IT'S all too easy to flow with the tide of current thinking and accept a feeling of hopelessness or helplessness in the face of world problems. There seems to be so much that is needed to set things right the world over. We may be engaged in humanitarian efforts to help in one area or another, but what we do can seem so limited in the face of the magnitude of the task.
Obviously, there's a limit to how much time and money we can spend to help others, but there is another form of assistance we can offer that has no limits. We can pray! As we turn to God in prayer to feel His love for His creation and to hear what He is communicating to us, we get caught up in a different sort of tide-- a tide of healing.
God is infinite Love, Spirit, Mind. Listening for the inspiration of Love, seeking to know the intelligent ideas that divine Mind is imparting, lifts us to the point where we are carried along with a flow of spiritual ideas. Such prayer enables us to become part of a current of thought that heals and blesses our world. Healing ideas from God touch the farthest-flung reaches of human existence. God pours forth only that which is good, pure, and loving. The Bible says of Him in Habakkuk: ``Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity'' (1:13). When we start to see our world accurately, from a spiritual viewpoint, we will see our prayers make a difference.
The Bible is full of instances of people who made a difference to the world because they were humble and willing enough to listen to God and obey Him. Moses, for example, separated himself from the general current of thought when he left the people he was leading through the wilderness and went up into a mountain to commune with God. The result of this elevation of thought was the Ten Commandments. Our obedience to them is still fundamental to just action today. What a healing difference Moses made to the world!
Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount brings an even deeper, more spiritual dimension to the world's understanding of love and brotherhood. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, makes clear in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that these milestones of human progress are part of a tide of healing that is unstoppable. She writes: ``The thunder of Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount are pursuing and will overtake the ages, rebuking in their course all error and proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth'' (p. 174).
By setting aside time to pray for the world, we become part of this wonderful, ceaseless flow of healing. I remember when I became particularly aware of the joy of this work. It was in the period preceding the recent multiracial elections in South Africa. An important leader was resisting being a part of these elections, and there seemed to be a stalemate, despite the sincere efforts of negotiators. Though I live very far from South Africa, one morning I found myself praying very earnestly about this situation. My prayer brought me close to South Africa in a way that had nothing to do with physical distance. As I prayed, I felt it was very important for me to understand God's government of the situation, to know God was the only power and was communicating the way forward for all concerned in the elections. That evening it was announced in the news that the leader concerned had withdrawn his objections and the elections were to go ahead.
I know that many others were also praying to bring about this change. How wonderful it was to be part of a tide of prayer that was felt the world over! It was a divine current of thought, flowing out from God, who is Love, that lighted up our prayers and brought healing. You will remember what a great sense of peace and healing was expressed through the orderliness of the elections.
The more we refuse to swim with the mortal tide of helplessness or hopelessness, the easier we find it to acknowledge God's power and to seek a spiritual perspective on the problems facing the world. This God-inspired prayer will bring change for the better to our world. And we'll be part of an unstoppable tide of healing prayer.