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Praying for better government

THE Bible teaches us how to pray not just about individual problems but about family, community, and world difficulties. Yet we may feel reticent even to attempt such prayer. We may feel that many others have prayed for a better government with little effect. But Scripture offers us encouraging promises if we will make the effort truly to pray. The New Testament says, ``The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.''1 And in the Old Testament we read, ``Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.''2

But how can one person's prayer have an impact on something as large and established as state or national government?

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Consider the way that the Master, Christ Jesus, described God's kingdom. He said, ``It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.''3

At first the leaven, the reality of God's kingdom and government, may seem small and insignificant. But the effect of leaven is to change whatever it enters into. Our understanding of divine justice and mercy, though small, can help bring to light in human consciousness and action more of the true purpose and value of government. Our humble prayer, rooted in a deep conviction of God's absolute supremacy, can help us and others glimpse more of the uninterrupted presence of God's kingdom, where man naturally expresses justice, wisdom, and integrity.

But what gives this prayer power? Prayer that makes a difference must embody a yielding to God, to the all-power and will of divine Truth. Prayer that is largely the product of human will seeking a divine blessing has little good or lasting impact.

The book of Isaiah gives us this inspired insight into the nature of God: ``The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.''4 This truth is the very basis of leavening prayer for government. God is indeed the Lawgiver. He is the source of all intelligence and justice. And God is always present. So our prayer is not so much a petition to God to intervene in the affairs of mankind as it is a quiet realization of the supremacy of God and man's relationship to Him.

In divine reality, God and man are forever related as perfect, spiritual Father and His perfect, spiritual offspring. There is never any alienation or separation in this relationship. God holds man forever with Himself. And only what God is causing can man express. These truths may seem far from real or practical as we look at the world around us. But because they are truth -- the enduring spiritual reality transcending the outward conditions of the moment -- they can be brought to bear on those conditions with healing impact.

Since God is not corrupt or self-absorbed, these traits are foreign to man's true nature. In God's kingdom, man is always under the jurisdiction of divine justice. And as we gain in our understanding of this spiritual truth, we'll be supporting humanity's progress toward freedom and fairness.

Referring to ``the Science of Christ and its spiritual interpretation,'' Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, observes: ``Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work. It must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in man's spiritual freedom.''5

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As we welcome the ``leaven of Truth'' into our hearts and become more active in our conviction that God is not separate from any aspect of His creation, we'll shake off the sense of helplessness and make an invaluable contribution to righteous government for our nation and the world.

1James 5:16. 2Psalms 33:12. 3Luke 13:21. 4Isaiah 33:22. 5Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 118.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations. Psalms 22:28

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