Monday, December 15, 2008

Prayers for Presidents in Times of Transition, or Any Time . . .

As one President prepares to leave office, the President Elect prepares to enter the White House. When he wrote Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Frank Laubach often thought about the responsibilities and burdens every President shoulders. (The passages quoted are found in Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, New Jersey, 1946, pages 20 and 57.)

His words (with a word or two added) can fuel our prayers as we begin a new century and observe a peaceful transition from one President to the next:

“Most of us will never enter the White House and offer advice to the President. Probably he will never have time to read our letters [emails or tweets]. But we can give him what is far more important than advice. We can give him a lift into the presence of God, make him hungry for divine wisdom, which is the grandest thing one man [or woman] ever does for another. We can visit the White House with prayers as many times a day as we think of it, and every such visit makes us a channel between God and the President.”

When we think of our President, let us pray for him often as Frank Laubach suggests we should with this prayer:

“Lord, help the President to feel hungry and thirsty for Thy wisdom.”

Monday, December 8, 2008

Prayer Changes the World

There is much to learn and apply from Frank Laubach’s fervent call to prayer. He longs for pastors and their people to be sure that:

“Every prayer we utter from the heart begins to change history at once. Most prayers of intercession one hears in church are tragic disappointments, meager, vague, half-hearted, powerless, small. People seldom pray as if they realized that prayer changes the world.

“Evangelical Christianity is lost unless it discovers that the center and power of its divine service is prayer, not sermons; God, not the preacher. This does not mean that more time must be spent in preparing written prayers, it does mean that minister and people need to spend more time preparing themselves for the service by prayer at home” (Prayer, The Mightiest Force in the World, Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, New Jersey, 1946, page 49).

Frank Laubach's writings suggest specific ways that we can grow in prayer--by praying with the conviction that prayer can change people, events, even world history. He modeled this conviction, and challenges us to pray experimentally--to record our prayers and the ways God answers.