Peacemaking and prayer
WORLD peace is an issue affecting each of us in all corners of the earth. What happens on a tiny island in the Caribbean can be of as much interest to the Asian as it is to the North American. When superpowers move their forces freely around the globe, when sophisticated arms are sold to countries unprepared to safeguard their use, when national or tribal anger boils over, the world catches its breath.
With so much naked aggression and not-so-latent hostilities on the international scene, it is tempting for the good citizen to become mentally embroiled. National pride, self-righteousness, anger, racial and religious prejudice, mental rigidity, and hatred can draw us into warlike attitudes if these remain unhealed. It then seems natural to lob hate-filled thoughts toward a perceived enemy, and to stockpile arsenals of fear and wrath. What can you and I do to keep these destructive forces from detonating?
We can pray. Prayer as understood in Christian Science includes the affirmation of the all-power and omnipresence of God, good. It denies power to evil.
Your prayers and mine are effective on a world scale because each of us is a majority with God. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains it this way: ''Is not a man metaphysically and mathematically number one, a unit, and therefore whole number, governed and protected by his divine Principle, God? You have simply to preserve a scientific, positive sense of unity with your divine source, and daily demonstrate this. Then you will find that one is as important a factor as duodecillions in being and doing right , and thus demonstrating deific Principle. A dewdrop reflects the sun. Each of Christ's little ones reflects the infinite One, and therefore is the seer's declaration true, that 'one on God's side is a majority.' '' n1
n1 Pulpit and Press, p. 4.
Understanding this, the alert Christian thinker can do much to bring healing to a frightened and angry world. His love of God and his spiritual understanding of man as the image of God keep him out of mental embroilment and make him a peace-keeper. Prayer, knowing the allness and goodness of God (''Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else'' n2), and discernment of the consequent nothingness and nowhereness of evil (''Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity'' n3) recognize no man or nation outside of God's love, care, and direction.
n2 Deuteronomy 4:39.
n3 Hubakkuk 1:13.
The metaphysical peacemaker does not neglect prayer that embraces the heads of state of the various nations. He affirms the jurisdiction of divine Principle, God. He resolutely seeks ''not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ,'' n4 and to know that man is, in spiritual actuality, the expression of God, having the Mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:5). He realizes that this Mind-God-is in intelligent and loving control. He is convinced that in truth there are not many minds in perpetual conflict, because there is one Mind, God, and His reflection, man, the individual, harmonious expression of intelligence. Such prayer avails much.
n4 Corinthians 2:22.
Whatever the circumstance, whether individual or of wider scope, a spiritual view promotes harmony. For example, one afternoon on the plaza of a major city in the United States a couple was suddenly confronted by a drunken man who aggressively snarled at them, ''There's gonna be war between you and me.'' Not only were he and the couple of different races, but the city itself had many unsolved racial problems. It appeared to be a potentially ugly situation.
The wife of the couple, a student of Christian Science, looked beyond what her eyes were telling her she was seeing to the spiritual identity of the stranger. She saw him as the beloved son of God, expressing His goodness, purity, and perfection. Then she smiled at him, and the three began to talk. At the end of five minutes or so the stranger shook hands with the couple and gave them his blessing. In an atmosphere radiant with good will he went on his way, absolutely sober. The spiritual recognition of the nature of man brought peace and healing to an unpromising encounter.
No matter where we live, we can uphold peace in our prayers and through spiritually based thinking and acting.
1 Pulpit and Press, p. 4. 2 Deuteronomy 4:39. 3 Habakkuk 1:13. 4 I Corinthians 2:2. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Pray without ceasing, I Thesaionians