The water of life

Recently a news program reported that many of the world’s major aquifers are in a serious state of depletion (PBS NewsHour, June 17, 2015, “Is the world’s fresh water supply running out?”). Right about the same time, The Christian Science Monitor reported on water management innovations in Israel—“turning seawater into tap water, pioneering new types of irrigation, and reusing wastewater at the highest rate of any country in the world” (“Defying Drought,” The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, June 22, 2015). Last year these methods produced a water surplus during that nation’s driest year on record. 

Both of these informative reports made clear that more diligent efforts to improve water management worldwide are called for. And the Monitor’s report showed that it’s possible. But it’s clear from reading both of them that humanity needs our prayers as well. Not only to support the development of better water management, but to support a clearer recognition of what it is that sustains life itself.

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Many of us know from experience the practical effects of spiritually scientific prayer. And we have assurance from the Bible, and from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, that such prayer has effect far beyond ourselves. 

The Bible says: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour” (I Timothy 2:1–3).

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy speaks of the global reach of Truth: “The ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’ It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear” (p. 559).

Through prayer we have the ability to look beyond the material sense of life to gain clearer glimpses of reality—the spiritual reality of man’s oneness with God, our loving Father-Mother, who unfailingly provides for all creation. The creator of man and the universe doesn’t abandon His creation or leave it helpless in the uncertain hands of matter. God, the divine Principle of all being, is also the Life of all being, the Love that nurtures and sustains, the Mind that intelligently governs, directs, and provides.

God’s love for all was fully manifested in the life of Christ Jesus, who fed the five thousand, saved individuals from sin, and lifted people’s lives out of sickness, disease, disability, and even death. Jesus said he came to save humanity because “God so loved the world”; and he came so that those who believed on Jesus—who understood his teachings and healings—“should not perish” (John 3:16). In all that Jesus did, it was spiritual, divine understanding that brought to light God’s saving, healing power.

All who have glimpsed something of the truth Jesus taught can follow him in helping mankind more fully. We can turn to God in prayer for a fuller understanding that Life is Spirit, not matter. We can pray to better discern that Spirit is infinite, ever-present substance, that this substance is manifested in Spirit’s expression, man and the universe—and is never depleted. 

God, the divine Principle of all being, is also the Life of all being, the Love that nurtures and sustains.

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” says the Bible (Revelation 22:17). The true water of life is not a material provision but the sustaining influence of Spirit, divine Love, acting on human consciousness and experience. As we pray for mankind, every glimpse of spiritual truth, every impulse of spiritual love for God and man, helps refresh humanity with this water of life. The influence of divine Spirit, flowing in human thought, cleanses and nourishes, revealing man’s immortality, goodness, and wisdom as the image of divine Mind.

This reality is here and now. Our loving Father-Mother God fully sustains us. Science and Health states: “In divine Science, man is sustained by God, the divine Principle of being. The earth, at God’s command, brings forth food for man’s use. Knowing this, Jesus once said, ‘Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,’—presuming not on the prerogative of his creator, but recognizing God, the Father and Mother of all, as able to feed and clothe man as He doth the lilies” (p. 530).

For this reality to come to light in human experience, though, our loving, inspired prayers for humanity are needed. Spiritual love, unselfishly put into practice through prayer, reflects to some degree the love of God Himself, the ever-present divine Principle, who is able to do all things for His children. The love and spiritual understanding we feel are evidence of the water of life—the divine influence, or Christ—flowing in our thought and quietly reaching the thought of many others we don’t even know. 

The effect of this unseen divine action on human thought is to spiritualize consciousness. This increasingly dissolves limitations of material belief and brings to light in human experience proofs of divine Love’s provision for man, including innovations that were previously unattainable. 

We may all have wondered, at times, how much our prayers can really help the world. But as we pray to discern the unfailing presence of Life, and everyone’s true identity as the idea of Life, our doubts begin to give way, because we more fully perceive and feel the certainty of God’s care for humanity. And with spiritual progress comes a natural expectancy that truth will indeed have its practical evidence in whatever ways mankind needs.

David C. Kennedy

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August 24, 2015
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