The prayer of a righteous man availeth much!
The full quote from James 5:16 reads, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Nearly every day at our home we receive a campaign flier prophesying gloom and doom for our economy and for our land.
We hear similar forecasts regularly on all forms of media.
It’s tempting to go along with these, for there is much evidence to support them.
But if Jesus could calm the wind and waves, and feed the multitude, we can rest assured that the power of God, Truth and Love, is far greater than the winds of greed and corruption that seem to dominate these times.
We find evidence of the power of Truth and Love in the outcome of Mahatma Gandhi’s life work. For over 50 years he sought to relieve the oppressed of the world, beginning with the oppressed of his own nation. He called those who followed him, the followers of Truth and Love.
As a young man, Gandhi had studied the life of Christ Jesus, whose teachings would contribute to the effectiveness of his work.
Through his efforts and those of his followers, British colonial rule was ousted in 1948, and replaced by a democratic form of government.
Those decades leading to the liberation of his people were not easy. Gandhi wrote, “ When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it—always.”
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, compares the “evil elements coming to the surface” to dross, which rises to the surface during the refining process, to be skimmed off.
Of this process she writes--
“What I term chemicalization is the upheaval produced when immortal Truth is destroying erroneous mortal belief. Mental chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, forcing impurities to pass away, as is the case with a fermenting fluid.”
“The broadest facts array the most falsities against themselves, for they bring error from under cover (both quotes are from the book, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures).”
I remember the day I was cleaning a small white rug with a broom. The more I beat it, the dirtier it looked! Although it was getting cleaner with every whack, because the dirt was rising to the surface, it was looking much dirtier!
So, instead of recoiling from the evil that is coming to the surface, let us rejoice in the purifying effect of God’s love in our lives, and draw close to God.
It is important right now for us to resist the temptation to speak words of despair, or give in to despair as though it were the new permanent order of things. It is important to realize instead, that what we are seeing is evil on its way out.
Maintaining our trust in the supremacy of Truth and Love over evil, our prayers will become “effectual and fervent,” and “avail much.”
Thank you for reading this sermonette. And have a good day!
Charlotte Huntley Orth
The Christian Science Society