by Mary Kretzmann

During our weekly healing prayer nights, I regularly end the sessions with a general prayer for planetary healing. Using Paramhansa Yogananda’s longer and deeper Technique for Healing at a Distance, I guide the group to visualize the earth floating in space between their hands. We concentrate on a particular nation or continent, send healing light through our hands, and then move on to the next area, gradually moving around an imaginary globe.

This story occurred during the time of the war in Kosovo/Serbia. I’d only kept myself minimally aware of the details of the war, but I knew of the need for healing and prayer, and that many people were being “ethnically cleansed,” or slaughtered. Looking back, I see now that I was praying with a sense of good guys/bad guys, and a strong desire to end the war and slaughter; to be done with it and bring peace. This can be the right way to pray, especially when it is very clear who has the righteous cause, such as protecting their nation from an oppressive invader, etc.  I also assumed that we, the USA, were assisting the “good guys.”  I do believe that we as a nation try to act in good faith, but sometimes without sufficient wisdom to understand the lasting repercussions of interfering (or not) in any particular region.

This brings up an important aspect of prayer in a war-time situation: pray that the leaders of the more honorable side (to the best of your determination) be guided in their decisions and policies. It is not helpful to pray the same way for the side that seems less honorable, for they may just receive the prayers as more energy to suit their own needs, and you may get pulled down by praying for the darker side! It is better to pray to increase the light in those who already seem receptive to that. Some situations may not be so black and white, and in those cases the story below may be of help.

That evening we prayed for areas in India, Africa, and Europe. Then I guided the group to focus energy over the general area of Serbia/Kosovo, and I felt my hands get prickly, and it surprised me that I was interacting with the area in such a tangible way.  It was a powder-keg of war and I needed to take care in how I sent prayer energy there.

Healing power is energy and I didn’t want to add any more polarizing fuel to the fire. I pulled back and saw that praying with that sense of good guys/bad guys was playing off the duality of the situation. The healing energy had to feel harmonious and whole even as it flowed through me to that sensitive and tense area. Each side wants to win, and one may be darker than the other, but they are all God’s children. In the midst of war there can be good people caught up in bad things.

I realized that we needed to pray for all those who were enduring the war, in that very moment.  The prayer being asked of me wasn’t about helping the good guys win, but to bring comfort to people in the midst of that suffering. We also prayed for any souls trying to bring harmony to those around them.

Deep inspiration flowed through my hands with that healing prayer, and I knew I was now going in the right direction. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote, “The instrument is blessed by what flows through it.”

God’s Presence

A few weeks later, someone put a news article on my desk about an incident that happened around the time we had prayed for those in Serbia. (Divine Mother often finds a way to whisper to us that a prayer has been answered.) The article said that a long line of people had been lined up in front of a long trench, with a firing squad prepared to shoot them. This was on the border, in full view of a refugee camp.  The soldiers wanted the dual satisfaction of executing their prisoners and simultaneously terrifying the refugees.

At this moment, one of the condemned young men began to walk out of the line toward the commander.

The commander, with his rifle raised said, “Go back, or I will shoot!”

The young man kept walking forward, ignoring the continued protests of the enemy commander. Amazingly, when the man reached the end of the commander’s rifle, put his hand on it, and calmly pushed the point of the gun down until it was pointed at the ground. This was done wordlessly.

The commander then ordered his men to lower their weapons. Most amazingly, he commanded his troops to all march to the nearby border, so they could join the refugee camp there. The soldiers, who had just been ready to shoot the line of people, joined them in crossing the border to become part of the refugee camp.

God’s grace was present for those people that day, not only for the prisoners, but also for the soldiers! Only God knows the secret prayers of their hearts. Many times we learn after a war that the soldiers despised their deadly duties. Perhaps the silent prayers of all involved served as a magnet and drew God’s healing grace that day.

God’s loving grace can flow in merciful and miraculous ways. We continue to pray for healing of the planet, even though the results may remain a mystery. Our upliftment in the process is a sign, however, that something holy has passed through us on behalf of others.

“Modern chaotic conditions all over the world are the result of living by ungodly ideals. Individuals and nations can be protected from utter destruction if they live by heavenly ideals of brotherhood, industrial cooperation, and international exchange of earthly goods and experiences.” Paramhansa Yogananda