Christ Jesus once said, ``Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.'' 1 Taking these words to heart, many of his followers have applied the teachings of the Master when faced with conflicts at work or at home and have proved that the power of prayer motivated by love can bring peace into their lives. Many people also recognize that the same governing divine Principle that restores peace among family, friends, or business associates can bring peace to the world as a whole. However, when the subject of praying for world peace is discussed, a question that frequently surfaces as an excuse to avoid involvement is this: Can the prayer of just one individual really have any effect on world affairs? The one asking this question is generally assumed to be taking a humble or self-effacing attitude by acknowledging that he is, after all, just one insignificant person without any international clout. But behind this attitude may lurk the following concern: If there's no means by which I can see proof that my prayer is affecting the situation, why pray? This question throws a different light on the subject. We might ask ourselves whether we're indeed being motivated by humility or by the opposite--a desire for personal credit.
The struggle for peace always requires an unselfish spirit of cooperation--true humility rather than personal glory. We may not always readily see the importance of our individual role. Yet each of us does have a vital part to play in the defeat of aggressive materialism, greed, hatred, prejudice--of all that would con- ceal the spiritual reality of God's perfect, peaceful government, which is forever established. This is a kind of warfare for peace, but it is not accomplished through physical combat. The victory is achieved through God-directed prayer. As St. Paul said, ``Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.'' 2
We can each enlist to support the cause of peace. Armed with love for God and man, and with a perception that man is now God's image, governed by Him alone, our prayers will not only lessen the elements of war in our own lives but will contribute to the efforts of peacemakers in larger conflicts. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.'' 3
The prayers of each one add strength to the total effectiveness of the campaign for peace. Yet the final outcome rests on a power greater than the sum of the individual participants. Prayer, deriving its authority from the Almighty, is a force beyond numeric calculation.
When peace is achieved through the prayers of the world, no one--from presidents to privates--can take personal credit for the result. Your name and picture may never get in the newspapers. But each time you read that some world problem you prayed about has been alleviated, you can rejoice that you were an enlisted peacemaker in the army that forwarded that progress.
1 Matthew 5:9. 2 II Corinthians 10:3-5. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 450. Daily Bible Verse: Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.