You can impart peace

The Doorman In the building where I live greets each person very cheerfully, saying, "Good day, Mrs. Smith . . . Mr. Edwards . . . ." It doesn't matter what time it is—morning, afternoon, or evening—he genuinely shows that he wants the rest of your day to be very good.

We can do more than wish peace to somebody.

In different languages and cultures, a variety of expressions are used to greet people. In the Middle East of Bible times, and even today, greetings sometimes begin with "Peace be unto you." In fact, many salutations in the Old Testament employ these words. Through the centuries they have become so common, however, that hardly anybody pays real attention to them now. Yet, there is something very deep about wishing peace, so sorely needed today.

Many parts of the world face armed conflicts between nations, or wars between factions within nations. In some areas it even seems dangerous to leave one's home because of street crime or terrorism. It is as if society were at war with itself. It would be nice to say, and more important to affirm, as a prayer, "Peace be unto you" every time we see someone, rather than simply saying "Hi!"

We can do more than wish peace to somebody. The doorman in my building is certainly sincere, but his greeting doesn't necessarily change anyone's experience that day. Praying for peace, however, does provide an opportunity to make a real difference.

The most effective prayer is more than requesting that God bestow peace. God is divine Love, and would want nothing less than pure peace for His children. That's why it's important to understand what real peace is. It is the law and presence of harmonious action. I like to remind myself that nobody is outside the presence of God, who is wholly good. Nobody is beyond His peaceful government. God governs every aspect of man's being because He is ever present, All-in-all. There exists no room in divine reality for conflict within an individual or among other individuals. Praying from this basis gives us an assurance that in God's presence there is no cause of discord. The law of God naturally imparts peace.

Trusting God's infinite power and presence confers authority to our prayer—authority to our prayer—authority to quiet fear. Such prayer has power to establish peace in our lives.

Christ Jesus once said to his disciples: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (John 14:27). Jesus did not merely wish them peace. He demonstrated its spiritual substance and reality. The peace he imparted is still available—still the reality.

Instead of just wishing for peace, we can impart it—not "as the world giveth," but from a deep conviction of the impregnable presence of good, of God.

(This article originally appeared in Portuguese in O Arauto da Christian Science.)

July 19, 1999

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