A place to leave behind the past, to have the
fullness of the present,
and to look forward to the bright future.
In times of trouble it’s common to use the expression “I haven’t got a prayer!” However, no matter how bad things get, the one thing we all have is prayer. What’s more, prayer can actually bring about change, even in times of great need. That’s what Scripture frequently declares. For example, there’s the account of how Jesus stilled the threatening storm at sea. “Peace, be still” was His simple prayer, and the storm instantly calmed. One minute his companions were in fear for their lives. The next moment they were awestruck at how their teacher’s prayer kept every one safe.
Facing the financial and social storms of our time – as individuals, as a nation, or as a global family – we always do have a prayer, even if we’re down to our last cent, or way beyond that. We can mentally address the fears washing into our thoughts by praying “Peace, be still!” with the expectancy that our fears and doubts will be calmed by God’s response to our need, and that His inspirational ideas of how to go forward in practical ways will emerge in thought.
Not that “words” have power in themselves. Prayer is not a mantra. Jesus could not have stilled the storm just by mouthing the right words. His words were the visible, or audible, tip of a profound conviction of God’s goodness, founded on a conscious ability to commune with the divine Spirit and based on the countless times healing had resulted from that communing.
Based on this communion with His Father, Jesus spoke with His authority as Christ in the awareness of the underlying spiritual dimension in which peace is not only natural, but inevitable, because it is divinely formed and maintained. In communion with God, it’s possible to perceive a calm, harmonious creation right where a stormy world appears to be, and to know that the former trumps the latter, irrespective of the sensual evidence to the contrary.
In today’s storms, everyone can commune with God and feel the touch of Christ and express that conviction even as Jesus commanded us to do. The Father to whom Jesus entrusted His safety in that wind tossed boat was, and is, ever-present Spirit, freely accessible Infinite Intelligence, and wholly dependable Principle. This knowledge subdues and removes the opposite apparent influence of what the Bible calls “the carnal mind,” the “would be” source of all that is negative and distressing. Jesus proved that this force is not genuine. His prayer which recognized only the presence of His Father, who is Perfection and Goodness, saw through the carnal mind’s lie of an absence of good, called evil.
Since God remains the same forever, His divine power is the same now to help and heal. God responds to today’s prayers with the peaceful stillness needed to open the eyes of those needing to see practical solutions that will make a difference. Reaching for and attaining mental and emotional stillness lets in the Lord’s ideas, which point the way to the proper next steps.
Whether or nor not one’s financial needs, or society’s, turn around as immediately as the storm did when Jesus demonstrated the power of prayer, our prayers can at least begin to lessen the wail of the winds and turn back the threatening tides of our own contemporary storms. Step by step, individually and collectively, the heartfelt prayer always available to everyone, can access God’s perfect goodness and begin to transform today’s crisis into tomorrow’s calm, strong current of true spirituality with genuine progress towards wholeness of being as the inevitable result.
In His Light,
Bishop Raymond Contois