A Christian Science perspective.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on June 11 that the swine flu virus, also called H1N1, is now circling the globe and, in their opinion, cannot be stopped. I'm grateful for their alertness about this potential scourge, because their warning also reminds all who pray to take up their own mission as first responders. Our collective prayers, rising from our homes and churches, can and will have a global healing effect.
In a letter written to members of a church in Atlanta, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Monitor, said, "The silent prayers of our churches, resounding through the dim corridors of time, go forth in waves of sound, a diapason of heart-beats, vibrating from one pulpit to another and from one heart to another, till truth and love, commingling in one righteous prayer, shall encircle and cement the human race" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," p. 189).
Such a circle of prayer can be an effective defense against contagions of all kinds, including swine flu. WHO predicts that this pandemic will hit less-developed areas of the world hardest, and specific prayer for those areas is especially important.
The call for prayer is more than wishful thinking or a petition for deliverance. As I've learned through my study of Christian Science, understanding prayer is the confident affirmation of divine Love's ever-presence, glorifying God as the almighty Creator, who will permit no evil in His creation.