Of all those desiring political asylum, relatively few receive it. Some are turned down because they have not been persecuted, though they live daily under the threat of persecution. How can our prayers support those individuals engaged in a sincere search for peace and freedom?
Our responsibility in praying is to challenge and break free from limited, materialistic assumptions. Christ Jesus promised, "In my Father's house are many mansions." John 14:2. Or, as The New English Bible has it, "There are many dwelling-places in my Father's house." And the Psalmist stated, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Ps. 23:6. The Bible indicates, then, that there is a secure dwelling place for everyone, a refuge for all without crowding or limiting of anyone's opportunities. Society has accepted all kinds of limitations for itself. But God, divine Love, is infinite, so all who look to Him may find a proper place.
When we meekly listen to our Father in prayer, we help to promote an atmosphere of receptivity to Love's provision. When we lift our own thought from hopelessness to a calm perception of God's unsurpassed power and availability, we lessen, to a degree, despair's grip on the world.
Asylum is defined as "a place where one is safe and secure; refuge." The Psalmist sang: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress." Ps. 91:1, 2. This refuge shelters an individual wherever he is, for he cannot travel outside of God's omnipresence. But we need to recognize and affirm this fact in prayer. We need to feel deeply its reality. Since God is all-power, there really isn't another force to deprive us of asylum provided by Him, regardless of where we find ourselves.
But again, the need is to realize this, to understand the supremacy of God's government. Our prayers are potent, then, as they embody an understanding that those seeking asylum may find it in God, whose wisdom and love provide unfailing, permanent protection. This asylum is not at the mercy of human law or quotas or governmental decisions. When the higher government of God is understood to be supreme, human governments can neither harm one nor keep one from being in the place that best promotes his or her progress.
We have the Master's own example. Jesus proved that the asylum granted by God is immensely practical in daily life. He once was surrounded by an angry mob bent on throwing him off a cliff. "But he passing through the midst of them went his way." Luke 4:30. The law that enabled him to abide safely in that "secret place of the most High" is still operative.
Mrs. Eddy found it so. When she discovered and founded Christian Science, many time-honored, cherished beliefs were challenged by this new view of Christianity's utter practicality. Consequently, she faced a great deal of opposition and mental persecution. But she knew that Christ Jesus offered more than just hope for the future. He gave us tools for today. So attempts to destroy her and her work fell fruitless. Mrs. Eddy wrote from experience:
Love is our refuge; only with
Can I behold the snare, the
pit, the fall:
His habitation high is here,
His arm encircles me, and
mine, and all. Poems, p. 4 .
There is a secure dwelling place for every individual and family. God's almighty arm is encircling and sheltering every identity in His creation. As we come to trust the supremacy of God's infinite control and prayerfully realize the availability of His loving protection, we'll be helping those seeking asylum to find it.
A religious article, treating a contemporary topic and showing how spiritual insight can help and heal, is published in each edition of The Christian Science Monitor. From time to time we will reprint Monitor religious articles of special interest to Sentinel readers.
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