When the world or any piece of it rumbles with war or repression, it means good for no man - especially for innocent civilians who are often uprooted, even maimed or killed. Centuries ago Moses commanded his followers, ''The innocent and righteous slay thou not.'' n1 Would that more attention were given to that command today.
n1 Exodus: 23:7.
But even if some disregard common morality and humanity, no person is helpless. Spiritual solutions from God are always at hand, and through pure Christian prayer we can help bring them to light.
Prayer confirms in our hearts the great spiritual truths taught by the Bible and reaffirmed in Christian Science. The Bible tells us that man is the image of God. So we're not actually limited, vulnerable mortals, as we appear to be. Our real selfhood, imperceptible to the five senses, is the perfect spiritual offspring of God, divine Mind. Man's permanent home is within this Mind, where he lives in utter security, for God is also Love, totally and tenderly governing him and supplying all his needs.
To yield to these Christly truths is prayer - prayer that must, at least to some extent, help correct the almost universal belief that man is mortal and therefore can be caught helplessly in the cross fire of hate, revenge, or the chronic inability of nations to get along with one another. In the truest sense the enemy is not these warring people, but the belief that would war against God and His Christ by suggesting that man, God's reflection, is material, victimized or victimizing. Through our prayer to God, the Christ - His eternal healing power - delivers us from this belief. The Bible promises, ''The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee.'' n2
n2 Deuteronomy 33:27.
The truths of perfect God and perfect man bring to our prayers a spiritual depth and potency that can't help blessing us and those in need as well. Spiritual truths are more basic to refugees' needs than power politics, more powerful than gunpowder. As we glimpse and accept spiritual truths, they replace the false belief that there is either a callous aggressor or an innocent victim with the truth that God is good and All, and that everyone is truly, spiritually , His likeness. As the false belief is removed - even from the thought of those praying for refugees - its harsh effects must be lessened and human needs be progressively cared for. As the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ''God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.'' n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
To hold to spiritual ideas, whether for ourselves or others, can be a severe challenge when human conditions seem horrible and help at best remote. But the Bible promises, ''Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'' n4
n4 Deuteronomy 31:6.
In the Bible, Daniel is a superb example, not just of legal innocence but of spiritual innocence. He was once the victim of jealous scheming and political trickery. As punishment for worshiping the one God, he was thrown into a den of lions. But because he trusted God, the lions did not harm him. And he clearly knew why he had been saved. He said to the king, ''My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.'' n5 By relying radically on God, anyone can claim his spiritual innocence as Daniel did and enjoy the same refuge.
n5 Daniel 6:22.
The basis of effective prayer is a perception of divine reality, of the spiritual harmony that God has established and perpetually maintains. In this reality, which is the true state of everyone's being, there is no innocent civilian trapped in merciless military action. There is no homeless mortal. There are only children of God living in harmony with one another and in obedience to divine Love.
The tangible and tender promise of Christianity is that any meek thinker can understand this holy fact sufficiently to find safety himself and to help others as well. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed is he that considereth the poor. Psalms 41:1