Tag Archives: servant’s heart

LORD, Hear our Prayers (From RLM’s Storytellers Page)

Recently I had a piece published on Real Life Ministries’ Storytellers page. These are real life (no pun intended) stories dedicated to inspiration and outreach, what the church has been up to in people’s lives, and how you can join in.

Mine had to do with RLM’s involvement in worship and ministry services within the Idaho Correction Center located in Boise. Included in the piece are some of the actual prayer requests sent to RLM from the inmates themselves. Powerful and impactful, this is how you can make a difference in people’s lives, even those who seem beyond your (or anyone’s) reach.

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“Pray for understanding as to why God has turned away from me and will not hear me or answer me.  I am praying for Him to help me, but my life just gets worse. I feel hate from Him.”

The prayers of the hurting, the lost, the angry.  Does this prayer sound familiar to you?  If not, does it in any way hang a millstone around your conscience, weighing heavily, tugging on your desire to help, to love, to offer…

You may not even know what it is you’re drawn to do, but the conviction is heavy on your heart to connect with this person, somehow.  How do you even begin to help someone with these types of questions; someone who
bears this load of oppression—even if self-inflicted; someone who dares utter aloud these types of doubts and more?  What can you possibly say to them? How can you reach them, even if they seem beyond your reach?

“Please pray for the children and their families that I have caused so much hurt to.  That God will restore them, and reunite them, and heal the damage I caused to all of them.”

Or maybe you don’t think they are beyond your reach?  Honestly, I’m happy you feel that way. I’m glad for your availability and your willingness, and I praise God that you have this conviction; this desire to serve placed on your heart.

“Please pray for my loved ones…that God will care for them and heal them from the damage I caused them. And, that they will call to Christ.”

Perhaps I should also tell you, these people crying out with remorse, anger, forgiveness, and healing, also happen to be in prison.

“[I pray] for healing and comfort for my loved ones and myself. To create in me a clean heart so that I can become the man I am supposed to be. For my fiancé, that the pregnancy and birth goes well, and that god will continue to work in our lives. Praise the Lord!”

Does this revelation lighten that millstone, or weigh it further?  Do you think, “Well, whatever they have done to end up there, obviously they must have deserved it”, or, “That’s not somewhere I feel comfortable placing myself or ministering in God’s name”, or, “I’m just not gifted in that area.”  Or do you think, “I still feel the burden to help, I’m just not sure how,” or, “My heart aches for this person, how do I help? What do you need? What is the first step I can take toward this person?”

“Please pray that I can become a useful tool for God. That He will show me what my gifts are and how I can use them here to best serve Him. God bless you all.

What if I tell you, now, that you’re already doing it; that the first steps have already been taken, the bridge has already been spanned?

**Please, read the rest of the story here and be inspired!**

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Education > Outrage

Now THAT'S a protest signI ran across this article over the weekend, wherein a man in Florida is petitioning the city council of Deerfield Beach, FL to let him open a council meeting with a prayer to Satan.

His letter reads as follows:

 Dear City of Deerfield Beach;
With the recent US Supreme Court ruling allowing “prayer before Commission meetings” and seeking the rights granted to others, I hereby am requesting I be allowed to open a Commission meeting praying for my God, my divine spirit, my Dude in Charge.
Be advised, I am a Satanist.
Let me know when this is good for you.

As far as his “religious” requests goes, I say, “go for it!” If it’s a legitimate invocation of prayer to “his god” then, by all means, he should be allowed to proceed under the rule of law. After all, with the recent passage of the Supreme Court ruling in Green v. Galloway—that sectarian legislative prayer is indeed constitutional—than he is, and should be, allowed to do so.

Why do I get the feeling it’s not that magnanimous, though?

Not that that should make a difference.

If it’s merely to get a rise out of the conservative element within his community (most likely Christian), then I say…let him do it anyway. If Christians, or any religious faction for that matter, raise protest, show outrage, condemn, etc., etc., we merely prove this man’s point in the process.

He becomes right.

…he’s right anyway, let’s just not give him the showcase to drive home the point.

Sometimes, (quite often most times), the best way to take the stigma out of a situation is not to react to it.

At all!

To educate yourself about it, yes. To learn from it, yes.

Then, move on.

And, I know, that’s really, really hard!

In my mind, there are three possible reactions we, as Christians, can take to folks like Mr. Stevens (and, for that matter, anyone who invokes this type of zealous yet ultimately unconstructive internal response in us.)

We can overreact: cause a stink, raise Cain, shout our disdain from the rooftops, which is the easiest and exactly what too many Christians do and exactly the reaction the world is watchingthese folks are looking for—ultimately amounting to nothing more than hypocrisy at its best.

Or, we can take the harder road and acknowledge the existence, and legal rights, of these folks, then take the next step (towards them): engage in conversation, if they are so willing, (which, by definition, is a two-way dialog), and, if not, pray for them, silently, to yourself and to your God so as not to be “…practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Moreover, what do you suppose would happen if the collective reaction from the Christian community of Deerfield Beach, and more importantly, within the reach of the various and anonymous social media outlets, was…*shrug*?

What I don’t advocate doing, which is nearly as easy as reacting in outrage, is merely ignoring them. Though they may “go away” after a time, they will only get louder before they do. This benefits no one, them included.

If a guy wants to pray to Satan before a city council meeting, because he can, or because he thinks he’ll get his jolly’s that way, I say go for it, dude!

I’ll pray to my God as well. Then maybe I can tell you the story of a man named Elijah and a certain challenge on Mount Carmel.

Ya know, just sayin’….

A Taste of the ReFoRMation . . .

Here’s an excerpt of the manuscript I’ve been working on these past couple of months.  It’s a Christian Suspense novel with a bit of Spiritual Warfare thrown in for good measure.  It’s presently going under the working title, “ReFoRMation”  Enjoy!

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With Eirin on his way, and Philos tending to the woman, Suriyan now stood a short distance from his own charge, studying him with unbridled fascination.  He was intrigued by humans.  Just as he was sure humans would be fascinated by the beings they called the Heavenly Host.  Suriyan simply called them friends and family.  Over the course of his long history with these humans, Suriyan had in fact been called many things: Angel, Archangel, Seraphim, Virtue, Cherub, Cherubim, and Principality among others.  Like many beliefs humanity held of the heavenly realm, these had been both entirely accurate and entirely inadequate.  Continue reading A Taste of the ReFoRMation . . .