Prayer in Church Heals the World

Years ago, before the telephone and the internal-combustion engine brought cities closer together, the parish church was traditionally the center of most Christian communities. Even the smallest village clustered round its church. More than a building in which to teach parishioners and their children the nature and law of God, and to worship Him on Sundays, the church was the focal point for family rejoicing and for neighborly support. Villagers met there to pray for help and healing, as well as to give thanks together to God for their safety in time of danger and for a good harvest. The church embraced those who were willing to be included and raised a standard of Christian virtue and well-being for everyone. It was a good influence in the whole neighborhood.

In modern times the power of the church to bless the community has not diminished, though perhaps its vast potential is not entirely appreciated. Despite the decline in traditional religious affiliation and sabbath day observance, the church has still a vitally important role. Whatever its size and the extent of its immediate parish, it is able to help raise the thought, and therefore the moral standards and daily experience, of more than those who actually live within sound of its bells. Through the spiritual understanding it awakens, and the healing impact of the prayer of its congregation on general thought, it can affect and help the world.

An important function of Christianity is to preach the good news of the ever-presence of God's kingdom as it is outlined in the Bible. Christ Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," Matt. 10:7; and he taught his followers not only to admit this fact with their lips but to know it in their hearts—to be deeply convinced that God's kingdom is indeed ever present and His law is established everywhere. This truth is a foundation stone of the Christian Church— one that is relaid at every service as the congregation repeats aloud: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." 6: 10;

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The Glory of Man's Form
May 23, 1977

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