Prayer

Multi-denominational panel convenes to discuss the Muslim prayer controversy at Valley Park Middle School

Posted on July 21, 2011. Filed under: Commentary, Prayer | Tags: , , , , |

As indicated in yesterday’s post , I have expended a great deal of electronic ink covering the continuing controversy surrounding the Muslim movement as some have called it, regarding flashpoint crisises ranging from the building of the Ground Zero Mosque to fearful warnings of a global assimilation.

Yet despite these newer developments the long standing debate over prayer in school has again resurfaced in of all places a secondary school in Toronto, Canada.

In Tuesday’s segment of the PI Window, which will air live across the Blog Talk Radio Network at 9:00 PM EST, I will be welcoming to the show a guest panel that includes representatives from the Jewish Defence League of Canada and the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, to talk about both their individual and collective response to the district’s decision to allow 300 Muslim students to worship in the Valley Park Middle School’s cafeteria during school hours.

One of the questions I will be asking is if the fear of Muslim encroachment is at heart of the Valley Park controversy, or more of a reflection of the collective apathy of the followers of other faiths who have in the past perhaps failed to rigorously challenge the abolishment of praying in our schools?

Certainly, and as discussed in previous PI Window segments and posts, individuals such as 911 Hard Hat Pledge Founder Andy Sullivan, who is now running for Congress, have expressed concerns that activities such as the proposed building of the Ground Zero Mosque is a clear indication of an overall Islamic plan to overtake America.

While there is little doubt that this is a growing concern – after all the fact that Sullivan is seeking political office in the first place speaks to the breadth or influential reach of sentiments such as his, I have only heard the expression of concern as it relates to Muslim activities. Interestingly enough, and prior to the Valley Park Middle School controversy, there has been little if any direct involvement on the part of representatives from other denominations in terms of carving out a place within our schools to freely worship.

Unlike the Mosque in New York, perhaps the motivation behind the collective intervention in Valley Park by the Jewish Defence League, Canadian Hindu Advocacy and Christian Heritage Foundation is that school prayer is an issue that while seemingly out of the public eye, remains a point of contention that has simmered uncontested beneath the surface for several decades.

Now that prayer regardless of denomination, has been re-introduced into the school system, how does one get Pandora back into the proverbial box re do you shut down the Muslim Friday worship service or alternatively establish multi-denominational venues throughout the school? What is the ideal outcome for all parties concerned?

Once again, join me on Tuesday, July 26th at 9:00 PM EST on the PI Window on Blog Talk Radio.

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The Story of Naaman Shows That When We Come to God, We Should Also Trust God

Posted on October 27, 2009. Filed under: Bible Study, Personal Growth and Freedom, Prayer |

But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.”

2 Kings, Chapter 5, Verse 11 NASB

The story of Naaman is one that is interesting in that it has been played out in a variety of circumstances with almost every believer at one time or another.

Although Naaman’s particular affliction was leprosy, as was the case with the captain our problems in and of themselves are not the issue.  It is instead in the attitude we possess when we acknowledge that God is omnipotent, seek His help and in the process expect Him to answer our prayers according to our expectations rather than yield to His divine wisdom.

I can recall during a series of crisis points in my own life where I sought God in earnest, acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Savior and reading the Word daily.  With a firm even fervent commitment, I prayed for a resolution to the trials I was experiencing, and then “suggested” the manner in which said prayers should be answered.

In other words, and like Naaman, I asked for God’s help and then proceeded to tell the Creator of all things how He should go about His business.

Although at the time I did not fully appreciate it, when I first read the story of Naaman, I began to realize that often times it is our own expectations that become the major obstacles to receiving God’s intended blessings.

It is not until we truly and actually surrender our will to Him, and yield to His solution for our challenges that true breakthroughs occur and our eyes are opened to the answers that perhaps have been there all along.

In my life, this meant surrendering the myopic vision associated with my own desires, and surrendering to the greater possibilities and promise of God’s infinite wisdom.

Like Naaman, whose submission to the simplicity of God’s direction and his subsequent obedience led to his cleansing of leprosy, I found the previously elusive answer to my prayers in an area that I would have never imagined for myself . . . writing.

By simply opening myself up to God’s greater possibilities rather than being stubbornly confined to my own earthbound expectations, I have and continue to experience a level of joy and peace that far surpasses the happiness I thought I had possessed when I was at the pinnacle of worldly success.

The question we must all ask ourselves is simply this, “are my expectations of how God should answer my prayers getting in the way of God’s intended blessings?”

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Easter . . . A Time to Pause and Remember!

Posted on April 12, 2009. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Personal Spirituality, Prayer | Tags: |

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A Prayerful New Years Acknowledgement

Posted on January 5, 2009. Filed under: Personal Growth and Freedom, Prayer | Tags: , , , , |

“But He gives us more and more grace.  That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace to the lowly.”

James 4:5-6, Amplified Version

As we embark on a new year, I am moved to share with you a prayerful acknowledgement I recite every morning before my daily bible reading.

It is meaningful to me because it reminds me of both my own human fallibility and God’s great gift of love and redemption.     

“I am most assuredly flawed but infinitely loved by my Creator, whose grace knows no boundaries and whose mercy is the very lifeblood of my being and very existence both in this world and the Kingdom to come for all eternity.”

This precious gift that was bestowed on each and every one of us through our Savior’s crucifixion is not something that we have earned, nor is it something that we deserve.  It is a gift freely given by God. 

Because of this eternal truth, how can any one of us regardless of station in life, or circumstances both past and present not see one another through a lens of compassionate understanding and persevering forgiveness.

Matthew 18:21-34 is telling in that the degree of our freedom is without question linked to the freedom we give others.  Or simply put, and like the indebted slave in Matthew, as we forgive we ourselves our forgiven.

May the Lord touch your heart and help you to remove the barriers to total freedom and joy.

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My Prayer

Posted on May 30, 2008. Filed under: Prayer |

Dear Lord,

 

Let my flawed and distorted expectations cede way to your divine wisdom and will.

 

Let me trust wholly in your plan for my life with a spirit of thankfulness and praise.

 

Let me leave the outcomes of my life in your loving hands, confident that even though you may not provide me with what I believe I want or expect, you will provide what is best for me as your child.

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