It's natural to care deeply about community. Real love for family extends to neighbors—and overflows for the whole of society. This occasional column tells of how a spiritual perspective has been helping Sentinel readers help others and make a contribution to healing some of the collective challenges facing communities today.

A few years ago I began to make it a definite part of my practice of Christian Science to pray each day for the community in which I live, a small but busy English seaside town. I felt it was so important to reach out to the world with our thoughts and prayers. I often based my prayer on the Lord's Prayer, beginning with the words our Father. I could see that the first word, our, meant that everyone in the whole neighbourhood and community was included in God's love and care.

Christ Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." I longed to do something specific for the community that would put this love into practice in some useful way. The answer to this prayerful desire came as I studied Mrs. Eddy's words on page 97 of Science and Health: "... those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check." Although crime is on a reasonably small scale in our town, there was among many people a great fear of crime. I felt that, as a Christian Scientist, I could help in holding crime —and the fear associated with crime—in check.

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Prayer in the midst of civil unrest
May 27, 1991

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