March 17, 2012

Lenten Mission Take Home Points: Day 3

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! 

Thursday was the concluding night of the visiting priest's Lenten Mission at our church.  Here are some of the things he talked about that I loved!

Power of Prayer: I thought that this was absolutely fascinating.  The priest said that there was a study done on prayer for people in a cancer unit of a hospital.  They randomly assigned people to two different groups: one that would be prayed for and another that would not be prayed for.  The doctors and staff did not know who was in each group. The names of the people were given to prayer groups across the country.  By the end of the research study the group who had been prayed for had significantly fewer complications and infections, and less people in prayed for group died.  I think it's so awesome that an actual study was able to prove how powerful prayer is.

Persistence in Prayer: I did not realize how many trials Abraham Lincoln went through before he became the president of the United States.  He had almost thirty years of setbacks: failing in his business, his love dying, a nervous breakdown, and defeat for Speaker, Congress, state legislature, the US Senate, and VP nomination.  However, he eventually became president and was one of the greatest leaders our country has ever had.  He is known for saying: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.  My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day."

Picture from historyplace.com

We need to have perseverance in both prayer and action.  We cannot just pray and expect God to do it all for us, but we also cannot have the attitude that we can do it all on our own.  If you read The Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8 you can see the example Jesus gave to his disciples when he told them that they must always pray without growing weary.

Silence: The priest again encouraged us to spend more time in silence. (I feel like I keep getting this message from various sources over and over again recently, so I think God is trying to send me a message here!) Here's a great quote he shared from Mother Teresa:

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."


Finally, I love this quote that he gave us from Saint Paul that kind of ties in with being faithful in prayer:


"Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal." 
- 2 Corinthians: 16-18

This is a great reminder that our relationship with God is the most important, as we will have nothing else when we leave this world.  The priest encouraged us to spend time studying in the classroom of silence.  It looks like I have some work to do to spend more time in prayer and silence!  


Love,
C

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