A debate deserving deep prayer

Written when same-sex marriage first became legal in Massachusetts in 2004, this article shows how prayer can help unify and nurture healing in society today as it tries to find its way forward on this and any controversial issue.

Reprinted from The Christian Science Monitor ("It was the flak jacket") and the June 7, 2004, Sentinel.

It was the flak jacket that did it. I’ve been following the debate on gay marriage and civil unions thoughtfully. I’ve been saddened by the deep divisions it has caused in some churches. But when I read about a minister who had donned a bulletproof vest—just in case—before addressing a conference of church people on the subject, I knew it was time to be more than a concerned spectator. I believe that deep and unselfish prayer has the power to unify and nurture healing in society as the world finds its way through this issue.

In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Monitor’s founder, pointed to four actions that have consistently moved humanity’s progress forward: prayer, watching, working, and self-immolation. “Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind,” she wrote (p. 1).

Prayer. Prayer is a way to feel God’s comforting love embracing everyone in the world. In the privacy and deep humility of our prayers, we can pray to see creation the way the Bible says God does—as His very good image (see Genesis 1:26, 31). God is pure Spirit, above any material description. Spirit’s creation reflects its nature. This divine nature includes wisdom, clarity, love—everything good. This is how I want to view every man, woman, and child. Seeing people as the manifestation of divinity—rather than as merely physical, psychological, or sexual beings—invariably helps to restore one’s faith that God protects and governs everyone.

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