Viewed through the eyes of many news reports, the world is full of bewilderment and dire need. Viewing such scenes with spiritual inspiration, the woman who founded this newspaper threw a different light on the picture. And she wrote, "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds" (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 4).
What is this grace, a grace we so greatly need? It has many facets. One is the capacity and willingness to acknowledge the wisdom of God, the divine Mind. Another is the yielding to His power, which operates continuously for the good of humankind. Christian Science shows this involves our acknowledging that God is good and is All, as well as denying evil as real and true, because it is unknown to God.
As we express grace, we gain the joyous conviction that divine Love is omnipresent. God's presence may be ignored, but He is never absent. When through grace we are spiritually receptive to Him, love inspires our thoughts and actions, blessing impartially, helping us and all whom we hold in our thoughts.
Understanding God unfolds in human consciousness an understanding of our own spiritual, perfect nature as His children. This in turn results in healing of sin, sickness, sorrow, financial difficulties, or any other kind of problem. Christ Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). The all-powerful truth that he taught brought healing. Through the grace of God, those who follow the teachings of Jesus are led to reject what is troubling them and to discover the freedom from all evil, which God gives.
That which comes to us through grace does not have to be won, earned, or struggled for. It is a free gift. But we do have to allow it access to our thought. Science and Health says prayer for grace involves expressing "patience, meekness, love" and doing "good deeds." This describes perfectly the life of Jesus. And the Bible affirms that "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). If a person is self-absorbed, fearful, angry, lonely, then grace is barred from his or her thought and experience. On the other hand, when we meekly acknowledge the presence and power of God, and patiently express His love to others, we make place in human consciousness for grace to enter.
The grace of God kept Daniel safe in the lions' den (see Daniel, chap. 6). Through it he perceived that his expression of innocence and purity, spiritual qualities, was more powerful than a ferocious beast. Some years ago relatives of mine found themselves in a kind of lions' den. Their small family business faced bankruptcy. A supplier was anxious to acquire the business and was treating them dishonestly. They could not raise enough money to save the company.
The wife had asked for the prayer of a Christian Science practitioner, which brought out the fact that all true business is in fact God's, and is therefore sound and healthy, lacking nothing for its successful accomplishment. It was clear that God was right then all-powerful and ever present; the dishonesty, fear, and dismay these people felt were not expressive of God, who makes us in His image. God's child cannot be robbed of any good or be tempted to covet another's good, and this inspired prayer lifted the thoughts of the wife and comforted her.
When it appeared that everything was lost, a call came from a man who offered to put up a larger than necessary sum of money, on the condition that he would manage the business for two years. This profited the business so much that within a few years it became a large and lucrative operation. The man said he didn't know why he had taken this action-that his lawyer, bank manager, and accountant had all advised against it, but that he still had felt impelled to go ahead. The grace of God had brought a beautiful solution. The "lions" had been rendered harmless by the power of divine Love, through the prayers of the practitioner.
Each one of us can know this grace of God. It brings peace and serenity in proportion as His love is allowed to govern thought and action.