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Praying for the neighborhood

From the February 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal

When I am searching for a higher understanding of harmony, I often pray with this definition of Christian Science that Mary Baker Eddy gives in her book Rudimental Divine Science: “... the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony” (p. 1).

Here’s an example of how appealing to this law of harmony helped me find calm and confidence that all would be well during a discordant situation that arose in my neighborhood. I was at my desk with the window open to take advantage of a cool ocean breeze. I had become intrigued by a comment made by a speaker on a podcast I was listening to. She quoted her Christian Science teacher as saying that each year we should find ourselves doing less of what anyone can do, and more of what only one who understands the divine Science of the Christ can do.

“Do what you know will be best for everyone involved: Pray for that true harmony and brotherly love to be made manifest right now!”

Suddenly my thought train was interrupted by the voices of two men shouting very loudly at one another. The sound was coming from the parking lot close to the side of the condominium building where I live. Because of recent media reports of shootings and other crimes in our city, I was concerned about how this might escalate and wondered what preventative actions could be taken.

The temptation came to just close the window and turn on the air conditioner to drown out their voices. I really didn’t want to witness any acts of violence in the neighborhood, nor did I want panic to control my actions. Although tempted to do so, I didn’t look out of the window or even move from my seat.

Right amid the tempting suggestions came the thought: “Help is here. God is here and out there with them too. You’ve been praying by acknowledging the universal presence of the law of harmony, of the only Mind, God. So, do what you know will be best for everyone involved: Pray for that true harmony and brotherly love to be made manifest right now!”

And so I sat there affirming that God’s law of harmony was embracing the two men, our neighborhood, our city, and the world. I understood from the Bible that God is the only power and presence, filling all space. His law is the source of peace, unity, and brotherhood, and all good.

As I prayed in this way, I felt the presence of Love and peace fill my heart. Fear and panic were erased from my thought. At first it seemed the more I prayed, the louder the men’s voices became. But as I persisted in praying, the shouting stopped as abruptly as it had begun. The episode had been brief, lasting a few minutes.

This is one simple example of doing what Christian Science encourages us to do, namely to pray for ourselves and for the good of our neighbors. I am surely grateful for The Christian Science Monitor keeping us aware of the need to pray for our world family. And I am humbly grateful to be aware that the universal law of harmony is operating in my neighborhood and yours.

God holds man in the eternal bonds of Science,—in the immutable harmony of divine law. 

Mary Baker Eddy, No and Yes, p. 26


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