Christian Comment with Laura Huxford of Stroud

Christian Comment with Laura Huxford of the Christian Science Church and Reading Room, Stroud

AS I write, just two days after the Manchester Arena atrocity, families and friends are still waiting to know whether their loved ones are among those killed.

Others are fighting for their lives in intensive care.

Along with so many, I am praying.

How am I praying?

My starting point is the opening statement by Mary Baker Eddy to her book Science and health with key to the scriptures: “The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, – a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love”.

I feel deeply for those who have lost a loved one – lost the light and promise from their own lives.

I pray that they will feel the love that we are wrapping round them from afar.

And I pray for the injured and give gratitude to those caring for them.

I pray because I have seen prayer to be effective in consoling, restoring and healing.

When I have prayed I’ve experienced changed attitudes and behaviour in myself and others.

The PrayforManchester hash tag includes the sub-line: support, consolation and victory.

Victory over terrorism.

Victory means sticking together, not being divided, not allowing destructive ideologies to win.

People of Manchester sang Oasis’ “Don’t look back in anger” after the two minute silence this morning.

Anger is a completely understandable reaction to calculated killing.

But evil, hate and anger caused the atrocity.

Anger responding to anger produces more anger till we are all consumed by it.

This is the one of the most controversial and seemingly difficult of Christ’s teachings.

“I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.” Matthew 5 in The Message.

In Stroud, as in many other parts of the country and the world, people of all faiths and none, are coming together regularly in prayer – that we all may love one another, unconditionally.

This article was originally published in the Stroud News and Journal on 4 June 2017.

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