Citizens and government
Does your government seem like the moon -- remote, cold, with considerable pull on you, yet far from your power to influence it? In the face of laws and policies that may seem totally beyond their influence, people sometimes feel like ants on a leaf in a flooded never, washed along on currents they can't control or escape.
Yet Christ Jesus, the Exemplar for mankind, didn't regard government as an enemy or threat. When Pilate, the representative of supreme political authority in thai day, challenged him, he said, "Thou couldest have ne power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." n1
No one has to feel dominated by his government. There is significance in this statement even for those who live in a totalitarian state An effective way exists for every citizen of every nation to participate actively in government, and he should. That way is prayer.
True prayer transcends words or emotions. To pray scientifically is to reach out to God for a clearer understanding that His mam is truly perfect--and to humbly, deeply accept this fact. Prayer based on man's perfection umder God may sound preposterous, especially if we accept the five senses as our main source of information. But it is utterly satisfying to our natural spiritual awareness. When in prayer we yield to sprirtual truths of divine govermment, we let the pure amd tender Christ lift our thought above paralyzing fear to glimpse God's control.
Man is not really ahelpless, impersonal pawm in a remote and cynical game of ambitious internal manipulation and high-stakes geopolitics. Not you, not I, not anyone. Nor is man simply too far removed from the cemters of power to be individually, lovingly appreciated. Never. Man is the dearly cherished child of God, divine Love, who is All. Man is at one with God, and all the good that God is, man perfectly reflects. God intimately knows each and every one of His precious ideas and comsciously governs each with the touch of lovingkindmess amd the wisdom of infinite intelligence.
Truths such as these are at the root of effective prayer for government, and whem they are truly felt rather than merely said, they have an influence greater tham apathy or armes. Their influence may appear ft in our own lives. We may find we are making wiser decisioms because selfishness, pride, and dullness are giving way to selflessness, meekness, amd alertness. We may feel more secure and less helpless, and even much more sympathetic toward others, including governmemt leaders.
As we persist in these holy ideas, yielding to them more amd more, we will also see their influence in government at every level, for they actually open people's eyes to the power of God to govern governments. Thev tend to lessen the influence of fear, revemge, and dishonesty in the motives of those who govern, and to increase compassion and honesty. Though one may not know precisely the full solution to a given issue, or even how to find it in complex human affairs. through the action of divine wisdom workable compromises are found and implemented. Intelligence and restraint gradually replace emotion.
Prayer for government is emphatically not mental manipulation of others according to our will instead of theirs. It is meekly yearning to at least glimpse what God now wholly knows--a universe of His dear ideas totall at one with and controlled by Him for His own glory.
No matter how tangled the issues governients face, no matter how far removed we are mage, philosophy, education, race, or miles from those in authority, every one of us can participate actively in his own and in the world's governmemt. No one is left out. Through prayer we all can allow the Christ to arrest in our thought the spread of faith in material power. This helps dry up its sources amd to a degree check its expansion. The spirit of Mary Baker Eddy's n2 words about the government of the United States can be applied to any land: "The revered president and Congress of our favored land are in God's hands." n3
n2 Mrs Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 The First Church of Christ , Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 278