While we don’t have a definitive answer from Eddy herself, we can provide some context. Her request is dated June 13, 1905. She wrote, “I request that every member of The Mother Church in Boston pray each day for the amicable settlement of the war between Russia and Japan; and that God bless that great nation, and those Islands of the sea, with peace and prosperity.”1
Looking at the newspapers of the day, the conflict between the two nations was reaching a critical point about this time. it appeared that France might enter the war and turn it into a more global conflict. Perhaps this is why Eddy made her request.
By the end of June, prospects for peace looked very positive; as The New York Times put it, “… peace is needful to Russia …. Meanwhile Japan is and must be sincerely desirous of peace on any terms that recognize the result of the war and obviate the necessity of having to fight it over again” 2 On June 27, Eddy requested Church members to “cease special prayer for the peace of nations; and cease in full faith that God does not hear our prayers only because of oft speaking; but that He will bless all the inhabitants of the earth, and ‘none can stay His hand nor say unto Him What doest Thou?’” 3
The Russo-Japanese War captured worldwide attention, in part because of the vivid and horrific drawings and photographs published in newspapers and magazines. Less sensationalistic newspaper articles on the war were republished in the “Items of Interest” column of the Church’s weekly publication, the Christian Science Sentinel.