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Floods in Australia and a prayer of hope

A Christian Science perspective.

The devastation wreaked by the floods in the Australian province of Queensland has left more than 200,000 people displaced. Torrential rains have flooded an area the size of Texas, damaging roads, crops, and businesses. The mining industry has been forced to cut production by 100,000 tons, and the loss to the economy is significant. The floodwaters are still rising, and there is now the tragic news that lives have been lost.

At the beginning of this new year, my heart goes out to my fellow Australians confined in evacuation centers, homeless, without all those special possessions that bring comfort and joy and a sense of belonging. These people are facing an uncertain future and have before them the heartbreaking task of trying to restore their homes and lives after the flood has receded. Our prayers are needed to support them in these challenges.

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I was encouraged by these words of the Psalmist, which bring a sense of God’s love in these moments of desperate need: “Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies” (Ps. 69:15, 16).

As I prayed with this powerful affirmation of the presence of God’s lovingkindness and abundant mercy, I recalled a time when my children and I were forced to leave a comfortable home, taking few possessions with us. There were times when I was overcome with fear and hopelessness. I longed for a place of safety and security. But I clung to the truth that God was with me no matter how dire the material circumstances were. Being divine Love, He would not leave me comfortless, and I knew I needed to trust that His law would restore to me all that I needed. I had always turned to God throughout my life, and it was this confidence that supported me and provided me with the ability to trust His care when I faced this need to find a home.

It was not long before my prayers were answered. I found a home that met all my needs and provided safety, security, and comfort for both me and my children. God’s law of restoration replaced that which was lost in ways that I could never have envisaged. “The multitude of His tender mercies” met my every need.

Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, also suffered the loss of home and possessions. She was sustained during these difficult circumstances by an understanding of God’s law as the ever available power of Love. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494).

Prayer, underpinned with a conviction that God’s law has infinite power and intelligence, is our gift to Queenslanders as they leave evacuation centers and return to their homes, which may need rebuilding. God’s law is a vital, beneficial force that overcomes all that threatens to obstruct, delay, or impede the orderly operation of services needed to meet every contingency. Prayer supports the resilience, cooperation, and community spirit that have already been evident as people have helped one another during this disaster.

Our willingness to pray, to selflessly turn to God’s law for restoration, and to seek Love’s answers for the needs of others, is a powerful force for good. It will bring blessings and healing to all those who are suffering homelessness and desolation.