not naive by any standard, she makes these stirring comments in her book Science and Health: ''Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and indeeds."n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scripture s, p. 1.

Even the desire for peace is prayer. And as this desire is molded and exalted, words and deeds must form that can only generate this end. We may think we already desire peace and can have no greater desire for it. But as individual believers in the one God, we can examine our thoughts and actions, endeavoring to have them more and more consistent with this belief. We can be more willing to let our lives be lifted higher in the expression of God's nature , in a purer and more consistent love for humanity, in greater patience and understanding.

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Further, we can be loyal to our understanding of God by realizing the true nature of His creation.Man, as God's offspring, isn't really a hateful or deprived or oppressed or unjust mortal. He's the immortal, satisfied, wisely governed image of his creator. Praying from this standpoint is not naivet or mere optimism. One who understands and trusts God can prove to some degree in his own life, and for others, that prayer is truly a powerful healing influence.

Even if we have enormous difficulty trusting what we consider an enemy, and feel the lack of trust is justifiable, we can at least be willing to begin trusting God to reveal himself in blessings for the progress of mankind. We can also deepen our understanding of His ability to bring healing to the hatred and prejudice that breed war.

Let's allow our desire to express the Almighty's goodness increase in us. Though our prayers may not be audible, they will be no less powerful in helping to leaven world thought beneficially. Such prayer begins to tilt the balance away from the belief in the unavoidableness of hatred and unrest toward a God-inspired view of harmony as the actual fact of being. Thus, on the human scene, peace can come to be seen as inevitable. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

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