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A ‘WORD’ of Prayer 063012
I’ve read that there was a time in human history and ‘development’ when humanity took a spoken word as true. Therefore, is someone said ‘May your eyes be struck blind’ then it was a curse that might come true, and if a powerful person like a priest or king said something, that is was true. It was reason enough to never tell anyone your real name (in some cultures) since that could say something evil and make it so.
I think this past time is also present time. While we may not believe this magical power in spoken words, we behave as if we did. If someone says ‘X is troubled and sad’ then we all we begin to see X as troubled and sad’ and X will begin to realize how troubled and sad he really is’.
In this way when we pray, we take our words, so very, very seriously, as seriously as if I still believed that saying a word out loud made it real and actual and physical in some place, time or manner. I cannot remember who taught me to take my words of prayer so seriously, or even who first taught me to hold my hands together and pray, but I feel always so serious, so careful, and so tenuous with my words when I pray. I choose my words precisely.
Neither do I know exactly how I came to understand that there was an infinite and omniscient being out there that listened to my prayers and was responsive, in some way. But I can’t help thinking that and I always have, even when I was not a Christian and not a believer. (Oh, dark days!)
As Christians, prayer (and Bible reading) are at the heart of our belief and we are be doing right in thinking and studying these subjects, and to encourage Bible reading and prayer. (Even the Koran (Quran) calls us the ‘People of the Book’).
Mark 4 (below) records Jesus explaining the parable of the sower:
20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
May we read the Bible, pray without ceasing, and hear the word,
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
2 Kings 14:1-14
1It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,
3to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
4For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
12The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.
14In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap,
15showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
2 Kings 14:1-14
14In the second year of King Joash son of Joahaz of Israel, King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah, began to reign. 2He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 3He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like his ancestor David; in all things he did as his father Joash had done. 4But the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. 5As soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand he killed his servants who had murdered his father the king. 6But he did not put to death the children of the murderers; according to what is written in the book of the law of Moses, where the Lord commanded, “The parents shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the parents; but all shall be put to death for their own sins.” 7He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela by storm; he called it Jokthe-el, which is its name to this day.
8Then Amaziah sent messengers to King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.” 9King Jehoash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thorn bush on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife’; but a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thorn bush. 10You have indeed defeated Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?” 11But Amaziah would not listen. So King Jehoash of Israel went up; he and King Amaziah of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. 12Judah was defeated by Israel; everyone fled home. 13King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah son of Jehoash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh; he came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a distance of four hundred cubits. 14He seized all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house, as well as hostages; then he returned to Samaria.
4Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3“Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
10When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12in order that
‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”
13And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.