Prayer for family harmony

Looking out my office window one day, I noticed four little girls riding their bicycles around the cul-de-sac. Laughing and smiling, they were enjoying every minute of it. Nearby was their father, who now and then has walked from their house with the girls after he gets home from work. He always stays close, watching them. And he seems to delight in their delight.

I couldn’t help thinking, as I watched that father, that you and I and all people have a loving Father, God, who cares for our well-being as His children. As Christ Jesus taught, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Think of that: the kingdom!

Students: Get
JSH-Online for
  • Every recent & archive issue

  • Podcasts & article audio

  • Mary Baker Eddy bios & audio


Surely, in this kingdom there must exist family harmony. It is something God gives us spiritually, and it includes everyone as God’s universal, loving family. However, harmony is not always apparent in our human families. Recently a relative of mine and I were talking about family reunions. He said that his four children did not look forward to being under the same roof at the same time. 

Another relative told me an anecdote a while ago about a time when her home phone was causing problems for her family. When the repairman came, he said, “There seems to be chaos on the line.”  

“I’m not surprised,” she replied. “There’s chaos in the home.” 

Such tension within families may seem common, but Christian Science shows how we can bring healing to troubled family relationships. It equips us with the understanding of powerful, spiritual truths about God and creation, and this understanding enables us to prove, right here on earth, that God does give us family harmony in “the kingdom.” Among the teachings of Christian Science are the spiritual facts (made clear in the Holy Bible) that God has made man in His image and likeness and God is Love. So since man is the image or offspring of God, and since God is divine Love, each individual in his or her real, true being must be loving and lovable. 

Furthermore, God is Mind, the one Mind that all God’s children reflect. What is it but a belief in multiple minds, in personal egos, that causes conflict among family members? When we counter this belief by acknowledging and realizing in prayer that the divine Mind alone is governing all and holding all in love, discord can be derailed. As I’ve prayed for happy family gatherings, a statement along these lines from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, has been most helpful. It reads: “The children of God have but one Mind. How can good lapse into evil, when God, the Mind of man, never sins? The standard of perfection was originally God and man. Has God taken down His own standard, and has man fallen?” (p. 470).

Our real, spiritual being as the image and likeness of God already reflects ever-present, unlimited, divine Love.

The understanding of this has lifted my thoughts above the appearance of there being many human minds—each with its own personality, will, and background—that can sometimes seem to clash with one another. It has helped bring out a right sense of cooperation and harmony among family members.

To give a modest example: My husband and I had been married just a short time when we received a phone call from his aunt, whom I had yet to meet. She was a rather formidable socialite. Her husband was CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies, and they were close friends with an American president! She had called to invite us to spend a week with them at Christmas. Given their lifestyle, which was of a type I had only read about in books and seen portrayed in movies, I was naturally rather nervous. I kept wondering, “Will my clothes be good enough? Will I say or do the wrong thing at the dinners and parties?”  

Then on the long drive to their home, the nerves, or butterflies, really got going. I started to pray about this. I turned wholeheartedly to the truth that, instead of the supposed different minds and personalities I would be encountering, there was in reality only one Mind, God, governing us all, holding us in love and harmony. As it turned out, the entire week was pleasant and even enjoyable. When it came time to say goodbye, my husband’s aunt gave me the warmest hug and said, “I hope you can come back in June for a family get-together we’re having.”

I had seen some small proof of Christian Science, which explains that Jesus healed others through his clear perception of God as creator, and of man as expressing the divine creator, perfect Love. The real solution to family quarrels and unhappiness is found in conforming one’s own thoughts and life to the divine standard brought out by Jesus, who said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

You may be thinking, “This is a tall order, considering my family situation!” I know it can seem that way. No one ever said loving others in the way Jesus commanded is easy. But as many students of the Bible have found, making a sincere effort to follow Jesus’ counsel can actually restore harmony among family members. 

We can begin to reflect in our thoughts and lives the divine Love that motivated Jesus.

Just the attempt to love like this can reach and heal even the most discordant family situations. However feeble may seem our attempts to live as Jesus expected us to live, God will support our efforts until we find ourselves consistently expressing, to some degree, the Christ-love we all so much need to give and receive. It is comforting to realize that because our real, spiritual being as the image and likeness of God already reflects ever-present, unlimited, divine Love, it is natural for each of us to express kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and love at all times.

It is sometimes tempting to think, “When so-and-so shapes up, then I can love him or her.” But we need not wait for this! Indeed, as Jesus’ command to love shows, God requires this love of us, no matter what the other person is doing. One’s freedom to interact with family members harmoniously does not hinge on their words or actions. Instead, we find we can love more as we look upward mentally and spiritually by keeping our thoughts in line with the Master’s precepts for everyday living.

We don’t have to try to love what is bad, mean, or downright evil. We’re not called to condone wrongdoing. What we are expected to do is strive to love as our Master did—that is, to behold and know others as they really are as God’s pure, sinless, loving likeness. This is the man and woman God made. This is the truth about each one of us that Jesus came to declare, know, and prove. This is the real, actual, spiritual identity of all, no matter how ungodlike we may sometimes seem to be.

Right now, we can begin to reflect in our thoughts and lives the divine Love that motivated Jesus. We can express more of our true tenderheartedness, patience, understanding, generosity, and healing love to all. In doing this, we won’t lose anything, except perhaps some ego, a little pride, some hurt feelings—nothing worth holding on to.

None of God’s sons or daughters can ever be actors in a scene involving family members arguing with one another. When we yield to the spiritual truth about ourselves and those we care about, it makes room in thought for divine Love to carry the day.

Understanding our genuine, spiritual selfhood as a loving child of our heavenly Father, and praying to see family members as He made and sees them, helps to make family relationships happy and harmonious—as they truly can be.

Does love come and go?
July 8, 2019

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.