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Prayer, the dragon slayer

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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According to Polish legend, once upon a time there was a dragon with such fierce eyes that everyone it looked at died. Occasionally, brave young warriors would take up swords and attempt to kill the dragon, but those deadly eyes reached farther than their swords, and they were always slain.

Then an alert young man approached the dragon - carrying not a sword but a mirror. On seeing its own devastating eyes reflected back, the beast fell dead.

We all face our share of dragons - often in the form of lacking something, such as health, money, opportunity, love. When a man from Warsaw told me that legend, I was reminded of something written by the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy. It refers to Jesus' healing of an insane man, who languished in the graveyards (see Mark 5:1-20). Jesus is said to have let a lot of "devils" leave the tormented man and enter a herd of about 2,000 swine, which then promptly drowned themselves. "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" says of that biblical dragon slaying, "The Scripture seems to import that Jesus caused the evil to be self-seen and so destroyed" (pg. 411).

Well, that actually indicates a viable approach to modern-day problems. Jesus taught that God is good. God is the source of our life, our ever-present, loving Father and Mother. Jesus knew God didn't make evil or give it power. When he confronted evil as a lie, it destroyed itself.

The first chapter of Genesis contains three important weapons in dragon slaying. The first is the fact that God created us each in His perfect image. The second is that God gave us each dominion. The third is that everything God makes is "very good."

Acknowledging these facts is prayer. And it holds up a mirror of truth, where concepts that are not "very good" can be self-seen as lies, and eliminated.

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