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Following the example set by the question-and-answer columns in the early Journal, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers—such as the one above—with responses from Journal readers. You"ll find information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.


From the June 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Many people pray specifically for their country's leader, or for other officeholders around the world. Some Christian Scientists say they pray for the "office" and not the person occupying it. How can people serving in government, or an entire country for that matter, be benefited by such a general prayer? And why wouldn't we want to support an individual in office?

A1 I find that my prayer is more specific when I pray for an "office," such as the office of prime minister in my country or the office of the president in other countries, rather than for the person who currently holds that position. I find that I can discern the underlying issues facing the officeholder if I don't confuse these issues with his or her personality or politics. Mary Baker Eddy counselled: "... person is not in the question of Christian Science. Principle, instead of person, is next to our hearts, on our lips, and in our lives (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896. p. 135).

Regardless of policies, which can be changeable according to the individuals establishing those policies, the "office" currently held by an individyal deserves our best, sincere prayers. An "office" has a continuity and essence which is greater than any one holder of that office at any given time. For example, it is much easier to support those individuals who hold public office when they already have our allegiance and follow our personal or political preferences. It is harder when leadership involves a party or group that we didn't vote for anf honestly disagree with.

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