Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Behind-the-Scenes Helpers

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Behind-the-Scenes Helpers

Article excerpt

Recently I received a mailing that asked for a contribution to support a highly regarded organization that helps millions of refugees and others around the world in great need. It was a good reminder that even in the midst of tragic circumstances, there's often something positive happening. Many are right on the scene, working unselfishly, tirelessly, to care for others.

We may know people who are dealing directly with some conflict in a thoughtful, constructive way in order to resolve the situation - maybe in a business or political setting or even on an important church or school committee. Yet a casual observer might only be aware of the struggle that's apparent on the surface.

Humanity can be deeply grateful for those on the scene who are helping so many. Yet there are also helpers behind the scenes. Among them are individuals who have come to realize that prayer represents much more than a well-meaning but abstract expression of support. Prayer, if inspired by at least some perception that God really is the only power, that He is omnipresent Love, and that He always cares for His children, has a beneficial effect.

It might be argued that you can never really be sure of that or prove it when it comes to circumstances in the global arena - or in the community, for that matter. Yet our inherent, God-given spiritual sense - our ability to discern the presence of God and His goodness - assures us that what the Bible teaches about the potency of prayer is true. Many people, including those who have witnessed the effect of prayer in their own lives, have seen in events in the news evidence that a divine influence was at work in the resolution of some harmful situation.

A merely surface view of things, and the conclusions that the human mind tends to draw based on that view, undermine trust in prayer. Yet Christ Jesus spoke of praying "to the Father which is in secret" (Matthew 6:6), and he gave the world the Lord's Prayer (see Matthew 6:9-13). He once told his followers: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32). It seems reasonable to conclude that knowing in prayer what's spiritually true, despite what the physical senses report, must have a positive effect when specifically applied to issues around the world as well as those affecting us personally. …

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