Preparing for the US-North Korea summit
Today’s column explores the idea that prayers in the quiet of our home serve as windows of light for humanity and of progress for our world.
A lot is riding on the upcoming summit meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The potential for taking a major step toward peace is evoking cautious optimism, but also skepticism. It’s certainly an important moment. To me, having experienced many times the power of prayer, this occasion calls for sincere prayer to support a productive outcome to the talks.
The Bible, which is foundational to my study of Christian Science, is not shy about encouraging prayer, even for international situations. There’s this passage, for instance: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1, 2). And elsewhere, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
The Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, bring out in various ways that the effectiveness of prayer lies in the spiritual truth that we discern as we pray – as we yearn to better understand the nature of God and our relation to Him. Even a glimpse of spiritual truth has a transforming, healing effect, because it profoundly changes our thought. It shows us what the material senses are unable to perceive – that God is right now present and supreme, and that His children live under His all-wise, all-loving government and care.
Because the physical senses can’t comprehend the nature and presence of God, who is Spirit rather than matter, our prayers need to get beyond the material view of life. Christ Jesus spoke of going into “the closet” and shutting “the door” when we pray (see Matthew 6:6). In the Christian Science textbook, Mrs. Eddy says of Jesus’ statement: “The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love.... To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 15).
Like many others, I’ve found that going into this “closet” isn’t about ignoring what’s going on around us, but about gaining a truer perspective, one that brings encouraging, revitalizing glimpses of reality we didn’t have before. For instance, my prayers for the summit have helped me perceive more clearly that God is the divine intelligence, or Mind, that creates all and is expressed in what He creates – and all are therefore directed and informed by the same Mind. That God is divine Principle, the supreme Lawgiver who governs His creation justly. Prayer helps me acknowledge the presence and power of this unerring, just, and righteous Principle, and recognize that Principle is operating to govern the meetings rightly.
Much of what we see in the news isn’t consistent with these ideas. But as they become clearer to our developing spiritual sense, we begin to see that inharmony and hostility don’t have the power or inevitability they may seem to have. In the midst of all the undercurrents of animosity, hate, and distrust, prayer can bring us stronger views of God as divine Love, the loving Father-Mother of all, whose offspring express Love and therefore are motivated by good, and not by evil.
Because God Himself is infinite, spiritual truth is true everywhere. Therefore its light cannot be contained or limited. So our prayers in the quiet of our homes become windows of light for all humanity, bringing spiritual truth to bear on situations even thousands of miles away. This divine light that comes to us and others is the Christ, the divine Truth Jesus manifested in his life and healing works, and which still heals and saves today wherever this healing light is allowed in.
The effect of the Christ in human consciousness is to negate the darker currents of human thought and character and bring out more of the goodness that characterizes the real nature of all of us as God’s children, made in His likeness. The influence of the Christ can dispel suspicion, strengthen trust, clear up misunderstandings, and make room for wisdom.
We can’t predict the outcome of the summit. But we can trust that every “effectual fervent prayer” supports progress, as we discern more fully the presence of the divine hand to direct those involved.