Praying daily with The Christian Science Monitor
As do many readers of this magazine, I get up every morning and prepare for my day with study and prayer. I study the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson found in the Christian Science Quarterly and listen for new insights that can take me a step forward in my effort to drop all faith in matter’s reality by understanding that God, Spirit, is the only Life and Mind. I pray the “Daily Prayer” as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, gave it (see Manual of The Mother Church, p. 41) and study passages from the Bible and her other writings.
And then I turn to The Christian Science Monitor, choose an article, and pray specifically to counter the errors of the carnal mind that seem to be active in the situation covered. In essence, I give Christian Science treatment concerning the issues raised by the article.
That step is the culmination of my spiritual preparation for the day. It’s how I help spread the healing effects of Science from my home into the world. After all, Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, gave the purpose of the paper as “to spread undivided the Science that operates unspent” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 353).
Recently I wrote down what I did during one particular week of this morning Monitor time. One article each morning, one simple prayer. Someone else may pray with different ideas (I’m sure I only scratched the surface of what needs to be handled in these situations to bring complete healing), but this is the essence of what came to me.
On Saturday, I read about US President Obama’s trip to the headquarters of Nike, Inc., in Beaverton, Oregon, where he made a pitch for Congress to pass controversial trade legislation.
I prayed to understand that God is speaking to all of His children directly, a truth that applies to the workers in countries that make products for Nike; the legislators who must decide whether to vote for or against the agreement; the advocates on both sides of the issue; the journalists who communicate what is said and done; and the readers and voters who must come to their own decisions as to what to think and do. God speaks to each of them, each of us, not as mortals but as His beloved spiritual children, His ideas, enabling us to know and do His will. Confusion, distortion, self-interest, fear—none of these mortal suggestions can cloud the bright light of divine Truth that communicates God’s infinite love.
Sunday’s Monitor included an article on how, in many Americans, compassion is replacing hostility as they become more aware that some people feel they were born the “wrong” gender and want to transition to the other.
God is speaking to all of His children directly.
My prayer to help support healing included this passage from the Bible: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). This man, God’s image, is entirely spiritual. “Male” and “female” are not sexual designations but characterizations, qualities, of spiritual identity. The real man is not a biological creature. Each of us is, right now, the beautiful, joyful, loving, spiritual idea of God. God loves us all fully, completely, without limit. He knows who we are—His reflection. Any uneasiness we may feel with our identity is a product of the false belief that mortal identity is our real identity. Each of us is the whole, satisfied, spiritual image of God.
On Monday, I read about how families across America are feeling increasing demands that their children engage in scheduled, structured participation in an abundance of activities. The article considered how parents cope and whether the kids are better off.
I began my prayer by affirming that God knows each of His children as a spiritual, perfect, complete idea. The picture of a mortal child struggling to bring out his or her innate talents and identity is not the true picture of man. In the Glossary of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Eddy spiritually defines children as, “The spiritual thoughts and representatives of Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 582). Each of us is always expressing God in beautiful, graceful, intelligent, peaceful ways, all spiritual. God is our loving, divine Father-Mother, and as His reflection, we can never be exhausted, because He is infinite.
Tuesday’s prayer was based on an article about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming meeting with Russian officials in Sochi, Russia, in an effort to normalize relations after the two governments fell into a dispute over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
I prayed to know that divine Love is ever present. In our true individuality, each of us, and each of the principals in these talks, expresses that Love, the one Mind, and is not defined or weighed down by greed, fear, self-righteousness, or any other discord. Because God is All, there is no history of or basis for error, no matter what cultural, national, military, political, or religious circumstances might claim. God’s government is the only true source of law, and that law is universal and supports harmony. This divine presence can be felt in Sochi as in every other place on earth. The Christ is always communicating to human consciousness.
An article on how the recent earthquake in Nepal, the continued aftershocks, and then another large quake have damaged thousands of classrooms and made it difficult for children to feel safe returning to school appeared in Wednesday’s Monitor.
That week’s Bible Lesson contained this verse: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). God gives His unshakable, infinite love to all His children—never anything to cause fear or discord. He knows nothing but His own perfect ideas, and they are eternal, indestructible.
In Science and Health, we read: “The only power of evil is to destroy itself. It can never destroy one iota of good” (p. 186). Matter by its nature rests on false foundations, because Spirit, God, is the only power; but the real, spiritual man is eternal and indestructible and stands on a solid, divine foundation that can never be shaken.
On Thursday, I read about how just one day after Democrats in the US Senate declined to support President Obama in his efforts to reach an international trade agreement, they made a deal to move forward. The writer wrote the article as a “glimpse of Senate theater.”
The real, spiritual man stands on a solid, divine foundation that can never be shaken.
I prayed to know that there is but one divine Mind, and this supreme intelligence rules in all creation. Mortal mind is a theater, at one point full of drama and absurdity and at another seemingly filled with peace, but always powerless and unreal. The spiritual universe in which we are perpetually governed is full of harmony, intelligence, wisdom, and integrity. None of us—politicians, policymakers, voters, or others—can ever be left out of the harmony of this universe. Mortal mind’s machinations cannot undermine the eternal, divine law of peace.
In Friday’s Monitor, I read an article about Saudi Arabia, which for decades has been the quiet Middle East powerhouse, relying on allies to protect its interests. Now it is asserting itself militarily, economically, and politically where it sees its interests threatened. Its main opponent is the country of Iran.
Points of my prayer included an affirmation that the Christ, Truth, is here, now, in the Middle East as everywhere, as powerful and eternal a force as it was two thousand years ago: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder,” Isaiah prophesied, “and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (9:6).
Human governments claim to be able to push mankind this way and that, according to religious, political, economic, or personal interests. But the only true power is God, divine Love; and the Christ, His message to mankind, comes to all of us—Christian, Muslim, Jew, Saudi, Iranian, or any other label—communicating truth and uncovering and destroying erroneous beliefs.
That was one week of my praying with the Monitor. I’m convinced that as each of us engages in prayer about the issues underlying events and developments, big and little, that characterize a world in daily flux, the world will feel the healing influence of the Christ. And we will help fulfill the great purpose of the Monitor, an integral part of this Church and its healing mission.