Prayer and security
A Christian Science perspective: Prayers about world security during the Nuclear Security Summit.
Considering the world’s ongoing struggle to find a solution to terrorism, the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., scheduled March 31-April 1, comes at a good time. Heads of state, experts, and others attending expect to “highlight steps that can be taken together to minimize the use of highly-enriched uranium, secure vulnerable materials, counter nuclear smuggling and deter, detect and disrupt attempts at nuclear terrorism” according to a statement by the White House press secretary on the summit.
Terrorism, the summit’s principal concern, is, of course, not a new phenomenon. More than a hundred years ago, when Mary Baker Eddy, who founded The Christian Science Monitor, began spreading the word about Christian Science, she received anonymous letters threatening to blow up a hall where she was speaking. Her response to these threats was to pray to God for protection: “I leaned on God, and was safe” (“Message to The Mother Church for 1902,” p. 15).
It wasn’t just a glib statement. Behind her confidence was a powerful truth: Safety is a permanent spiritual fact of being, not something at risk of being lost to evil forces. This conviction was based on her understanding of what the Bible teaches about God, divine Love, and God’s spiritual and harmonious creation: “Understanding the control which Love held over all,” she wrote, “Daniel felt safe in the lions’ den, and Paul proved the viper to be harmless. All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 514).
Keeping ourselves and others safe in a world that appears very dangerous involves maintaining this conscious alertness about spiritual reality, living in the understanding that God and His thoughts are always coming to us and everyone as powerful protecting ideas. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 210). These good thoughts are not merely positive thinking. They are evidence of the Christ speaking to us – thoughts expressing an understanding of life and substance as good and pure and entirely spiritual.
The Christ is God’s Word coming to humanity to save us from all harm and destruction. Christ Jesus, who exemplified the Christ in all his thoughts and acts, insisted that reliable human safety comes through the unshakable truth that God is Love and we are His beloved children, worthy of safety – expressing God’s tender love in goodness, forgiveness, and mercy. Jesus said: “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47, 48).
Basing our thoughts and actions on the Christ, as Jesus did, means making God, who is divine Truth and Love itself, our go-to source of protection. It means thinking and acting with love, integrity, generosity, patience, and all the qualities of God that Jesus exemplified, and then knowing those qualities are universal and indestructible.
Statecraft, as exemplified in the Nuclear Security Summit, has an important place in human affairs. But, as individuals, we can do more in our lives and prayers to combat evil. As followers of Christ, we can also know – in fact, we can insist – that the only true force governing the universe is God. Understanding God, divine Truth and Love, and applying this understanding to the world around us, constitutes a very practical form of security. As Mrs. Eddy and those in the Bible proved in their own experience, relying on God contributes to public safety and helps us overcome vulnerability.
Both for a successful Nuclear Security Summit and for a safer world in which to travel and do our business, the teachings of Christ Jesus are essential. And our perceptive prayers, based on an understanding of God’s supreme and saving power, will help establish those teachings as a practical guide to human security everywhere.