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The healing and protecting power of the 91st Psalm

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Principled
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Hello friends,

A few of you who have been members of Healthy Pages for years will remember that I used to be cabin crew with an international airline (I’m retired from that now, though I do still work – in a Christian Science Reading Room.) The 91st Psalm is such a powerful go-to prayer for Jewish and Christian people, especially in times of trouble and danger. One day, I simply must compile people’s experiences of praying with it, into a book, though so far I haven’t managed to find any experiences other that those of students of Christian Science. I live in hope! Anyway, it’s been coming to me recently that I really ought to share some of my flying (and other) experiences again, to reassure people during these troubling times. I also read of a wonderful healing of a horse recently, very much based on praying with the 91st Psalm, which I’d love to share, so here goes:

I was working in the back galley one day, flying to Milan (which meant we had to fly over the Alps) in a Boeing 757. The other two crew members I was working with at the rear of the aircraft, had left the galley with the duty free trolley and were right up in the front, so I was alone when the seat belt sign came on. I had a call from the Cabin Service Director to say that other aircraft ahead had warned of severe turbulence and that I was to stow everything and strap myself in on the Captain’s orders.

As usual, I turned immediately to God, infinite divine Love, and put us all in HisHer care while I was securing the galley and checking the passengers. I thought of those everlasting arms of Love that were all around us: “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:” (Deut. 33:27)

At every takeoff, I always used to pray with Hymn 53 of the Christian Science Hymnal, which is based on a hymn by John R Macduff. Here are verses 1 & 3:

Everlasting arms of Love
Are beneath, around, above;
God it is who bears us on,
His the arm we lean upon

From earth's fears and vain alarms
Safe in His encircling arms,
He will keep us all the way,
God, our refuge, strength and stay.

Once I had finished stowing all the equipment and checking that the passengers were all secure, I grabbed my Bible from my cabin bag and strapped myself in, opening it to the 91st Psalm (the Psalm of protection), which begins:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

I had recently been watching a programme about nesting owls and there was a family of long-eared owls, in an open crow’s nest up in Yorkshire. During a storm, the mother sat on top of her chicks, opening her wings and protecting them from the rain and the wind and keeping them warm. I knew from the Psalm that this is what God, our divine parent, was doing for all of us.

Psalm 91 continues:

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Well, I became engrossed in reading it and really praying with those words, knowing that they were true, knowing they had power and that they had been proved countless times. A feeling of indescribable peace came over me and I knew that only divine Love (God) was present, therefore only peace, harmony and safety could be present. I felt at one with God. I forgot all about the expected turbulence – there wasn’t any, it was like a mill pond. After a while, the seat belt signs went off and we returned to our duties…

Later on, in the hotel in Milan, we met in the Captain’s room, before going out to eat. The Captain was standing there, shaking his head and saying over and over, "I can’t understand what happened back there" (how many times have I heard those words!) I asked him what he meant and he explained that all other aircraft, just minutes in front of us, at exactly the same altitude and in exactly the same airspace, were experiencing such severe turbulence that the pilots were unable to read their instruments, yet it was like a mill-pond to us. “Not even a ripple”, he said. He explained that we were flying near an enormous thunderstorm that had the power of about 200 atomic bombs, but we couldn’t go higher as we were already over the Alps, at our maximum height and we couldn’t move further away as we didn’t have enough fuel. He simply could not understand or explain, why we had not been touched.

But where was that destructive "power" when confronted by Truth and Love (God)?

With love and peace,

Judy

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(@scommstech)
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Hi Judy
Nice post. I think that putting your CS experiences on paper is a very good idea. You seem to have the ability to describe things in a way that is easily readable.
I may be out of line here but from your experience is there ever a time when praying for a loved one to recover is asking too much.
I have a cat that's approx 17 years old and is failing.
I have tried praying, referring to the 91 psalm and the 139 psalm, as these were the mainstay of a CS practitioner who changed his dogs situation.
I have spoken to 2 local practitioners but they seem to lean towards the spiritual immortality of the cat and almost accepting that the time on earth is limited.
I find this hard to come to terms with. I do not believe that we were made to physically die. It should be our own spiritual choice to release the body not age or disease. Is mortal opinion so strong that it can hinder God's law. I just do not know.
Kind regards
Scommstech

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Principled
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I may be out of line here but from your experience is there ever a time when praying for a loved one to recover is asking too much.

Hi Scomm – oh bless you, why on earth would you be “out of line” asking a very understandable question? But praying for a loved one to recover in Christian Science is not beginning rightly. You see, you’re starting from the premise that disease, ageing, death etc. are real (thus giving power to them) and then trying to reverse that.

Jesus told us that no man can serve two masters. (Matt 6:24) and Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health 372:14 (read the whole paragraph)

“How, then,… can we believe in the reality and power of both Truth and error, Spirit and matter, and hope to succeed with contraries?”

I’m just about to go to the Reading Room, but here is an article that might help.

[url]Moving past the problem to healing[/url]

I’ll get back to you later.

Love and peace,

Judy

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I find this hard to come to terms with. I do not believe that we were made to physically die. It should be our own spiritual choice to release the body not age or disease.

I agree with you Scomm and always rejoice when I hear about a person or pet just going to sleep naturally and not waking up after a long and fulfilling life. But the bottom line is that in reality, we were not made physical at all – it only seems that way to our limited mortal senses – in reality, we are immortal and spiritual right here and now! That seems an impossible thing to understand, let alone demonstrate, but Jesus proved it, again and again, when he healed the sick and raised the dead – including his own remarkable resurrection. However, we are certainly not Jesus and can only prove what we understand.

St Paul said that:

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Cor 15:26) The last, not the first! But every step Spirit-ward is progress towards that.

These also may be helpful:

[url]Science and Health 329:7-20[/url]

[url]Science and Health 485:14-19[/url]

Is mortal opinion so strong that it can hinder God's law. I just do not know.

Yes, it would seem so – there are many factors. One is the thoughts that surround the patient. There is a very good reason that Jesus put out all the mourners when he went to raise Jairus’ daughter from her deathbed. Those same mourners, who, “laughed him to scorn” when he told them the girl was not dead, but sleeping. (Mark 5:40) And Peter followed his example when he raised Dorcas from the dead. (Acts 9:36-42)

"In medical practice objections would be raised if one doctor should administer a drug to counteract the working of a remedy prescribed by another doctor. It is equally important in metaphysical practice that the minds which surround your patient should not act against your influence by continually expressing such opinions as may alarm or discourage, — either by giving antagonistic advice or through unspoken thoughts resting on your patient. While it is certain that the divine Mind can remove any obstacle, still you need the ear of your auditor. It is not more difficult to make yourself heard mentally while others are thinking about your patients or conversing with them, if you understand Christian Science — the oneness and the allness of divine Love; but it is well to be alone with God and the sick when treating disease. "(Science and Health 424:12)

This below is a link to quite a deep interview with a teacher of Christian Science – available either to read, or in audio - and this quote was how she discovered what was obstructing her healing of cracked ribs after a fall from a horse:

“The universal belief in physics weighs against the high and mighty truths of Christian metaphysics…the percentage of power on the side of this Science must mightily outweigh the power of popular belief in order to heal a single case of disease.” Science and Health 155

[url]Getting it right[/url]

I’ll continue tomorrow.

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Principled
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Now Scomm, before you beat yourself up over your cat, let me share three of my experiences. Our beloved dog died, despite my earnest prayers. Looking back, I feel it was my attachment to him. Also, my dear husband said that if our pet was healed, he would take up the study of Christian Science too (no pressure then). So, he would pray with me and then go and inspect the dog – it just doesn’t work like that. It’s turning right away from what our material senses are telling us, to listening to what God is telling us of HisHer image and likeness – spiritual, whole, perfect. It's not about fixing matter.

Two of the most astounding (and yet completely natural) healings I've known happened when it was so clear that it was absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me. That really is key. I was simply witnessing to the Truth that was already there before the lie had come up about it – the Truth that Jesus told us would set us free. (John 8:32) The most important thing here is that in both of the healings below, I knew nothing about the symptoms, so I wasn’t trying to fix matter. In the 91st Psalm aircraft experience that I began this thread with, I never looked out of the window. I was just immersed in all those wonderful promises from the Psalm. Had I seen the thunderstorm and the lightning, I am quite sure that our awesome protection from all that turbulence would not have happened.

The first healing below was one I wrote about here on HP in 2003 and here is the link to it:

[url]Rachel’s healing [/url]

I knew nothing about the problem or the symptoms – in fact, I just assumed it had been a headache or something like that. I had no idea what a significant healing she’d had and because it came so naturally, it didn’t even occur to her either what had happened, until a few months later, when she was on holiday and finally wrote and told me about it.

More later…

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By coincidence, the other healing was of a very sick cat. Again, I knew nothing about the symptoms. I have kept the emails – it was in 2009. I had had a long day and I was about to go to bed when an email came through from a young woman I’d never met, but who would always email me with great urgency when things were going wrong – I never ever heard from her at other times and I have to admit I found that rather irritating.

So this email was titled: Subject: URGENT-CAT VERY ILL, NEED HELP and she wrote:

My cat is very ill and I want to heal him using prayer, do you mind to pray for him for me, perhaps with your helpful prayers along with mine, he will finally get better.
I would greatly appreciate your help in this emotionally stressful time,

thank-you so much.

I have to admit that my first reaction was not very loving. I wondered why she had not contacted me earlier in the cat’s illness and why she was writing so late at night, when all I wanted was to go to bed! So, because I was irritated. I just said out loud, with great authority, “There is NO sick cat. There is NO fearful owner. God, good is ALL and THAT’S THAT.”

As an aside, a church friend was telling us of a very busy practitioner she knew who received a telegram (in the days before long distance telephones) It was a very urgent request. She glanced at it, screwed it up and threw it in the waste bin. “There goes the devil and all his works” she said and the patient was instantly healed!

For the reason for this, read these pages: [url]Science and Health 390:4 - 391:16 [/url]

Anyway, back to the young woman and her cat. I softened a bit and sent this off to her, though I knew that all was well:

Dear …..,

We are not trying to change sick matter into well matter, but to change our wrong perception to the understanding of God and His creation as the very emanation of His being, like the sun and light. God’s creation reflects the infinitude, perfection, wholeness and goodness of the original and nothing else is possible! We don’t keep checking matter either to see if it’s changed, we check our own thinking for proof of progress.

All of God's creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. (Science and Health 514)

God's law is in three words, "I am All;" and this perfect law is ever present to rebuke any claim of another law. God pities our woes with the love of a Father for His child,--not by becoming human, and knowing sin, or naught, but by removing our knowledge of what is not. He could not destroy our woes totally if He possessed any knowledge of them. His sympathy is divine, not human. It is Truth's knowledge of its own infinitude which forbids the genuine existence of even a claim to error. This knowledge is light wherein there is no darkness,--not light holding darkness within itself. The consciousness of light is like the eternal law of God, revealing Him and nothing else. (No and Yes 30) [both quotes are from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy ]

Have you read this wonderful healing of a dog and the resurrection of a still- born puppy?

[url]NOW MY HEART SINGS[/url]

And this one shows you how to pray effectively:

EFFECTIVE PRAYER FOR A PET

Now you just do that too – let go of the fear and put your cat in God’s care – where he is already. Be quiet and listen for what God is telling you about His own image, which is reflected in His creation. Your beloved cat is already perfect, whole and complete. Anything that says that he’s not is the illusion of matter. You can say “NO”!

Well, though she completely forgot to tell me that the cat was healed the next morning and left me in total silence for about 3 months, (while I assumed the cat was dead) :rolleyes: I finally heard the story months later:

Titled: THANK YOU FROM SUDAN AND I XXXXXXXX

What happened with Sudan was that i went to the vet for several months with no results and still no real explanation for his illness, and he continued to lose weight and vomit. I was ashamed because i would much rather trust him to God´s care, but my fear of losing him caused me to immediately call the vet. Since healing only came once i asked you to pray for him, i felt he suffered more during his 2 months of vet visits and overnight stays than the overnight miraculous healing which occured.

I apologise for not getting back to you, he was so much better the very next day after i sent the email! I thanked God and asked him to bless you for your help, and thought of the whole matter as resolved, it almost was as if nothing had ever even happened to him! He was so ill for so long he was skin and bones, had completely changed his personality and couldnt hold down any food. Now he is so much better, he has his appetite back and he is full of beans again, being the little brat that he is

.

She told me even later, that he’d been so ill and weak, that he was unable to even lift his head. Everyone was telling her that she was being cruel keeping him alive, (I rather agreed with them when I heard the details) but the morning after that first frantic email, Sudan was jumping around demanding his breakfast.

With hindsight, I am sure that the healing came with the insistence that, “There is NO sick cat. There is NO fearful owner. God, good is ALL and THAT’S THAT.”

With love and peace,

Judy

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(@scommstech)
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Dear Judy
I'm finding it easier and easier to relate to your posts.
I'm still not sure about life expectancy but whatever the outcome I know that the cat is in safe hands.
I was talking to my sister earlier about the influence of adverse thought in regard to our own thinking and suggested to her that the "mystics" who were said to go to remote places to think also were aware of thought "contamination".
Thank you for you support.
Regards
Scommstech

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Your beloved cat is in God's hands Scomm and whether the healing appears here, or hereafter - it is certain, because his or her immortality and spiritual perfection are present here and now, even if we can't see it yet. So just hand it all over.

Yes, I'm quite sure that all mystics who part from the world to meditate are indeed aware of being alone with God and their own thoughts, rather than taking on the thinking of the world, or even those around them.

As I said, Jesus told the mourners to leave. And he often went apart to pray, as in these passages.

Matt 14:23

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Luke 6:12

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Matt 26:36

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

I'm so pleased that you are finding these posts helpful.

God bless,

Judy

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And now, after going a bit off-topic, we can return to the 91st Psalm! 🙂

All the years he was with us, our dear dog Muffin used to come and lie over my feet while I sat and studied the Christian Science Bible Lesson in the morning. He used to lie close at other times, but always over my feet during the Bible Lesson... This horse was equally receptive to that Bible Lesson!

I just love how the author listened to those angel thoughts, prayed with the 91st Psalm and how she (and her husband) and even the horse were guided and helped. Animals are very spiritually minded and receptive to the truth of spiritual reality.

[url]Horse healed of pain[/url]

With love and peace,

Judy

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This was one of the first testimonies that made me really think about the 91st Psalm - just love it.

[url] "Jumpers safe after parachuting accident" [/url]

...No one watching could believe it. We'd hit the ground at almost seventy miles an hour. The ambulance crew just shook their heads in disbelief.

It was significant to me that not only was I saved but the other man was fine as well. I thought to myself, If you obey the laws of God and are conscious that He is your helper, your protector, and the source of your being, it's amazing what will happen.

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Energylz
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Hi Judy...

You know me, I don't normally do the "god thing", but I found this last quote interesting and it provoked a question in me.

Does this mean that God will protect only those that believe in them?
And did the other person also believe?

My understanding of God, from the Christian sense, is that he is all loving and all forgiving, so surely even if someone wasn't to believe then they should be protected from harm, regardless of the situation. In that case, why would these two parachute jumpers be saved over and above, say, someone having a car accident?

This is what confuses me, as it would imply that God is selective and not all forgiving or all loving, but is instead judgmental and doesn't care about those who don't believe.

Just asking out of curiosity.

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Hi Judy...

You know me, I don't normally do the "god thing", but I found this last quote interesting and it provoked a question in me.

Hi Giles,

Well, you know me too and will know that this isn't a simple answer - but hopefully I'll try to explain as far as I'm able to.

I’m glad you did join in – after all, that’s what discussion forums are all about! You don’t have to be a Christian to write on these pages.

As for saying you don’t do the “god thing”, well, from where I stand Giles, you’re doing the “God thing” all the time! :p It’s just terminology. God to me is pure goodness, the divine source of what we humans know as love, but divine Love is infinite, unconditional and eternal. God is Life itself and God is universal Truth. God is Spirit; the source of all goodness, purity, intelligence, wisdom, truth, beauty, harmony, vitality, etc. So that why in my eyes Giles, you are doing the God thing all the time, because you’re listening to spiritual intuitions and ideas and you’re sharing love and goodness and kindness and wisdom and so on.. So there! 😉

OK, I will try to address your interesting question below…

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Does this mean that God will protect only those that believe in them?
And did the other person also believe?

Which brings me back to listening. It’s not really about believing. The principles of mathematics are available to everyone, regardless of race, religion or even education – though obviously that helps. To quote my friend Tony again from his letter about [url]Universal Truth[/url]:

“Truth, to be Truth, has to be universal. Can you imagine if the laws of gravity applied only in one location? Or if you were only able to benefit from them if you happen to be a paid-up member of a particular gravity-believers club? Gravity-believers might feel that they can do a better job of harnessing the laws of gravity in their own lives and for the common good, because they are more focused on understanding those laws and are in discussion with others who have already proved their many wonderful applications. They can never, however, have more access to those laws than other believers or even non-believers.

So it is, I feel, with God's goodness. It is available impartially for all and it can, and does, work through all people - whatever denominational label we wear, or even if we shun all such labels, or consider ourselves humanists, agnostics, and atheists.”

One of the reasons I became so fascinated by all the stories of protection during WW1 and decided to begin that thread, was that again and again, not only were those soldiers who were praying (often with the 91st Psalm) protected, but also all their immediate comrades. I doubt whether ALL the others were believers – and have no idea with the other parachutist.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

“…Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.”
(First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany. 210:1-17)

Bit more below…

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My understanding of God, from the Christian sense, is that he is all loving and all forgiving, so surely even if someone wasn't to believe then they should be protected from harm, regardless of the situation. In that case, why would these two parachute jumpers be saved over and above, say, someone having a car accident?

This is what confuses me, as it would imply that God is selective and not all forgiving or all loving, but is instead judgmental and doesn't care about those who don't believe.

Just asking out of curiosity.

That’s a very thoughtful observation Giles and one that people of all religions have spent centuries debating! I don’t have all the answers, but will try to explain from my perspective. You asked about belief. The motto of the United States of America, which is on the reverse of their bank notes is, “In God we trust” But do they? Do any of us? Aren’t there a million other things we trust in more that what might appear to us be an abstract concept that some people call God?

Aren’t we trusting more in our own abilities, in good nutrition, exercise, medicine; in money to provide what we need (or to make us happy?); in the protection of armaments and armies; in seat belts, stronger vehicle bodies, protective helmets, etc etc. Nothing wrong with any of that, it’s right and sensible to take precautions that will help protect us and others from harm and to live in this world in the highest way we know how, but my point is, that if we are trusting in material things more than in the unfailing goodness of God, then we are giving power to accidents, chance, disease, violent acts of nature etc.

So what ARE we believing in? Are we believing that we are the helpless victims of chance, of disease, of accident, of ageing etc? Whatever we believe in, we bring into our experience.

Eddy again:

“…. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.” (Science and Health p. 392)

That’s why I find it so comforting to know (from experience) that there is a higher power we can all turn to, when we feel overwhelmed by material “evidence” and if we listen, we will get answers. Many years ago on HP, we had a good discussion around the first book, Conversations with God, and this one sentence in particular stood out to me:

"And forget not Who You Are in the moment of your encirclement by that which you are not."

So, it’s how we identify ourselves, about the way we choose to think - from a fearful, fatalist material perspective, or from the assurance that there are divine laws, which we all have access to, which can overturn so-called “laws” of matter. It’s not easy, when the full weight of the world’s belief in evil and lack and limitation and chance are so prevalent, but each instance of overcoming fear and discord to me is one more proof of the availability of these laws of God. Those divine laws are there, just like the laws of mathematics, which are available to all. Another analogy is radio waves – they are everywhere present, but we do need to learn to tune in and listen.

Even Jesus, who was surely the most spiritual, most God-like man who ever walked this earth didn’t just snap his fingers and fix all of earth’s problems. And he only healed those who came to him – not those who stayed at home. He did live a life which embodied God and which illustrated how we can all have dominion over suffering; lack, limitations, evil, disease and even death; but sadly, his works have been overlooked in favour of his good, moral words and as a result, that vital healing force of original Christianity has been largely ignored.

This thoughtful article answers many questions for me:
[url]Healing and the nature of God[/url]

In a time of what has occasionally been referred to as post-theistic thinking, however, the most pressing question may be not whether such healings actually happened as supposed, but why God should be thought to be involved in the minutiae of the life of one middle-class, eastern seaboard, American family, when billions of other mortals around the globe were experiencing starvation, holocaust, and disaster. It is a question that turns us back to the theology of Christian Science.

…according to the theology of Christian Science, God does not decide to help one and not another, does not intervene in response to one prayer and not another, as though it were a matter of the acuteness of His hearing and His personal judgment of who deserves assistance. God provides only good for His children equally. As the Psalmist writes: "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. ... For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."

Prayer can remove human blindness to this true character of God. It touches us with His reality; it takes away fear and relieves suffering. The real work of prayer is not to get God to act properly but to empower us to live more fully in the light of His very real goodness. On this basis, it isn't a question of who deserves relief from suffering; the fact is that all of God's creation "deserves," and already has, the love, goodness, and grace with which the creator inevitably embraces it.

If this seems to defy common experience, it seems to the Christian Scientist to fulfill moral and spiritual reason far more satisfactorily than does the conception of a God who would create a world capable of terrible suffering and then be selective in His relief of it.

That verse from Psalms 36 in the article above brings us right back to the 91st Psalm! And I think this from the article, sums it up:

“The real work of prayer is not to get God to act properly but to empower us to live more fully in the light of His very real goodness. On this basis, it isn't a question of who deserves relief from suffering; the fact is that all of God's creation "deserves," and already has, the love, goodness, and grace with which the creator inevitably embraces it.”

Hope that has helped a bit Giles.

Love and peace,

Judy

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Hi Energylz
I hope that you don't mind me jumping in here but I also have had to give this some thought.
My wife was physically pulled back from walking under a tram in Hong Kong yet could find no one near her. This has always puzzled me and I have to sway towards the theory that yes we can be saved by "God's hand" even though we are not alert to the situation. Why this does not happen to every one, I do not know.
As far as being saved in times of battle where we are aware of the danger the answer has to be yes as long as we can remove our own fears out of the way.
Even Quantum science supports this scenario. Our very day to day existence relies on "Divine" energy and it is only our negative interference that prevents complete protection.
Regards
After re reading this post may be my wife was subconsciously thinking that nothing evil could happen to her and maybe that was all that was needed.

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Energylz
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Thanks Judy and Scommstech for your answers.

Essentially it seems to come down to a need to believe, though not necessarily in the same "God" that everyone else is, but rather in the belief that if we feel we are protected, then we will be.... kind of like law of attraction.

Interesting.

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Thanks Judy and Scommstech for your answers.

Essentially it seems to come down to a need to believe, though not necessarily in the same "God" that everyone else is, but rather in the belief that if we feel we are protected, then we will be.... kind of like law of attraction.

Interesting.

Actually Energylz I do think that it is pointing to a type of a "law" of attraction".
For centuries faiths and beliefs have been the foundation of "miracles" but many of the latest finds at Quantum levels point to the relationship of energies, and that to me has to include Devine energy. Mind is the fundamental energy of mortal man. If it can be brought into sympathy with "Divine" energy then it would seem that nothing would be impossible.
Regards

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