The Paper, the Prophets and Prayer
Frank Terrell – A Call to Prayer
Frank Terrell is 83 years old and has been married for 51 years. He retired following a successful career in real estate. In the early 1990s, Jeff Black, then pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, asked Frank to lead a group of praying men. In 2017 Frank continues his ministry of prayer. After 9/11, Frank and I met each morning for prayer at St. Andrew’s for many months. It makes sense that Frank would give me a call when he felt there was another call to collective prayer.
This summer Frank told me about what he feels God has called him to do. This is the message Frank believes God has given him. He has printed business cards that read:
A word from God: “MY POWER MUST BE MADE MANIFEST IN THE EARTH TODAY.” Here is how: “MY CHILDREN ARE TO PRAY OVER THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPER DAILY.”
On the back of the card are these words:
A CALL TO PRAYER: Are you upset with the state of the world? Then change it. PRAY!
Frank explained to me the reason for reading and praying the paper. We read the paper to see how God is answering our prayers. As people pray, it will be reflected in the events we read in the newspaper. Frank is part of a generation that does not use social media, so I am helping him by including his passion for prayer in the real-voices blog.
In addition to Frank’s very specific call to prayer, I am asking people to consider a daily reading of the Old Testament prophets. I feel that it is not enough to pray personal impressions that are generated by the daily news. To effectively pray we must align our prayers with the revealed will of God.
Why read the Old Testament prophets? The prophets always stood outside of culture and spoke the will of God. As we pray we need to be in touch with God’s will. That is the only effective way to pray. Jesus gave us this promise concerning prayer, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15.7). If we abide in Jesus’ words, we will align our lives and prayers with his will. Clearly, this is the best kind of praying we can do for our city, state, nation and world.
Both Frank Terrell and I invite you to spend time daily reading the news from a source of your choice and informing your prayers with a reading from the Old Testament prophets. I will begin my reading with the prophet, Isaiah. I hope you will join me there. Each day, I will post what was read in both the Bible and in the New York Times– the news source I have chosen.
I will also post a brief prayer about what was read from the Bible and the paper.
Please join Frank and me in this endeavor. Also, please post a prayer or impression from the prophets of your own.
Monday, January 23, 2016
The Paper on Monday, January 23, 2016
Today’s Headlines from the New York Times
Trump’s First Cabinet: The Whitest and Most Male Since Reagan’s
Trump Revives Ban on Foreign Aid for Abortion Counseling
Mike Pompeo Is Confirmed as C.I.A. Director
Reading Isaiah 1 on January 23, 2016
Chapter one of Isaiah is full of significant information about how God views the world. Today’s focus is on Isaiah 1.2-3. The text is below.
Isaiah 1.2-3 – Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. God’s complaint is that his people do not know as much as farm animals. Animals know their master, but God’s children neither know nor understand his will or his ways.
Prayer for January 23, 2016
Frank Laubach was a very influential Christian leader several generations ago. You can find articles about Frank Laubach in elsewhere in this blog. Dr. Laubach called on millions of Americans to pray short “flash” prayers on behalf of leaders.
He asked them to pray like this: “Lord, please help President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to hear what is your will.” He also included similar “flash” or very short prayers for other world leaders.
Many times today, try praying like this: “Lord, please help President Trump and all of ourleaders in Washington to hear what is your will.” What if one million people prayed like this today?
Frequently in this blog, I will quote First Peter 4.17. It says, “For it is time for judgment tobegin with the household of God . . .” As we pray for governmental leaders, let’s remember that the people who are praying need prayer, too.
Please feel free to leave the prayer you have prayed in the comment section of real-voices.