Prayer: The Most Powerful Weapon

I read in my local newspaper, The Carroll County Times, about a small business owner who was trying to break up some rowdiness outside her jewelry store by telling the perpetrators she was going to call the police.  Going back into her shop, one of the gang members followed her and punched her in the face.

That shop owner must have felt stunned, and maybe even helpless.  Reports of violence seems rampant everywhere.  The law enforcement agencies can’t be everywhere and laws regulated to help sometimes don’t do the trick.

I began to wonder how I could  possibly help.  All of my life I had turned to prayer to help me and my family no matter what the need was.  Two blogs ago, I spoke of the power of prayer which helped me out of a seemingly hopeless situation – of my car being surrounded by men refusing to let me proceed.

Realizing I had proven in my own experience that prayer was the most powerful weapon, I decided I would like to share some more thoughts with you in regard to overcoming possible violent situations in local neighborhoods, communities, and worldwide neighbors.

Having just finished a book of reminisces from the late 1800’s, I recalled a story that brought home this grand lesson.

This event took place during the civil war.  A Union soldier hiding in the dark, surrounded by  bushes and trees had his rifle aimed at a Confederate soldier, a sentry who was walking his route, guarding the camp.  The Confederate soldier suddenly feeling he was in danger began singing a well-known hymn.  The Union soldier heard the singing of a hymn which was familiar to him too.  He couldn’t pull the trigger and left the scene.

A hymn is prayer.  Prayer was the most potent weapon here.  The rifle wasn’t more powerful.  Neither was the enmity between the two sides of the conflict.  Both soldiers recognized and acted upon a power higher than themselves – love for God overshadowed any sense of hatred.

My sense of the situation is that the hymn (prayer) reminded both men of Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” And this love prevailed – was more powerful than enmity or orders to kill.

Several years ago, I was sitting at a picnic table in a deserted park reading a book.  My two children were playing in a sandbox.  It was a peaceful, beautiful, sunny day.

The quiet was broken by loud noises and I turned around to see what was happening.  It was a group of boys running over the hill towards us, waving sticks and yelling at us. Immediately I realized I couldn’t outrun them nor could the children.  So, I did the very best thing.  I prayed.

I calmly called the children over to the table.  They sat directly across from me and waited while I thumbed through the book and stopped when I found the pages for which I was looking.  The most powerful prayer of all.

I said, “You start.”

They said together: “Our Father which art in heaven.”

I said, * “Father-Mother God, all-harmonious.”

And then I asked the children what that meant to them.  They said that God was the Father and Mother of  everyone and therefore everyone was always safe.

“Hallowed be thy name.  *Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.  *Thy kingdom is come.  Thou art ever-present.”

They explained: Even if your human parent wasn’t around, God was.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  *Enable us to know as in heaven so on earth, God is omnipotent supreme.”

They reasoned:  God is the only power no matter where we are, God is taking care of us all.

We were so engrossed in repeating and discussing the prayer, we didn’t notice when the noise stopped.

When I turned around, I saw the boys were running back over the hill.

Mary Baker Eddy, the woman who discovered Christian Science in the 1860’s, wrote in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, “Our Master taught his disciples one brief prayer, which we name after him The Lord’s Prayer.  Our Master said, ‘After this manner therefore pray ye.’ And then he gives us the prayer that covers all human needs.”

It met our needs that day in the park.

*Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of The Lord’s Prayer can be found in the Christian Science textbook on pages 16 and 17.

The photo was downloaded from flickr.com – Steve Bowbrick

 

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you, Kate! Wonderful!

  2. Love this message. I know I always turn to the Lord’s Prayer whenever I feel a sense of fear or threatened. I am so grateful to have it in my arsenal! A truly powerful weapon.

  3. I know it works when needed, but please stop getting into those situations. What hair I have left is already gray.

  4. VERY interesting, I just read about that Civil War Hymn story somewhere. Going back and reading your story about being caught in the wrong part of town, and reading this BLOG, how great it is to know, that turning to God, obeying the First Commandment, humility and love, is what saves the day, like you said, not only us, but them. We want all to move forward together, ultimately. We are all grateful, when we realize, that we have been saved from making a major mistake. God’s love reaches us where we are, and when we realize this, it moves us closer to Him…thank you for your BLOG, a wonderful venue to share your insights..oh, and I also love “Mike’s” response! :-).