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Helping others help us

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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As a reader of this column, you're likely to pray about challenges beyond your own needs: challenges such as environmental problems, economic issues, foreign affairs, legislative shortcomings, or judicial concerns. Your prayer can make a real difference.

But there is another way to nurture solutions. Besides praying about the problems, you might want to pray for those who are working, taking specific steps daily, to find and implement solutions. You may have felt the way government approaches big-time issues doesn't always inspire confidence. Indecision, wrong decisions, conflicting decisions – all may lead to frustration, even cynicism. But government isn't ultimately impersonal. It's made up of people. People like any of us. And we've heard these people invite our prayers for their guidance. Maybe we should take them up on their invitation more often.

The founder of this newspaper took seriously the value of praying for those who daily are making decisions that affect our lives – our economic future, our physical well-being, our environment, our family and friends in the military, our job prospects, our children's education. After encouraging us to pray that justice, mercy, and peace govern every nation, here is the guidance Mary Baker Eddy provided for her home country: "Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His righteousness" ("Christian Science versus Pantheism," p. 14).

What an agenda for prayer! Ponder what it would mean for a segment of society to be praying for the divine presence, a supreme power, to be right at the side of government officials, guarding them; nurturing their well-being; giving them fresh ideas, wisdom, perceptiveness. They would probably feel a little like Moses! At one point, the weight of "government decisions" was just too much for him. He was struggling to keep his people safe in the midst of a fierce battle. So his supporters helped him by holding up his arms. Then things went well (see Ex. 17:8-16). The "arms" of all those who serve us need to be upheld. Your prayers can help.

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