Sometimes an event as big as war seems beyond our prayers. But is it? Is anything too overwhelming or out of reach of God's love?
Absolutely not. If one of your family members were serving in a war, wouldn't you be praying nonstop for his or her safety and guidance? Why would you pray if you didn't expect your prayers to have an effect?
The same divine Love that protected my father during wartime reunited this family torn apart by violence.
When my father was serving in the military on a ship during World War II, his family prayed daily for him. One night, his mother woke out of a deep sleep and felt strongly that he was in danger. She got out of bed and prayed for him immediately. Later, when they compared stories, they found out that she had awakened at the precise time that his ship had been under attack by a kamikaze. Instead of exploding upon impact, however, the kamikaze went through the ship and exploded on the other side, out in the ocean. My father was standing behind a steel post in the engine room where the kamikaze hit and was totally unscathed by the attack. The ship did not sink, and the crew was able to navigate across the ocean back to a safe harbor for repairs.
Coincidence? In one sense, yes. This is the coincidence of the human and the divine. God embracing humanity, always. This effective, divine help in time of need is the reason I pray. Not just for loved ones or people I know personally. Even as I think of war in a distant land, I know prayers are effective. In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494). This promise is for all people. Divine Love is another name for God. No time or space or geographical setting can stop God from actively expressing His goodness and love for all mankind. It doesn't matter which side of a conflict a person is on. The coincidence of the human and the divine cuts through misunderstanding, conflict, hatred, and heals relations.
I experienced another instance of the power of divine Love when I took in a foster child who had been exposed to much violence and upheaval. The social worker at the first introductory meeting warned all interested volunteer parents that "love is not enough." She said, "If you think that is all they need, you'll be disappointed." And she reiterated over and over, "Love is not enough." Each time she said that, I thought about the statement from Science and Health and silently affirmed in my thought, "Love is enough. Divine Love is enough." During the nine months that our foster son lived with us, he was healed of a broken ankle overnight, his temperament mellowed, he was reunited with his mother and brother, and he went on to thrive in school. Divine Love healed the family conflict and blessed this boy and his entire family.
The same divine Love that protected my father and his ship during wartime reunited this family torn apart by violence. This is the same Love that is enough to bless individuals and nations with healing.
This is why when I pray I acknowledge peace and safety for all humanity as a present possibility. To dispel violence, war, and suffering, the power of divine Love is sufficient.
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