In one territory of Africa alone, up to one million people are in desperate need of famine relief. Drought, stretching into a fourth year, is the primary cause. But as in other crisis areas, relief programs here are inhibited by regional and international politics. Humanitarian groups are forced to make political trade-offs as they try to feed the greatest number of people.
Philanthropy needs something in addition to human support. It needs our prayers. Prayer empowers human efforts with divine capabilities. It enlarges our spiritual vision and guides us to practical solutions. Prayer cuts through the complexity of political and economic systems with the simplicity of Christ's teaching. God is comprehensive but not complicated - a loving, benevolent, universal Father who cares for all of us impartially. Jesus frequently presented the divine in terms of the human. He said: ''What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?'' n1
n1 Matthew 7:9, 11.
Is God i2579we struggle in the vanguard against insurmountable odds, while God stays in the rear ranks? Too often mankind sees itself the victim of some sort of divine obliviousness, whereas man is truly the beloved child of God, protected and cared for by his heavenly Father.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as 'a very present help in trouble.' Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.' '' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 12-13
Human reasoning argues that there is just not enough water to go around, or no water at all. But the Bible is full of case histories where divine amplitude met human desperation. For example, the children of Israel were faced with lack of water in the wilderness, but at God's command a rock poured forth water. Hagar, the mother of Abraham's firstborn, was delivered in the wilderness when God opened her eyes to see a well of water. The armies of Israel were delivered from the Moabites when Elisha, directed by God, instructed that ditches be dug in a valley, and the ditches were filled with water overnight. ''And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord,'' n3 Elisha said.
n3 II Kings 3:18.
In these instances human reasoning, by itself, was unavailing. Instead, needs were cared for through the simple nature of divine Love's provision.
Even when climate is cruelly capricious and supplies are blocked by politics, in prayer we can see that spiritual channels of resource and communication remain wide and flowing. Because, in truth, man is inseparable from God, God communicates to man directly, and provides for him directly. And because this is truth, we can expect, as a result of prayer, to see greater evidence of it, and also to see more evidence that the real man cannot defy good or deny benevolence.
In spite of malice, greed, and lust for power, the divine law of Love governs man. Although human channels of aid today need to be opened, hungry people can look to a power beyond political decisions, whether coercive or benign. Divine Love can and will meet the human need. Man's access to divine good is unobstructed. His resources are spiritual, unlimited in substance.
Prayer is the open door that enables us to understand divine benevolence and that reveals new ideas for communication and cooperation. Such prayer can remove an apparent obstruction between God's love for man and its manifestation - whether such obstruction is politics, tyranny, logistics, Lack of food, or dourght itself.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. Isaiah 35:6, 7