THE LAST few years I've found myself increasingly aware of the problems of war and poverty facing people on Earth. I've also been wondering about how a guy like me on the West Coast of the United States, can make a difference.

It's easy to forget about life-and-death struggles going on thousands of miles away when I'm trying to choose whether to head out for a film, go to dinner with friends, or attend a sporting event in town. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that. It's just that I've begun to feel a responsibility to help other people on the planet. The terrible things they're going through in countries far away have nothing specific to do with my life—and yet, as Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it" (Science and Health, p. 57). So I figure that if I'm yearning to help folks halfway around the world, even if I can't be with them, the first place I can start would be in my own thinking.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christian church at Rome, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom. 12:2). When I've pause to consider what it must be like for the people suffering through wars in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, or through ecological catastrophes like the Gulf Coast oil spill, and troubles elsewhere, I've wondered if I've been lulled into just wanting to make things better for me and mine. But recently I've had some new light on the subject of prayer for others.

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September 6, 2010

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