Much of the East Coast of the United States is battening down the hatches for Hurricane Sandy on Monday and Tuesday, and the storm has already become one of the biggest Atlantic hurricanes in 24 years of record-keeping.
The environment is making headlines elsewhere in the world, too: Saudi Arabia recently announced a huge natural gas find in the Red Sea, which could allow the country to export more valuable oil as its own domestic energy needs are met through natural gas and other means. Meanwhile, increased oil production in North America is creating a boom in railroads, as pipelines have not been able to keep up with production.
Whether we’re eyeing a natural disaster, or thinking about energy and the environment, is there anything spiritual thinkers can do to have a positive impact? There certainly is! Prayer to comprehend the environment as spiritual, under the control of a loving God, does a lot to calm fear, promote responsible stewardship, and maintain safety when it comes to our natural surroundings.
“‘Rebel’ against hurricanes” offers an inspired starting place for praying about Hurricane Sandy, or about any natural disaster. The author shares how she prayed when a hurricane threatened her area, with the ideas found in the 1916 Christian Science Journal article “God’s Law of Adjustment” by Adam Dickey. She writes, “I [prayed]—knowing that God, good, is the only power, the only cause and Creator. He tenderly, completely, and intelligently maintains and sustains His creation.” That’s true in the face of an approaching storm, or any other threatening condition.
“Clear the mental atmosphere” takes a deeper look at how humanity and the environment relate from a spiritual perspective. Our mental purification — putting aside qualities like self-centeredness or fear — enables us to perceive God’s direction, which leads us to a more correct, God-centered view of creation. The Bible emphasizes this kind of humility, which often leads us to actions that make for a cleaner and more productive physical environment.
Our prayers for the environment are effective — not because humanity can quell nature through force of will, but because prayer allows us to perceive God’s “still small voice,” which includes only elements of goodness, safety, and abundance.