Day of Prayer

As I made my commute this morning, I listened to Focus on the Family. I am not a regular religious radio listener. What caught my ear as I channel surfed was the voice of someone, a non-professional, praying an earnest prayer. After the Amen, another began. Then another. And another.

The voices were recordings of call-ins who simply wanted to pray for the nation, leaders, schools, veterans, public servants, etc. I had to pause for a moment and think about the fact that anyone who knows what day it is–The Day of Prayer– will at some point in the day–stop and pray. Think about that for a second. On a day not Sunday, people all over America will pause and pray.  Think of the spiritual power moving around at the moment hundreds of thousands of believers are turning their hearts and minds toward God and speaking a prayer.

I decided to remember what day this is– The Day of Prayer–and turn up my spiritual sensitivity and just see if I notice any difference in the day. I mean, if people all over the US are praying, there should be some noticeable difference, right?

Take some time today to not only pray, but to listen.

For a great little workbook on prayer, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Advertisements
Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 7:32 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

National Day of Prayer

It seems a little strange to me to see that we still have a National Day of Prayer. Not that it’s a bad thing…it’s really needed. But an ever-increasing number of people now identify themselves as “nones” — that is, unaffiliated with any religion.

But the National day of Prayer isn’t the National Day of Religion, it is a day of prayer for all peoples of all faiths to take even just a brief moment to pray, meditate, think, or just pause to reflect on their place in the Universe.

Maybe we just want to thank the Creator, ask for something from a Prophet, ancestor, or some other Avatar. And as much as we seem to get annoyed at those who do not believe like us, we still appreciate the freedom of Religion we have here in America.

It’s the National Day of Prayer. So take that day! And PRAY.

For a great little book on prayer ideal for the National Day of Prayer, Bible School, Bible Study, or any other prayer emphasis, go see: www.therealprayer.org

Remember Me

Back in the 80’s, MacDonald’s restaurants launched an ad campaign called “Mac Tonight.” The commercials featured a singing crescent moon who crooned like a lounge singer in the style of Bobby Darin’s famous Mack the Knife. An injunction by the late singer’s estate later caused MacDonald’s to pull the ad.

It was, however, a brilliant idea. Millions of children across America, on nearly any summer night, could look up into the sky, see the real moon, and say “Hey, It’s Mac Tonight! Daddy can we go to MacDonald’s?” What a great reminder that some family time could be had down at the corner MacDonald’s! (And, inexpensively, I might add.) In effect, every crescent moon was FREE advertising!

The idea was to take something free, normal, routine, easily connected with, and turn it into a reminder of something important–in this case, hamburgers and fries with the kids.

Imagine someone taking something you do anyway, everyday– say, sitting down to dinner– and telling you “Every time you sit down and have some bread and wine…remember me.”

Get it? Gives a whole new meaning to your daily bread.

For a neat little book on the Lord’s Prayer (and prayer in general) go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on March 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

World Day of Prayer 2013

Every year about this time, I begin to think what if…

What if the World Day of Prayer on March 1, 2013 really was just that– a day when believers everywhere stopped what they were doing and had a brief time of uninterrupted prayer. What if people who are now referred to as the “nones” (religiously unaffiliated) simply stopped to meditate. What if every believer of every faith stopped and sought out their source for one brief moment.

Close your eyes and imagine millions of people around this small blue planet kneeling, standing, lying prostrate, hands clasped in penitence or raised in praise. Imagine a world where people really believed. Imagine a world where generosity was the norm, charity was shared and healing was just part of the routine.

Imagine a World day of Prayer.

Get started at: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Imagine there’s no heaven…

When I was a teen, I could not understand why John Lennon’s great song Imagine could create such a stir. It was, I was later informed, a subtle introduction to atheism. Just imagine–no heaven, no afterlife, no judgement, no judge, no need for a savior, no Jesus…nothing that most baby boomers had been raised to believe.

Now, thirty years later, we hear that the fastest growing religious group in America is the “Nones.” These are the people who, when asked about matters of faith and religious affiliation in surveys and censuses, select the answer “none.” More and more people are simply dismissing ideas of a supreme being, higher power, faith, etc.

While many people appear to be newly interested in things spiritual, they are not interested at all in an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-figure on a throne away off in “heaven” somewhere. NPR recently ran a series on the “nones” discussing everything from young believers/non-believers to how atheists grieve. One person in the interview, and I’m not quoting here, just gisting, said that her husband who was killed in an accident was not in a better place, but was in the ground.

When I read this, I Thessalonians 4:13 came immediately to mind: But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so you will not grieve, as those who have no hope. And even though Paul is speaking about death, I also would add that we should not grieve as those who have no hope in life, future, finances, health, God’s will…anything.

I have to agree with the Psalmist: In you oh Lord have I put my hope. (Ps 71)

And the more I pray, the more hope I have.

Go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Why people hate church…

I once saw a billboard for a local church which read “If you hate church but love God…” The name of the church followed along with other contact information and it did get my attention. I actually had to think for a moment if that sign was for me. I wasn’t quite ready to hate church, but I didn’t enjoy it as I once had.

It wasn’t for any theological reasons, mind you, the church’s religious paradigms were well within accepted parameters. It appeared to be the people. In spite of all the love talk, and forgiveness talk, there was an obvious shortage of both. Decisions were made in business meetings which were fraught with disagreement and hostility, and nobody can hold a grudge like a Christian!

Recently, I read a news article about just how churches were shrinking http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44192469/ns/health-behavior/t/who-going-church-not-who-you-think-study-finds/. Now historically, churches were peopled with either the good of the town or the bad of the town. You know, good people go to church because that’s what good people do, and bad people go to church because that’s what bad people do. But much of this was also tied to economics as well. The affluent went to a certain kind of church and all the poor people went to another kind of church.

Now it seems both the middle class and the poor are avoiding the church. My guess is that in times of real stress, people have tried the church and found out there are no answers there. There is a lot of talk, but no answers.

The problem? People have gotten in the habit of looking to the church for answers rather than God. No one at a church has an answer for you–they’re all just seeking like you (or have long since stopped seeking and have settled for a life of peer affirmation.) YOU are responsible for finding your own answers! You have to seek God. You have to seek out a way to pray, or meditate, or think, or feel, or whatever.

The purpose of this little blog is simply to get you to begin–somewhere. And just maybe by learning to use and experience the Lord’s Prayer. Go visit: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 9:05 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

BBC airs Assisted Suicide

The BBC aired an assisted suicide the other night. They broadcasted the entire suicide  from start to finish. The man was dying from a neurological disorder and did not want to experience  a slow and undignified death. With his wife at his side he slipped into a deep and unending sleep.

I’m not sure how I feel about suicide, let alone one shown on television. At the outset, it seems that we could easily take one side or the other. There are probably more reasons a person would want to die than we can imagine (or understand) and to simply dismiss it out of hand with some glib cliché seems to be insensitive. And as I get older, the more I feel this way.

Many of us are fortunate in that we will never feel that unfathomable hopelessness, or know such irreparable regret that ending it all seems to be the only solution. While many do experience discouragement, we do not all feel it to the level that suicide becomes an option.

Health problems present another conundrum. What if we want to “pull our own plug?” What if we know how it will end, and the process of our demise seems just too horrible to go through or put our families through?

No one has the “just right” answer.

No one has the corner on the truth. But I happen to believe our Creator, our Father, knows all about the created and remembers “that we are but dust.”

I cannot tell you, just now, sitting at my computer, what I may believe when the time of my personal decision comes, but I do believe that if I have lived a life of sustained contact with that Creator, the decision will be much easier.

Pray every day.

For a helpful workbook on prayer, visit: www.therealprayer.com .

Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

The National Anthem

For the umpteenth time I saw someone butcher the National Anthem on national television. It amazes me how we can sing this song all our lives at every Friday night football game, and then ask someone without that experience to sing our song.

Granted, the melody is horrendous! It starts unreasonable low and then soars unrealistically high. But, the song is just not that long. How hard can it be?

Believe it or not, I once heard a pastor get halfway through the Lord’s Prayer and then switch off to the Pledge of Allegiance. And it wasn’t even Super Bowl Sunday!

Learn the Lord’s Prayer. Use it every day.

For an easy-to-use study go see: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

as it is in Heaven (or in the heavens)

Here I am, blogging about heaven again. Something about it intrigues me, and not just the prospect of going there someday. I keep thinking about Jesus’ words that tell us that “Eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared.” As I have said before: If you can imagine it, that’s not it!

One thing we do know, however, is that it is a place where God’s will is always done. Wherever it is, things run smoothly there. Perhaps things happen at a thought or with the power of pure intention. Maybe things aren’t the struggle they seem to be down here (or out here, or over here, or-wherever.) Maybe it is the place our spirit, or soul, or the ineffable side of our existence came from and we remember somehow when things were right and want to return to that life. Well, that might seem a bit far-fetched for some, but anyway…

However heaven is, we have been told to seek a life here where God’s will is as present and important and real as it is there. I know some church-martyrs who beat their chests and moan about what a trial it is to do God’s will. If I EVER get to the point where I am always doing and experiencing the Creator’s will I won’t be complaining. I think I’ll be the happiest person on Earth.

For a e-workbook on The Lord’s Prayer go see: www.therealprayer.org

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm  Comments Off on as it is in Heaven (or in the heavens)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As it is in Heaven.

As I have written before, my first sight of the Earth from space made me begin to wonder about heaven from an early age. Since it could not be seen from space hovering above the Earth I couldn’t imagine where it could be. “By this time,” I reasoned, “it must be pretty full, not to mention all the angels and such.” Why could I not see it?

Since those days, Heaven with an upper case H has been rightly translated as the heavens and implies more than a huge mansion with an imposing figure sitting on a throne. While I still believe in the Creator which we pretty much universally refer to as “God,” I have discovered that my child-like Sunday School image is primarily the greatest hindrance to my faith.

We seem to be both physical and spiritual, and it is from the spiritual side of ourselves that we can get to know this creator who inhabits the heavens. In this place the creator’s will is what existence is all about, and those thoughts and words are reality. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are seeking an experience where that spiritual reality in the heavens becomes our reality on earth(see previous blog entry.)

Seeing the creator’s spiritual will unfold in our physical lives here and now is the ultimate experience for us. That alone is worth seeking daily in prayer.

An e-workbook for the Lord’s Prayer is available from: www.therealprayer.com

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 7:53 am  Comments Off on As it is in Heaven.  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,