- Created on 11 September 2013
James 5:16 (New Living Translation)
"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results."
You might be tempted to ask, "What good will it do to pray for America on 9/11?" You'd be justified in asking such a question. After all prayer is one of the great mysteries of the Christian lifestyle. You talk to God (whom you can't see or necessarily hear) about things he already knows, asking him to carry out his own will, despite the fact that you don't know what that is.
It could seem absurd until you consider...
God loves you beyond what you can possibly comprehend. (Ephesians 3:17-19) It was out of his love that he created you for relationship with himself. (Psalm 14) He knows every detail of your life and desires that you would invite him to enter into those details. (Psalm 5:1-3, Psalm 139:1-5,16)He knows your needs, your wants, and wants to fulfill them with himself. (Psalm 81:10) He sees all. He knows all. (Romans 11:33-36)He wants to share his knowledge and wisdom with you. (James 1:5) You are more valuable to him than you realize. (Matthew 6:26) He wants the best for your life. All good things come from him and he desires to give them to you. (Matthew 7:11) He cherishes you. (Zecharaiah 9:16) He sets you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5) He protects you, even in your foolishness. (Psalm 51) He has an amazing plan for your life – one that will give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) He made the ultimate sacrifice just for you. (John 3:16)
If God is that involved with the details of your singular life, imagine how important the future of an entire nation of people is to him – not to mention that nation's influence on the world. What good will it do to gather to pray on 9/11? It will do a world of good that neither you nor I can begin to imagine. Our nation is sick and needs the type of healing that only God can provide. God promises that if those of us who are called by his name will humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our sinful ways, he will hear us from heaven and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) What an amazing promise. I encourage you to take him up on it. Wherever you find yourself on 9/11, please join others at your local courthouse at noon to pray. If you can't make it to the courthouse, please stop during that hour and with other believers or alone, cry out to God on behalf of our nation. Every voice counts. The prayers of the righteous are very effective. (James 5:16)
- Created on 10 September 2013
Calmn is when you think your best. Here is a prayer to direct those nerves.
Oh Lord, You are good to those who seek you, those who revere your name.
You, who are the only source of health and healing, the spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Created on 05 September 2013
John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. Kerry told lawmakers that President Obama 'has no intention' of putting American troops on the ground in Syria. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK (RNS) As the Obama administration considers a strike in response to recent chemical attacks, the head of a global evangelical group said Wednesday (Sept. 4) that Christians in the Middle East oppose military intervention in Syria.
"There is major consensus amongst the Christian leaders in this region that any military intervention would have a detrimental effect ... on Christians in Syria," wrote Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general/CEO of World Evangelical Alliance, in a letter to the State Department, the White House and the United Nation's Security Council.
Tunnicliffe was attending a meeting of Christian leaders in neighboring Jordan that included California megachurch pastor Rick Warren, "Touched by an Angel" actress Roma Downey and her "Survivor" creator husband Mark Burnett.
The group, convened by Jordan's King Abdullah II, met with about 70 Middle Eastern Christians to discuss the challenges facing Arab Christians.
"I couldn't find a Christian leader at the conference who supported military intervention," Tunnicliffe said in an interview. "The question is, how do you protect Christians if there's a regime change?"
Tunnicliffe said two Syrian pastors told him independently that Christians have received threats from those who say a regime change would mean a takeover by Islamists who would force Christians out of the country.
Christian representatives from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan were present at the gathering, as well as a few Muslim clerics and academics. In his address, King Abdullah II urged interfaith harmony.
"We are proud that Jordan constitutes a unique model of coexistence and fraternity between Muslims and Christians," the king said. "We also believe that the protection of the rights of Christians is a duty rather than a favor."
U.S. and French leaders say Basher al-Assad's Syrian government used chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21, killing 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. In talks on military intervention, President Obama has won the support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, but faces significant opposition among religious and political leaders.
On Wednesday, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote to President Obama, urging him to shun military options, saying an attack "will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation and will have unintended negative consequences."
Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the bishops' international affairs committee, pushed the White House to "work urgently and tirelessly" for a ceasefire.
While she did not address Syria specifically in her presentation at the conference in Jordan, Downey noted her Catholic upbringing and her husband's Protestant background, and the tension between these groups in her native Northern Ireland.
"Our marriage is a living example of tolerance and healing and of not allowing old hurts and discrimination to live on," said Downey, who with her husband produced "The Bible" miniseries for The History Channel.
"We have come to believe that Christian unity is a critical element in responding to the global challenges we face today, including the difficulties of Arab Christians in the Middle East."
Warren, who has been largely absent from the national and international scene since his son's suicide in April, moderated a panel at the conference.
Tunnicliffe said that evangelical leaders are discussing future statements on intervention in Syria.
"I know people are aware of the crisis," Tunnicliffe said, noting that the Middle East is overwhelmed with 2 million refugees from Syria. "I'm not sure they're aware of the extent of the crisis."
Pope Francis and King Abdullah II met at the Vatican last week, saying dialogue is the "only option" to end the conflict in Syria.
- Created on 04 September 2013
Teachers are really important! As the schools days begin, lets turn our eyes to a prayer for them.
Heavenly Father, who promised that all those who instruct others in the ways of holiness will shine as stars for all eternity, fill their hearts and minds with true knowledge and the art of teaching. Give them patience and understanding, justice and prudence, humility and fear of the Lord. Grant them wisdom and charity so that with a pure and holy love of God we ourselves may enjoy all these gifts and impart them to their pupils. Teach our children to be obedient to your laws and docile to your inspirations.
Let them be instruments of your peace in their homes, in our land, and in the family of nations as becomes children of the sons of God in the Mystical Body of Christ. May the blessings of your sevenfold Gifts be in all who teach and in all who learn through the Holy Spirit who is the Love of the Father and the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.