TEAM PRAYER

GENERATING PERSONAL SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS FOR CHURCH COMMUNITY SUPPORT

[Photo credit Wikipedia, Sergei Frolov]


(How much prayer can a prayer team pray if a prayer team could be team prayers?)

GETTING STARTED

This week is unique, God has given me a job through my devoted wife that has turned out to be a treasure. Our day’s inspirations seemed to collide. She with her restoring of our home’s wall hangings, and my leading to research ‘dimensions of prayer’.

So she came into my coffee hour all smiles and showing me the frame of Martin Wiscombe’s flower-poster renderings that has begun to peel up.

“I have a project for you!” She said.

And I thought at first, oh-oh, what has she done now — but because of her light attitude, I was accepting and open to helping her. The pair of prints are something we found in one of the many Sample House stores in Dallas Ft. Worth, when we had the resources to invest in such things. (Pastor Rick Warren, recently touched on marriage relationship-concerns to fix.)

 Martin Wiscombe still life that matches the two we have only frames differ

These pictures have hung significantly in the dining room corner over a chest of drawers used for serving and storage of plates and pots — for the entire 15 years we’ve been here in Alabama — everything else seemed to get moved around.
MEANWHILE BACK TO MY INSPIRATION

I had heard from God what I thought was original. ‘Look up dimension of prayer‘ which is what I was reading about, and got the point of it well enough that I might take the frame and go to my workbench in the shed, thinking, ‘There are seven dimensions of prayer, according to James 5:13-16.‘ (walterbright.org)

I was all set to meditate on God’s Word, while working a restoration of a valuable frame. [If I think like a monk and work like a monk, then I must learn to pray like a monk.]

Last week’s post was an effort to chrystalize pastor Rick Warren’s sermon because God spoke to me about prayer, powerfully. ‘Find 4 people who are available to pray with you.’ (In the sense that I don’t have them yet.)

So I selected them and did message them, but got only two to respond. My thoughts were thankful for the one of the four as I entered the shed, opening both doors. Then, I turned to the frame rework. (one plus one out of four is not bad. It is a start.)

I tried Goo gone, carborator solvent, and gasoline on the glued covering, and nothing worked like I had hoped this might be easy. Then I wipped out my trusty Leatherneck Wave (knife-tool) and started scraping. It was slow but it worked. Then I began to meditate on the prayer ‘dimensions’. [This knife-tool blade is surgical steel and I am alert to maintaining its sharpness.]

The first dimension is praise.‘ I thought as I scraped. By the time I thought through all seven, I had scraped off the paper on the back of the frame. Well, okay, this was going to take all day. But I noticed something unusual . . .

Scraping through the paper, and scraping off the adhesive, there remained an ebony black wood that was not phased by my scraping. My knife was sharp and it took an under-scraping to clear up the character of the base wood. It is hard enough to resist any scratching. And the grain is very faint. So I looked it up on Google with my phone . . . and learned, it is an African Blackwood: Rare and very hard.

I felt instantly this project was well worth the effort to rework-restoration. Only my hands are tender for the excessive use of elbow grease (Scraping with a vertical sharp edge, back and forth, at a pace quick enough to produce a reasonable rate of progress. Also my thoughts of dimensional prayer were easily reviewed again and again.

JAMES 5:13-16 MESSAGE VERSION

This version of my text is the easiest reading from what I think is the best paraphrased translation. Let me explain how my mind came to thinking of this. Personally, I have a weak left eye. It was a birth defect that was corrected somewhat when I was six. This makes me unable to have depth perception. So I see everything in only two dimensions not three.

Applying spacial concept into a spiritual concept is not perfect, but helps understanding somewhat. A third dimension of prayer cannot exist without the first two. Two dimensional prayer is thanksgiving and praise (verse 13) with authority (verse 14a) , this gets us into the gate and into God’s court. (Psalms 100:4) [Authority is Scripture plus Church tradition, and is the source of the next dimension.]

THREE DIMENSIONAL PRAYER

Notice the text explains, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders (ordained leaders) of the church, and let them pray over him, ANOINTING him with oil in the name (Authority) of the Lord.” [verse 14]

Dimensions of praise . . . authority . . .  and anointing, all three are foundational to the church ministry.

And this is only three dimensional! God and his church are involved here . . . so far. What is missing is explained as stepping into the “Twilight zone” — as the fourth and fifth dimensions.  Healing requires these: Faith and confession.

THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DIMENSION

And the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins they will be forgiven him.” [verse 15] and, “CONFESS your faults one to another and pray for one another, that you may be healed . . .“[verse 16a]

This text tells us how the depth perception of three dimensions of prayer is focusing on provisions needed. The purpose of our spiritual life is able to become clearer, we are called to do something. Prayer is focused powerfully, like a beam of cleansing. Like a surgeon’s scalpel, to cut out the bad and show forth the good . . . to refinish and reveal quality.

OUR OBJECTIVE – THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (verse 16b NAS)

We can conclude with this. The last two dimensions we are talking about is work and righteousness. Since we already understand how this is God’s work — the ‘finished work of the cross’, getting ourselves right with God always includes dealing with sin. Jesus prayed using minimum words of command and sin or evil departed. Jesus’ Church is the same.

My greatest sins have occurred with family relationships. My wife sees me differently than I see myself. I write what I believe God the Holy Spirit is saying. Being obedient to God is key here. It is not the same for everyone. My pride has to step back for a while. But my wife has her own opinions, she is not always in agreement. [Is this not uncommon?]

“Where there is love there is no labor.” (Benedictine Sisters, novena to the Holy Spirit, day 3)

THE CHURCH’S BETROTHED HUSBAND MODEL

“One reason [that someone’s husband is flawed and his wife seeks his transformation] is the function of prayer in the relationship between Christ and his Church. A wife relates to her husband the way the church should relate to Christ. The church prays to Christ–or to God the Father through Christ.” Said John Piper, author of This Momentary Marriage.

“When the church prays to her Husband, she asks him to do things a certain way. If we are sick, we ask him for healing. If we are hungry, we ask for our daily bread. If we are lost we ask for directions. And so on. Since we believe in the absolute sovereignty of Christ, to govern all things, this means we look at the present situation that he has ordained, and we ask him to change it.

“I am only drawing out an analogy here, not an exact comparison. The church never confronts Jesus with his imperfections. He has no imperfections. But we do seek from him changes in the situation he has brought about. That is what petitionary prayer is. So wives on this analogy, will ask their husbands to change some ways he is doing things.”  (US Copyright fair use credit Crossway.org)

My marriage is not yet a prayer team, as you may assume; but with professor Piper’s contribution here, there is hope we each can learn team prayer principles. I needed to understand the analogy, because I don’t have to feel threatened. And, my wife can know her prayers are church sanctioned. She is praying for me to become more considerate and loving.

REWORK A PEALING FRAME TO REVEAL DIVINE CHARACTER

The work of prayer happens because of faith and confession. Do you desire to pray? I recommend for you to commit to praying up to a tithe (tenth) of your day. But that may not work for you. It is no sacrifice if it doesn’t cost you something. I have asked for the Lord to show me how to do it, an hour at waking, an hour before nap, and half-hour at bedtime.

As I became open to learn the Rosary, and associated Novenas (Latin for nine, prayer for nine days). The next development was to seek who is the patron saint for those I learn needs focused prayer. This has built an extensive prayerlist which includes family, relatives (younger ones), friends, followers, pastors, priests, sisters, government leaders, and journalists.

[“No person is greater than his prayer life.” Leonard Ravenhill]

Bottom line: a team prayer describes a work within a person’s heart. To be able to humbly kneel and consistently say the words God shows you to pray for those he shows you to pray for. To begin this, requires a simple commitment. As St. Ignatius of Loyola, patron saint of prayer warriors, prayed, Suscipe (Latin, Receive); thankfully trusting for the best:

“Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve You as You deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing I am doing your will.” (Catholic.org/prayers)

Until next time, may the Lord bless and keep you,

Charles

Please tweet me @wordlifejournal

Next you may visit our ‘Mystery’ page by clicking HERE!

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POLICY RULES

Taken from mathhombre.blogspot.com by John Golden

THE TARNISHED SILVER RULE

– The things we don’t know to do for each other can happen to us before the policy is made against it, which I don’t get.

This morning, I answered a new neighbor friending on Facebook, and wanted it to sound friendly, but I said more than I think I should have. I made a judgment about our neighborhood. I said that it operated according to the silver rule. I had just learned of such a rule this week by doing research on the Golden Rule. Here it is:

[Click link and scroll down to the ‘Conclusion’ (because it’s too long — source: library.depaul.edu.)]

One should not treat other people in the manner in which one would not want to be treated by them.“– Confucius 500 BC

SOME OF WHAT GOD IS DOING IN OUR LIVES

Last week, during a wind storm, a large rotting branch broke off and fell down upon this wrought-iron table, and one of the four chairs. When it became apparent as to what happened, I was so thankful that no one was sitting at it, and that I had lowered the umbrella. Otherwise the new umbrella would have been damaged too . . . thankful to God no one was hurt.

The branch was 15 feet long and 6 inches in diameter, and fell from fifty feet above our simulated patio. The huge Spanish Oak provides a perfect covering, of which I have been able to prune any obviously threatening branches — but not this one. The damage showed impact in three places, two upon one side of the table and one on center of a chair back.

We have lost tempered glass tables by storm and temperature shatterings. I was of the mindset that these things happen, but was more hopeful this time. I was easily able to state verbally that, ‘Anything bent physically, can be bent back easily’. I made the needed repairs, and we moved on, but I have to give credit to where credit is due. God gave me the insight.

In my daily prayer (linked below), a phrase that comes to mind is for God to show me what he is doing in my life. 

First, he is growing me in my knowledge of prayer. There is so much to learn in the first place, and to be open to all theological traditions of the Church — meditations and contemplations are given to include verbal, mental, and emotional activity, some focus must be found in the second place. 

And second, he is getting me to pray — let me explain what I’m learning of the Holy Rosary.

THE ROSARY CAN GROW ON ME

It was mid April when I decided to learn the Rosary. When watching Mother Angelica pray on TV, I easily learned the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be. I actually purchased materials and a crucifix to fashion a knotted version according to online instructions. I copied the mysteries and the days they applied since only four are given:

Joyful, Monday and  Saturday; Sorrowful, Tuesday and Friday; Glorious, Wednesday’s and Sunday’s; and Luminous, Thursday. Each has five Gospel events, all adding up to twenty prayed daily. My only hurtle was mental. How can I learn all the scriptures by heart? Then I found the Laudate website that provided all the words. And I got started nightly.

First impressions were that the words were from Scripture, followed the logical sequence, and listed benefits that are not commonly known. I was hooked. But I had one difficulty about saying the word ‘death’ over and over (at the end of Hail Mary). It made me so uncomfortable that I experienced a mild heart attack. 

TO REMOVE DEATH FROM ROSARY PRAYERS IS NEEDED

I saw a segment of Mother Angelica saying our death is a ‘transition’. I got that. Such an improvement made me consider making the old English become new American English. That really helped. Then I saw a segment by Fr. Andrew Apostoli who taught about three forms of prayer: From the lips, from the mind, and from the heart. This helped me understand what I was experiencing. My lips wanted to rest with my mind, but lacked training.

When I prayed was part of the next problem. I was always tired when I came to pray prior to nap and bedtime. Letting my mind take over for my lips, enabled my mind to lapse consciousness. Times were when I caught myself losing my place mentally. Then I learned that meditation often slips into contemplation. Wow, really? I could grow to like this God!

This is yet to be confirmed officially, but I understand how a higher state of consciousness is the objective of prayer. It’s one way to know our prayers are heard in the spirit. Aside from actually hearing God speak, he grants spiritual insight and intuition that imagination captures as our knowing the answer we seek. No words, just deep, soul revelation.

MY FACEBOOK FRIENDING-CONNECTION REVELATION

While washing dishes last night, I heard a new title for this post . . . POLICY RULES. But we must tie together the Silver Rule to a prayer perspective . . . like nobody is forced to make a friend-connection, or pray the Rosary — or pray at all, but the benefits of such friending or faithful devotion with it can certainly help us exchange a silver rule for a golden one. 

For example, my new neighbor-friend, is a really valued, although brief, personal acquaintance, yet I know he is a business manager with practical software skills. . . . What if, when I friend-connected with my new neighbor, he accessed my password, somehow, because I recently had to change it again. (Password changing I finally get.)

So, as I accepted him, and he enabled some of my old friends to come up as new friend-requests back to me as an accident? Well, not exactly.

[What he gets, I don’t get, thinking there is nothing to get . . . but there actually is] 

Have we lost you? Are’t folks who are skilled in programming prone, by habit, to do stuff they are trained to do almost automatically?

No! No-no-no, He is a Catholic man, and I cannot for the life of me, tell where that idea came from. What I don’t yet get, because there may be nothing for me TO get, is how someone, anyone (least of all, my new neighbor), would be able to access my Facebook friend list for the purpose of generating new friend requests back to me, or to anyone listed?

 [Is this something to get?]

IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET KNOWLEDGE TO HACK A FACEBOOK FRIEND

From one simple search-engine query, I found a way that someone can tell to do this. . . .

 [I was left in the backseat of our car while wife shopped, when researching this with all the windows down, and it started to rain softly. I stopped reading to text my wife that it was raining. She had the keys, but not her phone — I could hear her phone, so I should run to get the keys, and when I did, she showed up.]

(Note: I would be dishonoring my obligation as a Facebook user to devulge such information that I did not see, but have learned it is there to see, because it is against policy. So what else can I share that helps explain this problem at a deeper level? Today’s Bible reading, Psalms 82 Message, about how the rulers, demons, dark gods exist to do such evil things.)

“1 God calls the judges into his courtroom,

    he puts all the judges in the dock.

2″Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough,

    you’ve let the wicked get away with murder.

3You’re here to defend the defenseless,

    to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;

4Your job is to stand up for the powerless,

    and prosecute all those who exploit them.”

5 Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!

    They haven’t a clue to what’s going on.

And now everything’s falling apart,

    the world’s coming unglued.

6-7 “I commissioned you judges, each one of you,

    deputies of the High God,

But you’ve betrayed your commission

    and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.”

8 O God, give them their just deserts!

    You’ve got the whole world in your hands.” (from biblegateway.com)

CONCLUDING WITH A NEW POLICY

I have just logged out of Facebook and tried logging in with a password I have and it was rejected. So I am adopting a new password policy. Every week, on Thursday, my calendar will show to log out of Facebook (incidently, my favorite website besides WordPress) and request a new password if necessary, and pray thanking God to keep demon-god’s (rulers) away.

Hope you were blessed reading this, and if anything here offends someone, please do tweet me your concern. Thanks.
Charles

@wordlifejournal

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