I have a small book titled “How to Wage Peace: A Handbook for Action.” Written in 1949, it’s out of print and mostly outdated. Yet the title provides a clue for prayer about countries such as North Korea, Iran, Somalia, and others that sometimes seem disposed to remain outside the family of nations.
News reports make clear that many people in these countries suffer from fear of their government. Often, as in North Korea, human necessities are very hard to come by as well. Out of compassion for our fellow humans in distress, we can begin waging peace through prayer about these conditions. One helpful thought is that divine Love’s healing influence, or Christ, can strengthen citizens and guide them rightly in times of trouble.
From a spiritual standpoint, no one actually can be “outside” the family of God, the only Mind, because God is present everywhere. Mind loves everyone and everything that God created.
While human conditions may argue otherwise, prayer has helped, and will continue to help, reveal that we are all united in God, Love. As Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, made clear: “Your assumptions insist that there is more than the one Mind, more than the one God; but verily I say unto you, God is All-in-all; and you can never be outside of His oneness” (“Unity of Good,” p. 24).
That oneness includes all identities and excludes no one from divine care. Jesus and the early Christians proved this as they healed people from many different nations in their ministry. They found, too, that prayer could protect them from corrupt rulers and others who would work against their message of God’s love. So it’s not surprising that the author of a letter to Timothy, reproduced in the Bible, wrote: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Tim. 2:1, 2).
To give thanks for those in authority may not always seem practical at first. And yet, if we give thanks that all are under God’s guidance, and as such can respond to divine Love, this recognition of each one’s spiritual nature will make a difference. Sometimes it’s even helpful to choose a specific country, follow it in the news, and pray for it regularly. This can be an active way of waging peace.
We can be confident that divine Love can remove the mistaken thoughts and assumptions that breed distrust and anger. Respect and humility can come forth from the hearts of powerful nations as well as those that seem intractable. Reconciliation and trust must develop as greater understanding emerges.
Our prayers can support these efforts. While it may be impossible to define specifically how divine Love will work in the hearts of men and women in these and other nations, we can be confident that Love will guide all parties to the answers they need.