Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

Yet another earthquake has struck, this one hit Monday off the southeast coast of Taiwan. It caused buildings to sway and sent “fear shockwaves” across the island, but no casualties or damage has been reported.  The 6.5 magnitude temblor was felt at the site of a massive landslide in northern Taiwan but did not hamper rescue efforts.

“Lord, there have been many earthquakes hitting around the world. We do not understand this. When and where they strike, earthquakes strike fear in us. We lose our footing – literally – and find ourselves feeling insecure. Bless all those in Taiwan who today are dealing with fear. Settle their hearts and also settle the earth. We know that the geological pressures of earth have to be released, but we ask that the shifts and movement will be measured and centered far from where they will threaten human life. We ask this in Jesus name.”

Kudos to CBS for airing Sunday night the Hallmark Hall of Fame special, “When Love is Not Enough,” the story of Lois Wilson, cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups and the wife of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson. The film, based on the book “The Lois Wilson Story” starred Winona Ryder.  

True to the melodramatic formula of Hallmark made for TV films, “When Love is Not Enough” never the less confronts honestly the bitter and often brutal struggle borne by family and loved ones of those struggling with addictions.

The film also presents openly the unmistakable spiritual/faith roots of AA and Al-Anon. Bill Wilson’s own recovery, and the principles he outlines in his “12 Steps” acknowledges a complete dependence of God, prayer, and miraculous intervention for deliverance.

At the end of the story, a flash forward to 1951, 20 years after the founding of AA, Lois Wilson and a group of women stand around her kitchen table, hold hands and pray aloud “The Serenity Prayer” penned by Reinhold Niebuhr and incorporated into the AA recovery process.

Here’s that prayer in full. For all those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, and for their loved ones and families we join together in this prayer, today…

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

Once again, cartoons are proving dangerous business…

The radical Islamic Web site, revolutionmuslim.com has warned the creators of the cable television cartoon “South Park” that they could be killed for airing a show depicting Muhammad in a bear suit. We answer with a blessing!

In an entry posted Thursday the site says that Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the authors of the irreverent comedy, could wind up like Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh who was killed by a radical Islamist in 2004 after producing a film that showed beaten, naked Muslim woman covered in writings from the Quran. The posting included a photograph of van Gogh with a knife protruding from his chest.

“We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show,” states the site. “This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” The revolutionmuslim.com declaration includes an audio from a sermon delivered by U.S.-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki saying assassination is justified for those who defame Muhammad. al-Awlaki is in hiding in Yemen and remains on a list of al-Qaida leaders targeted for capture or assassination.

Let’s pray first for the safety of Stone and Parker and for all those who choose to use satire as free speech in order to expose the suffocating injustice of radical Islamic fascism. Let’s also offer a blessing for them in the face of this curse they’re enduring…

“God, bless Matt Stone and Trey Parker. You always speak freely, without censor or fear. You say what you will and you mean what you say. You do not yield to threats or fear, and those who follow you do not yield either. Yet your very name is Peace and you always bring peace, in the end, when you are present. This is your nature and your highest desire. You side with justice and against injustice, and you choose to give your own life in order to bring an end to unrelenting evil in this world. God, in the Name of Jesus we pray for a soon and certain interruption to the rampant threats and acts of violence coming from the supporters of radical Islam. Though they use your name, they do not speak for you. Stand against them. Stop them. And thwart their efforts. We also ask that you would protect those like Matt Stone and Trey Parker who have dared use satire to expose the hypocrisy of those who would use religion to justify terrorism. May we in the civilized world rise in unity to their defense. Give us courage to withstand the fear of these threats. We thank you for the rights of free speech. While we may not agree with all the cynical innuendoes of farces and satires, we do pray for the preservation of their right to speak freely. We pray this in Jesus’ name…”  

The Army may rescind a speaking invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham after Muslim members who have not forgiven him for his description of Islam as evil, complained to the Pentagon. Graham, the son of Billy Graham, was to appear at the Pentagon on May 6 for the National Day of Prayer. Gary Tallman, an Army spokesman said that Graham’s “presence at the event may be taken by some as inappropriate for a government agency.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation raised objection, citing Graham’s past criticism of Islam. Organizers of the National Day of Pray have defended Graham saying that U.S. leaders have called for a day of prayer during times of crisis since 1775. They believe that Christians have a right to pray at the Pentagon.

Let’s pray for Franklin Graham and the National Day of Prayer…

“God, we pray for the right to pray. We pray for the preservation of our National Day of Prayer. We pray for Franklin Graham and for all those organizing this event. God we need you and we need prayer. We seek your grace and courage and power to continue a life of pray. It is in prayer that we recognize our need for your goodness, favor, correction, guidance and healing. We admit that we are a proud people and that we often attempt to walk under our own strength. The National Day of Prayer is our public acknowledgement of our deepest need. We need you and we need your favor, especially expressed at a place like the Pentagon. As strong as our military may be, we ultimately need your protection and we finally depend on you for safety and care. We come before you because without you we fail. In Jesus…”