Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Presidents' Day Prayer

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Presidents' Day Prayer

Article excerpt

Next Monday will be Presidents' Day in the United States, a holiday meant to celebrate the lives of US presidents, especially George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays used to be separate holidays of their own.

Both men are revered for their honesty and integrity, intelligence and persistence. Both were president during crucial moments in the nation's history. And both men were much aware of the value of prayer as a guide through dangerous times.

Those spiritual qualities - and the prayer that accompanied them - couldn't be more needed than in our own dangerous times. The US and other nations are in the process of electing leaders, and international issues - as well as nagging national ones - affect the world community.

One major challenge is the threat of terrorism, which US Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke of earlier this week, warning Europeans that terrorists in Afghanistan pose a major danger to peace and safety. In addition to the efforts that can be made "on the ground" in that country and through other security measures, each individual can join in the effort by turning to the kind of prayer Washington and Lincoln found so valuable.

Each of us can contribute by praying for our own countries and also for others, affirming our right to be at peace within and without our borders. No one is left out of God's love - even the countries where terrorism seems to be in full operation. Because divine Love is infinite, anyone who calls on its power in any place can expect to receive some evidence of Love's presence.

The Bible includes many passages that assure us of God's protecting care. This one seems especially appropriate in relation to terrorism: "Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net" (Ps. 25:15).

This "plucking" can take different forms: obedience to an intuition that says, "Don't go down that street"; a sudden impulsion to pray for oneself or others; extra alertness in the midst of confusion. …

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