Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Faith Blog

William Stringfellow was a theologian, attorney and civil rights activist. I do not believe prayer is "a last resort" but I agree with the rest of it and thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with you. He wrote:

Prayer “. . .is a last resort. . . .But how do you do it?
That’s just the trouble, friend.
Prayer is nothing you do; prayer is someone you are.
Prayer is not about doing, but about being.
Prayer is about being alone in God’s presence.
Prayer is being so alone that God is the only witness to your existence.
The secret of prayer is God affirming your life.
That, that alone, is incompatible with loneliness.
If you pray, you cannot be lonely.
Prayer is the last resort.”
Prayer is someone you are.
Prayer is being.

"When you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6

Happy Sunday............prayer does help. Believe me.
By the way, does anybody have a story of answered prayer that you'd like to share? Please do!


Brooke said...

I dunno sometimes. I hope so.

sue hanes said...

Z - You are right.

He could have left off the first two lines - but then after that his words ring true.

He didn't mention the Apostle Paul but I believe that what Paul said -Pray Without Ceasing -
is what is meant here.

At first I wondered how that was possible without actually being a monk - but William Stringfellow
nails it.

Praying without ceasing is a way of living. A constant connection with the Sovereign Creator of the Universe.

It doesn't take too long to pick up on this and embrace it as a way of life - but after it has been mastered - it is the only way.

WomanHonorThyself said...

lovely concepts Z..hope you are having a super weekend my friend~!.:)..I will pray for you and yours too.

Ticker said...

Z, the quote "prayer is a last resort is correct in that when all else fails where/who else do we have to turn to but to God. We have done all we can do on our own and failed.

1 Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said:[a]

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.

4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

5 “When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.

6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

7 In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.

The entire 22 Chapter of 2 Samuel is about David crying out in Prayer and the results. The words to the old song ring true in reference to the quote as well. The song, Where could I go but to the Lord.

Living below in this old sinful world
Hardly a comfort can afford
Striving alone to face temptations sore
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go oh where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

Neighbors are kind, I love them everyone.
We get along in sweet accord.
But when my soul needs manna from above,
Where could I go but to the lord

Where could I go oh where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

Life here is grand with friends I love so dear
Comfort I get from God's own Word
Yet when I face the chilling hand of death
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go oh where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

Have a wonderful weekend. You might also send up a prayer for me as well.I have eye surgery on Monday at 2 PM EST.

Jan said...

Z...I, firmly, believe in the power of prayer, and there are so many in my own life, that I could write a book...but, since you asked if anyone would like to share, I'll offer one example.

My parents were divorced when I was a baby, and I lived, off and on, with my grandmother.

When I was eight years old, my mother was working in a town, which was fifty miles away. It was Christmas, and she had promised to be there, if she could, but as it turned out, her supervisor changed her hours at the mill where she worked, and she wouldn't be able to catch a bus in time to get home.

When I went to bed, that Christmas Eve, I was so sad, because I missed my mother, and I wanted so badly to see her.

My grandmother was a wonderful Christian lady, and many nights, I fell asleep, to the sound of her voice, praying, so prayer was just a natural thing to, I prayed.

I told God that I missed my mother, and that she couldn't come home, and asked if He would please help her to get there.

Later, that night, I woke up, and my mother was there!

She told my grandmother that her supervisor came to her, and told her to go ahead and clock out, that she needed to be home with her baby for Christmas.

I believe that it was because a little child prayed, and God heard, and answered. He moved on the heart of the supervisor, which I believe with all MY heart.

I think that was the first answered prayer for me, and as a result, my faith is very strong in that area of my spirituality, and also as a result, I have seen many answered prayers in my life.

I hope this hasn't been too long...but, thanks for letting me share my faith in this way, and thanks for this great post!

Z said...

Ticker, prayer is usually the last resort only for the non-prayer.
Of course we pray when we have problems, that's a given (even in a fox hole for atheists!); it seems to me that the point of the poem is we must always be in communion with God and prayer is the best way for that.
I'd never want to use it only for the 'last resort' way!
I will pray for your eye operation.
I have medical stuff tomorrow, too.....ugh.

Jan, I wouldn't mind if you went on and on with your experiences! I'd hoped this would open a dialogue about prayer and what it's done for various of my readers. THanks so much for sharing that!
My friends joke with me that mine get answered like lightning...I don't always think so!

Also, a friend asked her daughter "Why do you think GOd answers prayers for a parking spot but not for a loved one in the hospital, the BIG things?"
She told me THursday that her grown daughter answered "God just wants you to know He's there and so he answers the small ones more readily!"

I believe that, too, but I believe He answers prayers ALL the time; just not in our timing or what we think is best for us in an earthly way, don't you?

see you all later..I"m off to church and then brunch with a friend..xx

sue hanes said...

Z - I consider the rest of my life to be an unanswered prayer.

There are things I have wanted but they have not happened - and maybe they will and maybe they won't -

it remains to be seen.

Jan said...

Z...I believe that God answers all of our prayers, but not always in the way that we want, or expect. For instance, I don't think that He is going to give us something we're asking for that will not be for our good, so sometimes His answer is "no."

I believe that He answers insignificant little prayers, because He cares about what matters to us. I think I've even benefited from the parking space prayers, myself. :)

Also, I believe that sometimes, the answer does not come, exactly, when we think it should, but at a later time. I like the saying: "God is never late, nor early, but always right on time."

To me, prayer is simply talking to Him, telling Him how I feel about Him, what's going on with me that I need help with, and interceding on the behalf of others. It should be as natural as breathing, or talking to a treasured friend, or best of all, talking to our daddy.

I think that what scripture says is true...that He will be a husband to the widowed, a father to the orphaned., and a friend to all who will come to Him.

sue hanes said...

Jan - 'Also, I believe that sometimes, the answer does
not come, exactly, when we
think it should, but at a
later time. I like the
saying: 'that God is never
late, nor early, but right on time.'

Sometimes I just forget that
there are 7 billion of us
now, and I forget that God
is busy. And that it is
not just about me.

Thanks, Jan. I needed that.

It's just that I am not a
patient person.

but i am learning


Ticker - I hope your eye surgery
goes well tomorrow.

Silverfiddle said...

"Prayer is a last Resort" because we so often make it so. We try everything but God until He is all we have left.

Jan said...

Sue..we're all learning, or should be.

BTW...patience might not be a good thing to pray for, unless you really mean it! :)

Have you heard the joke about the lady praying for patience?

She said, "God, I want to learn to be patient. And I want to learn it RIGHT NOW!

Z said...

As I said in an above comment "..... I believe He answers prayers ALL the time; just not in our timing or what we think is best for us in an earthly way, don't you?"

I guess we're all in agreement about that. How could we not be? We know really well He doesn't answer all our prayers the way WE want them, don't we!

I am going to another church for the time being now, somewhere I've attended from time to time...what a sermon.
Don't you just wish everybody can hear the really great ones? :-)

Pris said...

I pray wherever I am. I could be in line at a checkout stand, or any number of places. I believe God is everywhere, and I don't have to say a prayer out loud. I know He listens if I call upon Him through thought.

I don't tend to pray for things which seem unimportant like a parking space. I know it'd be alright if I did, but I don't.

I've never prayed for material things, it's always for something serious, like someone being ill or something I think is important.

I do pray for strength if I'm dealing with something very difficult, life changing.

When it comes to my husband, children or grandchild, family in general, and friends, I pray for their wellbeing.

To me prayer is not a last resort, it is uppermost, to see me through a difficult time, or in helping those who I know are in need.