Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prayers for Those in Despair

Heavenly Father, I know I am close to despair. I feel so tempted to give up, to withdraw from life and religion and let the world simply carry me along.

Everything seems so meaningless and nothing appeals to my better instincts.

Help me to remember that Jesus gave meaning to everything in the world.

Let me bank on that fact and get over this time of despair, to really believe in the depths of my being that there is a reason for living.

Show me the reason for my life and tell me what I must do.

Bring home to me that I am never alone, but that You are with me even in the depths of despair. Remind me that no matter what I may endure now, an unending joy awaits me in the future if I but cling tightly to You and your Son Jesus in the unity of the Spirit.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Painting: Saint Thadée (or Saint Jude) by James Tissot

James Jacques Joseph Tissot (October 15, 1836 – August 8, 1902) was a French painter. Tissot was born at Nantes. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Ingres, Flandrin and Lamothe, and exhibited in the Paris Salon for the first time at the age of twenty-three.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Article: Burden to Pray

A web article from (source link here)...

"You better call home because you wife and kids are dead!" a large prisoner said with a glazed look in his eyes. My Sergeant, who was stunned by the announcement, rose slowly to protect himself from this strange acting prisoner. Suddenly, the prisoner attacked him with a desk lamp. My natural response was to jump on the prisoner’s back to help subdue him. In the violent struggle, my back was gouged by a piece of metal, which caused a 2" x 10" cut. After the prisoner was subdued, I was taken to the hospital for treatment.

This incident happened during my fourth week of working in the prison. Being a Correction Officer is difficult enough as it is, but it is even more difficult for new officers. Since new officers were rare before the massive prison buildup in the mid-1980s, the prisoners had more time to test the new officers to see if they could be intimidated. Unfortunately, this testing often lasted for months.

Since I was getting tired of this testing, I was hoping something unusual would happen that would cause the prisoners to respect me. In fact, the morning of the attack, I made such a prayer request. Of course, I was thinking of something a little less violent, such as making a major drug bust. As it turned out, I got the prisoner's attention by coming to the aid of the Sergeant. Word spread quickly in the prison, "… don’t mess with the new cop. He’s not afraid to fight." As a result, all of the prisoners left me alone.

In reality, my help in the fight had nothing to do with my being brave. It was simply a natural reaction. It happened so quickly I didn’t have time to be scared. If I'd had a couple of minutes to think about it beforehand, I would have been scared to be in a fight inside a prison surrounded by several hundred prisoners. Nevertheless, I didn’t bother explaining this to the prisoners. If they wanted to believe I was a fearless cop, who was I to correct them?

I have found it a little bit unnerving that the only day I prayed for this was the day the fight took place. Personally, I feel God put this prayer request in my heart because He wanted to do a special work in my life. I have found God often prompts people to pray when He is doing a unique task.

One day as I was driving down the highway, I decided to pray for a while. One of the things I prayed for was protection from getting a speeding ticket. This really surprised me because I had never prayed for that before, or since. There are two reasons I wouldn’t normally pray for something like this. First, if I am driving the speed limit there isn’t much risk of getting a ticket. Second, if I am deliberately speeding and I have the audacity to ask God to protect me while I break the law, my prayers may prompt Him to cause me to get a ticket. Since I try to adhere to the speed limit, I really couldn’t understand why I would even consider such a prayer. It just came out.

However, a couple minutes later I reached over in the car to pick up something from the floor and my foot pushed the gas pedal down. As I straightened up, I saw I was going 80 mph in a 55-mph zone. Also, at the same moment, I saw a State Police car in the median. He, of course, pulled out onto the highway and began to follow me. After three grueling miles, he stopped following me. I believe God foresaw what was going to happen and put that prayer request in my heart.

The salvation of the great missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, is another example of God’s prompting. Hudson became a Christian while his mom was away on a trip. Wanting to surprise his mom, he instructed everyone in his family to keep quiet about his experience. However, when he approached her about the good news, she said she already knew what he was going to say. She said, "You became a Christian about two weeks ago, didn’t you?" She even knew the exact day and time.

On the day he became a Christian, his mom had a tremendous burden for him, so she got out of her bed and started to pray for him. Although it seemed like a short period of time, her prayer session lasted several hours. When she was finished, she had such joy. She knew God had answered her prayers.

Another example of God prompting someone to pray is the salvation of a girl named Beth. I discussed this incident elsewhere in this book, but I feel it is important to include this example here. During a church service, I suddenly had a strong burden to pray for the salvation of a lifeguard (Beth) who happened to be attending the service. After praying for her, I wrote the phrase, "God, please save Beth" on a piece of paper. After the service she came up to me and told me she had become a Christian. Of course, she was very surprised to see the note I had written to God.

This prompting of God is quite common and a person could fill several large books with examples. Yet, I think it is natural to ask, "Why does God do this. Does He need our prayers? If God were all-powerful and all knowing, why would He need to prompt someone to pray in order to carry out His desired task?" Quite frankly, I don’t know. There are many things I don’t understand about prayer and our all-powerful God. I do know, however, God desires our prayers and is pleased when we put our full reliance on Him. Maybe the reason He occasionally reveals these unique promptings to us, is to reveal His power and bring us closer to His presence.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Painting: St. Jude Thaddeus by El Greco

El Greco (1541–1614) was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" (The Greek) was a nickname, a reference to his Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos).

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Article: Prayer: The Unsung Hero

A web article from (source link here)...

Prayer has not received the recognition that it deserves. Many people feel that since God already knows about our need, there isn't any need to tell God about them. This is a very costly mistake.

On my desk there is a little card that reads, "No Christian is greater than his prayer life." I have come to a gripping realization that prayer is probably one of the greatest contributions we can make to advance the Kingdom of Christ. Yet, we as Christians, seldom capitalize on this resource. Surveys show the average Christian prays 15 to 30 minutes a week. If the statement, "No Christian is greater than his prayer life," is true, then it would explain, in part, why so much of the world is still not evangelized.

Why do we spend so little time in prayer? Why is prayer one of the first things we neglect as we drift away from God? Many pastors have preached sermons condemning us for spending up to 3 hours a day in front of a television set while we pray less than 30 minutes a week. Although there is a need for such sermons, I have no intention of pointing out something for which you are probably already painfully aware. It is my desire to encourage you, to share with you what I have learned from my struggles in this area.

We, as Christians, often condemn ourselves because we do not pray as much as we think we should. Often, the simple task of praying only 15 minutes a day seems almost impossible! Of course, we can understand why it is easier to sit in front of the TV than devote time to prayer. TV is relaxing and prayer is work. I do believe energy is drained from us when we pray.

I am convinced, though, the main reason we do not pray as much as we should is not because it is too much work. There are many sincere and dedicated lay-Christians who spend as many as 15 hours a week working on Christian projects, yet find it difficult to spend a significant amount of time in prayer. With all this time spent on Christian projects, their lack of prayer cannot be considered laziness.

Satan understands the power of prayer, and I believe he is fighting fiercely to reduce its impact. An obvious military strategy is to concentrate attacks on the targets, which are the greatest threats. For example, in war, primary targets are radar installations, ammunition depots and weapons factories. Limited military resources are not used on non-strategic targets such as the officers’ dining hall (although many soldiers would probably welcome the relief from military food). It is my conviction that Satan knows the biggest spiritual battles are won or lost because of our prayers. Therefore, why would Satan not try to blind our eyes to the need and urgency of prayer?

The story of the disciples at the time of the resurrection is a good example of how capable Satan is of blinding our eyes to important truths. Jesus told his disciples on several occasions that He was going to be killed and would rise again on the third day. Yet, on the third day, where were His disciples? Why were they not waiting at His tomb? They were not even looking for His resurrection.

The Pharisees, on the other hand, remembered Jesus talking about His resurrection. This is why they requested a guard be placed at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-64). It appears Satan, the author of deception and distraction, had blinded, or at least distracted the disciples to this very important truth. If the disciples, the very men who walked with Jesus, could miss something as important as the resurrection, isn’t it reasonable to believe Satan could blind us to the power of prayer?

The attitude with which we as non-Christians first approached God is what released the dynamic power of salvation through Jesus Christ. It was essential when we came to God, we recognized Jesus Christ as our total redemption. Our human abilities played no part in the salvation process. We had to trust God fully.

Likewise, when we as Christians approach God, He still wants us to trust Him fully and understand that the solutions to our problems lie beyond our abilities. It is this recognition that releases the power of God. Prayer is an expression of the commitment and trust we have in God.

When we come before God in prayer and give Him full control of a situation, we are acknowledging His sovereignty in that area. As a result, God begins to work on the problem with His mighty power. God desires to be involved in every area of our life. He wants us to specifically commit each of our concerns to Him. I have found the more specific we are in our prayers, the more direct and effective will be the answers. For example, the prayer, "God, please bless the missionaries," will not be nearly as effective as naming specific missionaries and their particular needs.

Although we are in a Space Age of high-tech transportation and communication, we still go further on our knees. We will never have a true appreciation of how powerful and effective our prayers are until we enter God’s presence and He unfolds the completed story. At that time we will see how people were saved and lives changed as a direct result of our prayers.

God is continually working in ways that we are unaware. An example of God’s hidden involvement in our lives is seen in 2 Kings 6:13-17. In this passage Elisha and his servant ran across a huge Syrian army and the servant becomes afraid. Elisha prays and asks God to open the servant’s eyes, and the servant sees that the mountain is full of God’s angelic army.

Looking at the great needs of this under-evangelized world, it is easy to be overwhelmed with feelings of futility or the thought, "What is the point? I can’t make much of a difference." This discouragement can often keep us from even trying.

There are two things we must keep in mind. First, God does not expect us to change the whole world. He only wants us to do our part, to grow where he has planted us. Second, we must realize that, although we cannot change the whole world, there is much we can realistically accomplish.

Being consistent in our prayer life can help us accomplish more than we may have ever thought possible. A consistent savings plan at a bank can help save money without the feeling of having a "big bite" taken out of your paycheck. Likewise, a consistent prayer system can help us pray for a large group of people without feeling burdened.

Many short prayers throughout the day are easier than praying an hour at a time. An example of this is the old tale of the Tortoise and the Hare. The rabbit, which is obviously the faster of the two, was overconfident, and did not pay attention to the race. Although the turtle was slow, he was consistent, and as a result, his seemingly "insignificant" effort paid off in a big way.

There are two types of prayers I use: Systematic prayers and Onetime prayers. My systematic prayer list is a list of people, Christians and non-Christians, whom I have met throughout the years. I systematically work through this list from top to bottom over a period of time. Praying for 5 to 30 names at a sitting is non-burdensome and yet gives me the opportunity to intercede for a large group of people.

Onetime prayers are requests that are usually prayed for only once. These prayers are often for people I have run into throughout the course of my day, or someone who has caught my attention. The aspect that makes onetime prayers so practical is they consume very little of my time. They are ideal for situations where I am already doing something but not using much mental energy, such as driving in a car or standing in a line.

When I pray for these people, I pray not only for their salvation, but I ask God to make them strong, dynamic Christians who will become prayer warriors in their own right. I also ask God to raise up thousands of people to pray for this person. So, although I may pray only once for this person, I am confident God will raise up others to continue where I have left off.

Obviously, praying many times for one person is much more effective than just a single prayer, but never underestimate the power of these onetime prayers. It is important to realize for some people, you may be the only Christian who has ever prayed for them. This is the reason I ask God to raise up hundreds of people to pray for each person. As you expand your prayer time, be careful not to become overburdened. You should approach it as an adventure, not an obligation.

Years ago, I started what I call the quick prayer list. This short list contained 10 of the most important issues going on in my life at the time. (You have to keep this list short or you get overwhelmed and stop using the list altogether.) Every hour, such as on the hour, I pull out the list and pray for my concerns. I found this to be an excellent way to ensure I prayed on a consistent basis.

Since I was a Correction Officer with lousy days off, two of the items on my prayer list were: I would get a job working with computers and would have good days off. After two years of praying for this, I was called into the Warden’s office. He told me the Deputy Director for the State’s Department of Correction wanted me to work for him personally to do computer programming. For 4 ½ years, I worked for the Deputy Director’s office overseeing a large number of computer projects. Every time someone asked me how my "rags to riches" story came about, I always tell them about the prayer list and give God the credit.

In the 19th Century, rescuing a drowning person from a pier presented certain logistical problems for lifeguards. They did not have the luxury of our modern rescue techniques and equipment. Instead, they used a "lifeline" system. When a lifeguard dove into the water after someone, he would tie a rope around himself and hand the other end to someone to hold. One stormy day, a lifeguard spotted a swimmer being swept under by the mighty ocean waves. In his haste, he forgot to tell someone, "hold the rope." Thus, as he went into the water, so did his lifeline. This lifeguard needlessly lost his life in the stormy ocean rage because of carelessness.

This story illustrates the importance of being consistent and faithful in upholding Christian workers through prayer. However, there is another lesson to be learned too. We should never rush off to do God’s work before we have adequate prayer support. As we serve the Lord, let us not forget to ask people to "hold our ropes."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Article: The Power of Prayer

A web article taken from Barbara Sanders' website, Barbara's Entourage (source link here)...

Prayer is our communion with God, whether it be a petition made to God, worship, repentance, praise, or thanksgiving. It doesn't have to be a laid-out patent prayer, but words from the heart. God wants all of us, he knows our minds and hearts, so why not talk to him as if he already knows the situation.

James 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The effectual fervent prayer is one with power behind it, one that produces results. We have to believe what we pray, not just 'mouth' words. Sometimes we go blindly into our prayers, not knowing in which direction to go.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you , What things soever ye desire, when ye pray , believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].
Desires of the heart should be those that will glorify God, not necessarily the human desires we have to make our life better.

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray , use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
God knows each thought we have, so why not go to HIM and talk with him as you would if you were to meet him on the street. Prayers do not have to be long, drawn out affairs, but we need to be precise in what we are asking, and ask according to the bible rather than asking blindly for what we want. If it glorifies the Lord, then it will be something good for us. If it does not, then we shouldn't be asking for it in our prayers.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On this special day and throughout the year, open your heart and mind to the infant Jesus, whose birth we celebrate today. May God bless you.
The image above may be subject to copyright. It was selected from the results of a Google search, which used the keywords "merry christmas." The source, according to Google, is: The views expressed and/or images shown in this source do not represent the views of this blog.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sermon: Practically Praying: Why Pray?

A sermon by Rev D. Graham Leitch of Barclay Church, Edinburgh, Scotland given January 26, 2003 (source link here).

“Why Pray?” - that’s the question that claims our attention and we’re invited to ponder this morning. Although this is meant to be very much a “how to” series - aimed at guiding and assisting those who want to begin praying or to be better pray-ers to progress - I make no apology for the fact that today’s sermon will be less of a “how to” sermon than the others!!

The motives behind the question “Why pray?” can vary.

For the person of a more philosophical bent, the question may proceed from an inquiring mind:
In respect of prayer and intercession, “If God already knows all about our needs before we tell him, why bother?” In respect of praise and worship, “If God wants to be praised and thanked and fussed over continually does that not make him proud and self-centred.”

On the other hand, for the young widow standing beside her young husband’s grave - the husband for whose healing and recovery she has prayed and pleaded, begged, for the whole year since the traumatic day when the diagnosis and prognosis of his cancer was explained to him, the words “Why pray?” are no longer academic but mean “Why bother?!!”

I make no apology for this being less of a “how to” sermon than the others, because all the practical tips, guidance and advice in the world will be worthless to you unless you know the reason why PRAYER shouldn’t be the peculiar interest of a few enthusiasts but the perpetual practice of the entire church!

WHY PRAY? is our subject this morning.

Notice, by the way, that the answers to the question “Why SHOULD we pray?” may be different from the answers to the question “Why DO we pray?

* Some people pray because they were taught to as children. There is something deeply moving about a child’s prayer.

Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head,
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

God bless mummy. I know that’s right.
Wasn’t it fun in the bath tonight?
The cold’s so cold and the hot’s so hot,
Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot

If I open my fingers a little bit more,
I can see Nanny’s dressing gown on the door.
It’s a beautiful blue but it hasn’t a hood.
Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good!

Oh! Thank you God for a lovely day.
And what was the other I had to say
” I said ‘God bless Daddy’ so who can it be?
Oh! Now I remember - GOD BLESS ME!

* Some people pray because they were taught to as children.

* Some people pray because (though they’re not even sure of God, it makes them feel better, or because something in them tells them they should!

* And many an atheist has prayed to the God he denies when the going’s been tough or the situation’s been desperate or hopeless!

I’m not asking you to to think about why people DO pray but about why everyone SHOULD PRAY

I want to give you four answers - and I’ll tell you WHAT they are now so that you can follow more clearly and at the same time not become over anxious about how long the sermons going to be!!


We should pray, first,because of WHO we are. We should pray, second, because of WHAT we are.
Third, we should pray because of who GOD is. And finally, we should pray because of what PRAYER itself is.

WHY PRAY? We should pray because of who we are. Some of you will know the story of the Minister who visited one of his older member who was in residential care - she has become rather confused and forgetful and so to test whether she really knew him or not he gently sat beside her, took her hand and asked her “Now - who am I?’ to which nodding in a kindly and understanding way she replied:
“Don’t worry son, lots of folk forget who they are in her - but if you ask that lady over there, she one of the care staff and she’ll tell you who you are - and perhaps” she added smiling, “you’ll be able to remember!”

We should pray because of who we are!! One of the reasons why we don’t pray is that we’ve forgotten who we are!!

We remember that “no man is an island” - we know that we were not made to live in isolation - but in our preoccupation with human relations and culture’s encouragement to live this life to the full we have forgotten that we were not only made by God but are made FOR relationship with Him - to know Him and enjoy Him.

In God we find our fulfilment and satisfaction, but outside of God we are incomplete. We should pray because of who we are ! We are part of the animal creation, but we are unique within it, being made, the Bible tells us, “in the image of God” Alone, within the animal creation, we have the capacity of knowing God and relating to Him.... and this is not an “extra” - the “icing on the cake”, so to speak. It the supreme purpose of our lives.... but it is also, or it is intended to be, the essence of our lives - its what we’re made for!!

Now Springtime’s coming and before long the spring flower will be braking through the ground to greet the returning warmth of the New Year’s sun. But what happens if a bulb’s planted upside down....if it produces a flower at all it produce one that is stunted and weak - it may still be a snowdrop or daffodil. But it is isn’t half the snowdrop of daffodil it would have been if it had been the right way up!!

We cannot be complete without prayer because we cannot be completely human - complete persons - without God. A life that neglects its spiritual nature is like a bulb planted upside down!!

WHY PRAY? We should pray because of who we are. Individuals made for relationship with God.

We should PRAY also because of WHAT we are. All of us are different - every single one of us - but none of us, not a single one of us is all we should be!!

Our weakness are many are varied - in this we are all different. What is not a temptation to one person may be a great temptation to another. To steal, to thieve, to commit adultery, to lie, to abuse the body or the body of another, to be callous cruel or violent.

The spiritual DNA of every person is different, but in this we are identical and equal- that we are at fault, guilty, we’re not perfect. We’re “damaged goods”, if you like........we have ignored God,, despised His will and disobeyed His commands.

i) We should pray because of WHO we are - each one and every one of us is made for relationship with God.

ii) We should PRAY also because of WHAT we are - SINNERS! Sin is simply falling short of God’s perfect standard. A miss, here is as good as a mile!! Who today dare stand before God and claim to be as good a father, mother, son, daughter, colleague or friend to others as we could have been.

Who amongst us can claim no regret. Aren’t there things you wish you’d done differently - things you wish had never happened. Things you know you’ve done wrong!! Are you the only one who’s never said “If only.....”?

JOHN 8:1-12
Remember that heart stopping drama pictured by John in Chapter 8 of His Gospel when the self-righteous Pharisees bundles a women caught being unfaithful to her husband before Him. And they sneered and pointed their fingers and poked her:

“The Bible says that women of her kind should be stoned!!” they urged.

But Jesus, looked at one and then another - and it was a s though his gaze read their inmost hearts and unravelled their darkest secrets :Let the person without sin throw the first stone!” And one by one they left!

Since the days of Adam there has only been one Person without sin - and that Person was Jesus Christ Himself. He alone was “without sin”

Prayer is therefore not an irrelevance for us; it is a necessity for us, for prayer is the hand of faith reaching out to accept God;’ offered forgiveness. All true prayers begins with this:

“God be merciful to me, a sinner!”

We should pray, first,because of WHO we are - persons made in the image of God to know Him - this is the language of intimacy, even of intercourse. We were made for God!!

We should pray, second, because of WHAT we are - people who have let others down and let God down People who need, though we can never deserve His forgiveness.

We should pray, third, because of who GOD is!! He is the all powerful, all wise, all knowing, all holy, all merciful, all loving One - perfect in His nature, His being and all His actions. He is the supreme, preeminent One. We should pray because of WHO God is - we should praise Him because He expects and commands our praise.

Of course, this may seem strange - unchristian almost!! If God wants us to praise Him all the time is He not proud and self-centred. Someone who wants to be praised and thanked all day long is unattractive to us...

But it is not for any selfishness in HIM that God wants us to praise Him, but to deliver us from the self-centredness that’s in US!!

We should praise God for who He is, because praise and worship is the natural thing, once we know how much we owe Him and how great His love for us, for us to do!

A passage in C S Lewis’s book “Reflections on the Psalms” offers a profound insight into the nature of prayers of praise and worship offered to God:
“I had never noticed” he writes “that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others i deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise - lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game - praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges countries, historical figures, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, sometimes even politicians or scholars.

I has not noticed how the humblest and most capacious minds praised most... I had not noticed, either, that just as persons spontaneously praise what they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: ‘Isn’t she lovely?! Wasn’t it glorious?!! Don’t you think that’s magnificent?!!

The Psalmists, in telling everyone to praise God, are doing what we all do when we speak of what we care about!”

Why should we pray? Do lovers never talk together?

Why should we PRAY - we should pray because of who GOD is - as children we were taught to say thank you - “What do you say to the lady? And at first, perhaps we recoiled with embarrassment and shyly hid behind mummy’s legs!! But we learned to say thank you - not just to be courteous and polite but to be be appreciative and grateful.

As children we we’re taught to say thank. As parents, in turn, we have taught our children to say “Thank You “ and they are teaching their children to say thank you!

Peter’s thank-you letter.
Many of you know we have three grandchildren - Peter, Anna and Matthew. On Friday - just a couple of days ago - I received a Christmas “thank you” letter from Peter, who’s four:
Dear Grandma and Grandpa (it read)
This is grandpa watching a scarey programme. Thank for my spaceship but some of it is broken....but I like spaceships.
Love from Peter.

How much more then, do we owe thanks to God for life, for all that makes us happy and for His Son?


Finally, and briefly, we should pray because of what PRAYER IS

In relation to WHO WE ARE - it is the means by which we may enter into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ - and then it is the enjoyment and deepening of that relationship. It is the relationship of the loved to the Great Lover. - intimate and sublime - a love affair with God!!

In relation to WHAT WE ARE - it is the means by which through Jesus Christ we access God’s heart and daily find His pardon.

And in relation to WHO HE IS - it is the key to the door that leads weakness to the help of Divine Omnipotence, worry to the feet of the All wise God, and loneliness to the heart of an Everlasting Friend.

To refuse prayer - is to walk away from the most immensely satisfying and enriching relationship possible to any individual.

To refuse prayer is to withhold thanks from the Author of Life and giver of every good gift.

And to refuse prayer is to reject the only Hand that, in the worst of times, can still lift us up.