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Daily News and Prayer is inspired by The Christian Science Monitor, one of the most important (and most underappreciated) newspapers in the world. Posts are usually (but not always) responses to articles in the Monitor about events and trends that call for prayer.

The blog's aim is to help strengthen humanity's collective confidence that we can triumph over even the most deeply entrenched evils, in ourselves and in the world.

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Note on submissions: If you would like to contribute to this blog, I would be happy to consider your submission. It should be 500 words or less, well written and fit the topic. Read several postings to get an idea of the subject matter and tone. It should also fit the audience, which is general, international and non-denominational.

Please email your submission to me at kscollins@gmail.com. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please be aware that, while I appreciate the interest and efforts of anyone who wishes to write for the blog, publication is not guaranteed. If I feel your piece is promising but needs revision, I will let you know. Nothing will be published without your seeing the final copy.

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Sunday
Nov152015

Paris and prayer

It seems evident that the tragedy in Paris will not break the spirit of the French people. They and their supporters around the world seem doubly determined to celebrate life. #Prayers4Paris on Twitter is one virtual place that people are fighting back.

But the arm-linking, virtual and otherwise, is only part of the story. An even more important factor in our response is what’s happening in thought. That will tell us how much progress we all make out of this incident.

You and I can do a lot to help that process along. Christ Jesus gave humanity a short prayer that summarizes well how to pray about difficult situations like this.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Our Father, God, is perfect. He is the creator of all, and Life itself. I will not let this incident undermine my confidence that He is good and will never fail me or any of His children. To doubt God’s goodness now would be to grant evil the thing it most desires: a disbelief in God’s love for all humanity.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What happened was not God’s will. His will is always good. I will endeavor to prove that fact today in every thought and act of mine, my will and God’s will merging into one Christly motive of love for humanity. Terrorism cannot win in heaven or on earth.

Give us this day our daily bread.

Everything I need, including my safety and my joy, I expect to receive from God. And with that divine provision I can help to feed others with His rich and lively ideas. Today is no different from last Friday or last week or last year or a thousand years ago: God is here, now, a present help that we can feel through active prayer.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

We can’t escape the need to forgive those who perpetrated these acts, if for no other reason than that’s how we will be blessed. How do we forgive acts that purposely kill innocents? Many people have wrestled with the question in the past year, not only in France but also in Germany, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria, Iraq and many other countries, including many places in the United States.  The answer: by knowing that God’s goodness is an absolute law, as valid for the worst criminal as for the holiest saint.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The temptation is huge to be angry, fearful, hateful, despairing. Working through prayer to free ourselves from these emotions will touch many others. Even reading the news can be a prayerful activity if we refuse to wallow in grief and instead insist on the indestructibility of Life. As many of you know, my admiration for The Christian Science Monitor and its value in supporting prayer is extremely high.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

There is no state more powerful than God’s government. The insistent violence wrought by self-styled governments is so-much empty screaming against the void out of which they came and to which they will return. God is Love. There is no other power in the universe. What is happening right now in the outpouring of love for the French and for the beauty of their great capital city is part of the proof of that fact.

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