NO matter how dangerous a situation we may find ourselves in, we can rely on the power of God to guide and protect us. Prayer shows us how to recognize God's presence with us, no matter what we face. Violence is an imposition against mankind, and with God's help we can rise in rebellion against it. Regardless of what form evil seems to take-- aggression, violence, terrorism, verbal pollution, graffiti--it is never true of God or His spiritual creation, man.
In his Sermon on the Mount, found in the Bible in Matthew's Gospel, Christ Jesus declares, ``Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Jesus is the master Christian and our Way-shower, and we can follow and benefit from his teachings and example. We are peacemakers to the degree that we prayerfully rebel against violence. Violence has no place in God's creation, the only reality. And striving to destroy violence by living as peacemakers even in the small things of our da ily lives benefits others, as well as ourselves. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, points out in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The destruction of the claims of mortal mind through Science, by which man can escape from sin and mortality, blesses the whole human family."
One vacation day, my family and I saw how effective prayer can be in defusing a dangerous and potentially violent situation. We had decided to go into the city for a day of fun. When changing subway trains, we needed to pass through a tunnel that led to the platform for our train. In the tunnel there was a small group of young men, two of whom were arguing. They were very loud and threatening--and appeared on the brink of a fight.
The people wishing to go to the platform to wait for the train passed the spot hesitantly because of the boys' erratic behavior. As I walked past one of the boys who was arguing, I saw that he had a knife in his hand. It was only a few inches away from me. Instead of feeling frightened, however, I felt God's, divine Love's, ever-presence and His care for each one of us.
Though the boys continued to threaten each other, I kept still and prayerfully affirmed that God's law was present and in opera-tion. There could therefore be no other power. As I prayed during those moments, I remembered this passage from Science and Health: ``Mankind must learn that evil is not power. Its so-called despotism is but a phase of nothingness. Christian Science despoils the kingdom of evil, and pre-eminently promotes affection and virtue in families and therefore in the community."
It appeared we were all trapped by this situation. As I continued to pray, however, the group began breaking up and some of them were starting to leave the station. We asked the attendant on duty to notify the police, but in a short time the group had totally dispersed with everyone unharmed. We returned to the platform. The train arrived and we all got on.
This experience helped reaffirm my conviction that I can turn to God and His law of immutable good when faced with any difficulty. And I saw once again how practical is the promise of Christ Jesus' words as recorded in John's Gospel: ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The truth of God's protecting care for His loved, spiritual creation, when clearly seen, meets immediate needs. It can deliver mankind from violence and hatred. Relying on God in prayer makes us peacemakers and e nables us all to ``be called the children of God."