Look inward to grasp prayer

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Regarding the letter “Example shows prayer fails” (Dec. 4): Prayer is talking to God as to a friend, not a Santa Claus, nor a James Bond.

The call to national prayer seems to be an Old Testament vision of God. Given the recent vindictive prose of the election cycle and the vile nature of political cartoons, one would approach God with fear and trembling seeking mercy, not vengeance.

Prayer is not so much about changing God as changing ourselves; if we are one nation, under God, our needs must not be defined by our greed.

If is not difficult to understand that such hurt is converted into hate by those with an agenda to conquer. One glimpse of the Bahrain skyline and another of the Gaza tunnels and one can understand that violence seems the only option for the encapsulated and thus enslaved.

A stadium-sized prayer will be answered with the burning question posted by Edwin Markham, in his poem The Man with the Hoe:

O masters, lords, and rulers in all lands, Is this the handiwork you give to God?

This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?

How will you ever straighten up this shape?

Touch it again with immortality;

Give back the upward looking and the light; Rebuild in it the music and the dream; Make right the immemorial infamies, Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes.

If we believe in corporate prayer, we must first ask for forgiveness and cleansing. We cannot seek mercy for ourselves then demand justice for others. Only the self-righteous could be so bold.

Thomas J. Zwemer


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shrimp for breakfast
shrimp for breakfast 12/20/12 - 05:10 am
Good letter

God is actually teaching me how to pray. I've been seeing evidence of this. Some may say I'm nuts but that's ok.

Jane18 12/20/12 - 01:42 pm
I Pray, You Pray, Maybe......................

Thomas, What a great letter! I have always been inpressed with your LTE's, in fact, have cut out and kept some(even from several years ago). In your last paragraph, I hope that is what I do when I ask GOD to work again in our great country. I know where I am at because of my relationship with HIM, but, because of compassion for my fellow man, I do ask Him to help and guide them(Americans and others) back to HIM. HE is more than a friend to me, HE is a Father, how about a Father and a friend? When I talk to HIM, every morning(for sure), moments here and there through the day, it has become so simple and easy to do. I have no fear, I have love and reverence for HIM, probably because he has been the focus of my life for sooooo long. Almost everyday, I learn something I thought I already knew or was wondering about. In the poem, ''Touch it again with immortality........................Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes", HE Will, one day soon. Again, great letter. Hey Shrimp, if someone says you're nuts, don't believe them:they are the Nut! Some of us are so proud for you!!

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