Archive for the ‘Prayer for the world’ Category

Beyond Lockdown – A Light at the End of the Tunnel   Leave a comment

In Canberra the lengthy COVID restrictions are now being eased. Thank goodness! As we approach re-opening and a more normal way of living and interacting, it’s important that we make sure all we’ve been through in the last 18 months has not been in vain.

We can think of these months of social isolation in two ways – as an awful time that was so hard, so lonely and often scary, or, as a unique opportunity. Could anything else have given us the opportunity to stop the busyness of everyday life, be still, and re-evaluate how we’ve been living in this world and treating one another? That initial decision as to how we’re going to think about this time, is immensely important because it dictates the failure or success of our experience ahead.

The repercussions of the initial decisions we make was brought home to me in a very dramatic way. My husband and I and our two young girls were holidaying, staying in a country motel. It was the very darkest time of night, we were all deep asleep when the oldest girl, who normally slept very soundly, for no discernible reason, suddenly woke up. As we were settling her back down, we smelled smoke. My husband looked out and saw the bushes beside the building on fire. Being ex-army he jumped into action and began hosing down the flames, but then realised the underside of the building was also alight. That’s when he found the whole of the underneath of the motel, which was fully occupied, was also on fire, and the rooms were starting to fill with smoke. We roused everyone and soon the fire was being put out. When the police arrived, they said it was an act of deliberate arson and five minutes more the floors would have collapsed into the flames.

Fear was starting to govern everyone’s thinking as they realised that through the evil actions of others, they had all nearly been killed in their sleep. It was at that point I realised we had a decision to make. There was another way of looking at the situation. It was that, even in the middle of the night when we were all sleeping the most soundly, even then we were alerted, saved and kept unharmed, that even in that extreme situation evil could not win. It was that option that we voiced to the group, and when we did, the atmosphere tangibly changed. Feelings of fear and vulnerability were replaced with a deep sense of safety and protection. Too, instead of my daughter feeling frightened, she felt the exact opposite, she felt like a hero.

Afterwards when I was thinking about what had taken place, I realised that in the weeks leading up to that holiday, I had been doing a lot of praying. Praying to me is not a pleading to a far-off God for benevolence, but a deep, conscientious recognition of the divine goodness ever-present in our lives. Tuning our thought to all that is right and good and loving is a bit like practising our maths calculations – we get better at it and see more right results appear. To me that’s what God is, the Principle that makes life work right and brings out those good results.

As we now move forward into this new way of living, recognising the good we’ve all had the time to focus on and practice, can help us feel assured that good results lie ahead for us. Through this period, haven’t we all been diligently and selflessly caring for one another in being isolated and law-abiding? Haven’t we had the time to rethink how we value our families and community? Haven’t we all been re-evaluating how we can better care for our planet? The basis of this thinking is love, and the Bible defines God as Love. Thinking rightly and acting lovingly is like doing our maths correctly, it assures us of good outcomes. It gives us the assurance that our futures will work out rightly.

This way of thinking about God, life and ourselves is Christianly scientific. If you’d like to look into this powerful healing way of thinking then visit the beautiful official website christianscience.com.

God’s Love, in Every Culture   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

This article was originally published in the December 2011 issue of the Christian Science Journal. In it the writer, a member of the Canberra Christian Science community, shares how she overcame loneliness and cultural differences when she moved to a remote area of Indonesia to teach English.

She writes: My first two weeks in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, were traumatic.

It took two weeks, but finally I turned to prayer. And then I felt I had something familiar to lean on. I loved the idea of setting aside time for God every day at sunset, which most people around me did. The local mosque sat just across the road, and I decided to mentally join in the melodious call to evening prayer. My room faced a vividly green rice paddy, and I would sit on the balcony to read and pray, looking down at the men praying in the mosque, and watching sparrows flitting in the rice paddies, waiting for the enormous, jungled mountains to fade into darkness. 

Finally, I felt the peace I was searching for. I glimpsed that God, Truth, is relevant in every nation, culture, and situation. I prayed to recognize those around me as my brothers and sisters, our differences dissolved by the understanding that we all shared the same Father-Mother God. As I continued to pray, my perspective gradually changed, and my loneliness and frustration melted into love and fascination.

Click here to read the full article where the author explains the spiritual reasoning that led to this being a happy and rewarding experience, and one where she grew in her appreciation of the true brotherhood of man.

A Living Prayer   Leave a comment

How to Hug a Cactus   Leave a comment

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A Daily Lift by Brian Webster

In this 3 minute podcast Brian talks about how to come to terms with people whose views seem so opposite to ours. He explains that by taking a spiritual perspective it is possible to love and appreciate the good in everyone.

Where is God When Bad Things Happen?   Leave a comment

From the pandemic to political division to climate disasters, today’s news begs the question “Where is God when bad things happen?” And if God is here, why doesn’t it seem to make a difference?

This podcast series investigates different aspects of this large question. Each of the speakers shares a different view of God that can help you find your own peace and experience the kind of stability we all want these days.

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Here are the links to the four sessions in this series:

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Where is God When Bad Things Happen – Part 1: The Basics with Scott Preller

Where is God When Bad Things Happen – Part 2: Responding to Emergencies with Diana Davis Butler

Where is God When Bad Things Happen – Part 3: Finding Hope with Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen

Where is God When Bad Things Happen – Part 4: Getting Out of the Mess We’re In with Deborah Huebsch

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A new podcast is produced each week and can be accessed via the PODCASTS tab in the menu line at the top of this home page.

Brothers and Sisters Forever   1 comment

A Daily Lift by Joel Magnes

In this 4 minute talk Joel tells of the sense of unity and cooperation that he felt living in New York in the days following the 9/11 attack. He describes how not religion, ethnicity nor background seemed to separate people – there was deep feeling of pulling together for the common good.

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? (The Bible – Malachi 2: 10)

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Safe Evacuation from Afghanistan   2 comments

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

About two weeks ago, along with others around the world I watched on TV the fall of Kabul and the urgent rush for people to get on a plane out of Afghanistan.  The scenes were horrific and prompted me to pray about the presence of Love and order operating right there, even though it only looked like chaos.

A couple of days after I was prompted to pray this way, on Monday 16th August, I received a text message from a friend of one of my daughters.  She knew I was a Christian Science practitioner and she asked me if I could pray for the safety of the wife and baby daughter of a good friend of hers.  The friend worked for the Australian government and was in Canberra but his wife and daughter were in Kabul, in all the mayhem, trying to get out on a Defence plane.

I texted back immediately reminding her and her friend that Allah, being another word for I AM or God, was with the little family and I would pray to see evidence of this.  I also assured my friend that she had the spiritual capacity to recognise God’s protective love and we could catch a glimpse of this together.

Later the same day, they received an email from the Australian Government saying that the application for citizenship had been escalated and steps were being taken in Kabul to forward the administration.  I knew that ‘red tape’ didn’t have more power than the divine law of good.  

The next contact was two days later, to tell me that the little family had been told by government to wait at home till instructed to go to the airport.  This was a period of quiet trust in God and hope that safe passage to the airport was being organised.  My friend texted me “divine law is operating despite appearances” – I was thrilled to see this tone of her thought.  

A few days later a text came at 2:30 am to tell me that the mother and baby were safely inside the airport.  As I lay in bed I thought further about the safety of the mother and child and the tender care God was taking of all His creation. Even in the best of circumstances I’ve flown long flights with babies and young children and it can be challenging.  Seeing the images of those fleeing Afghanistan crushed into defence planes, I prayed specifically for the baby to feel at peace.  Later that morning another text came to say they were on the plane and close to landing in Dubai.  I shared with my friend a Bible verse I often use when travelling: “Behold I send an angel before you to keep you in the way’ (Exodus 23:20).  We were gratefully watching this promise from God being fulfilled.

The next text told of how the mother and child had had a couple of nights at a military base in Dubai.  Accompanying this message was a photo of the smiling baby girl in a little pink dress, looking very much at peace.  Next they let me know they were in Melbourne in quarantine and the friend of my friend, who had sparked this prayer journey a week earlier, was on his way from Canberra to meet up with his wife and child.  He had official permission to be with them during their COVID quarantine period.  

When the request came to pray for someone trying to escape from Kabul under those chaotic circumstances, I was grateful that Principle, the law of Love, was powerful enough to respond.  Once I started giving focussed prayer to the danger as the Taliban took over, I felt the power of prayer from around the world.  There was a palpable sense of God being on the field.  These last couple of weeks have brought into focus for me a little more of what Mary Baker Eddy hoped for Christian Scientists:

During this final conflict, wicked minds will endeavor to find means by which to accomplish more evil; but those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p96:31)

With humility and gratitude I’m glad I could contribute to some modest ‘aid’ and I “cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection”.  There is so much to be grateful for, as bit by bit I learn of the joy and relief of those involved in this escape from danger.

How Are You Praying for Afghanistan?   Leave a comment

Barbara Cook Spencer, a writer for the Christian Science Sentinel, shares her prayers for Afghanistan. She writes …

Like many others, I have been praying in recent days about the challenging situation in Afghanistan. The task of safely evacuating thousands of people seemed overwhelming to me. But as I earnestly prayed, the twenty-third Psalm suddenly came to thought in a totally new way, strengthening and comforting me. It begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (verse 1 ). In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy presents a spiritual interpretation of this line. She writes: “[Divine love ] is my shepherd; I shall not want” (p. 578 ).

At that moment, I saw divine Love, God, as the all-embracing, all-powerful, ever-tender, and disciplined Shepherd of every individual needing to leave Afghanistan. …

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Click here to read the full article where Barbara shares how her prayers brought her a sense of peace and hope. This article was originally published in an August 2021 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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PSALM 23

       [Divine love ] is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
       [Love ] maketh me to lie down in green pastures: [love ] leadeth me beside the still waters. 
       [Love ] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]: [love ] leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 
       Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for [love ] is with me; [love ’s] rod and [love ’s] staff they comfort me. 
       [Love ] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: [love ] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
       Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [love ] for ever.” 

(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy p578)

An Example of Love’s Protection   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

One dark, very wet night, I was scheduled to attend a Church meeting in Barton, ACT. There was a forecast for heavy storms which might include hail. Our area had been affected by hailstorms the year before and, prior to going to the meeting, I had consciously acknowledged that as attending the meeting was a “right activity” all those attending, and all those in the vicinity of our Church, could know that they and their property (including their cars), are safe.

There was indeed a storm and heavy rain whilst we were at the meeting and when we were leaving it was still raining steadily. I put my papers and handbag on the boot of my car whilst I rummaged for my car keys and then my passenger and I drove towards home. When we had travelled for about 9 km, I stopped at red traffic lights and when the lights turned green I drove on. Suddenly, the driver behind me started flashing his headlights and hooting his horn. My first thought was that I had done something wrong. I checked that my headlights were on and I knew that I hadn’t been speeding and had stopped in good time at the red light. However, the car behind me persisted in trying to get me to pull over. I took the off ramp to the hospital and stopped the car. The other car pulled up in front of my car and we were not sure what the safe thing to do was. A passenger from the other car got out and ran black towards my car, so I got out. She wanted to let me know that my wallet was on the top of my car’s boot. It had stayed there safely for the whole journey despite several turns and changes of speed!

I was grateful for the alertness of these complete strangers and their kindness and persistence in letting me know about my wallet (which incidentally contained my driving licence, my credit cards and other important cards). The thing that has stayed with me most following this experience is the feeling of God’s protection.

I have learned through this and many other situations, that God, Love, is always with us and that we can trust in his care.

I love the promise from one of our hymns:

His arm encircles me, and mine, and all.”

(Christian Science Hymnal – Hymn 209 (Verse 2)

and also this promise,

Good thoughts are an impervious armour; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.”

(The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy p210: 7–11).

Be a Circuit Breaker   Leave a comment

A Daily Lift by Jutter Hudson, a Christian Science nurse

In this 3 minute talk Jutter describes how she used the idea of a circuit breaker to interrupt the constant flow of disturbing news regarding the pandemic and other world events. This helped her handle these ideas calmly and enabled her to feel she could be a force for good in the world. She gives an example of a healing of a family member that resulted from this circuit-breaking thinking.

A new 3 minute inspirational talk is shared each day Monday-Friday. To listen to more click on the Daily Lift tab in the menu above.

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