Will Shakespeare said in his play Othello: "I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver."
This unvarnish'd tale is one that I have heard on numerous occasions. I have no
idea if this is true or not. I appreciate the question and quandary of the judge.
But, I am getting ahead of myself.
In a small Texas town construction
was begun on a tavern. A number of the community frowned upon the thought of a
opening in their church-going town.
So the townspeople started a campaign to halt its construction. Some local churches
had special prayer meetings to thwart the effort. They sent petitions opposing
The construction went right on until the week before its
scheduled opening. A most unusual and unexpected thing happened: lightning struck
the tavern and it burned completely to the ground.
This caused the smug
and self-righteous elite of the churches to see it as a most fortunate event.
But the smiles left their faces when the bar owner sued the churches on the grounds
that the churches were ultimately responsible, directly or indirectly, for the
destruction of his building.
In its reply to the court, the churches lawyers
vehemently denied all responsibility for the tavern's demise.
In the county
courthouse, the judge heard all the evidence, peered out over his glasses, looked
both the tavern owner and the church leaders right in the eyes, paused and said,
ďI am in a quandary, and Iím not sure how I'm going to decide this case."
the judge said: "On the one hand, we have a bar owner that believes in the power
of prayer, and, on the other hand, we have our church congregations that doesn't!"
put a lot of stock in prayer. Many churches
have regular mid-week gathering they call Prayer Meeting; when members share prayer
requests and pray for the sick, their missionaries, Iraq and Afghanistan wars,
and even ask special guidance on government officials. (Too often prayer is considered
"great" only if we get what we pray for.)
Prayer has been an important
and basic part of religions all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs. (Save
your opinions on dinosaurs and humans living at the same time. I know they did
not.) Here are some opinions on prayer:
"Pray without ceasing" is good
advice from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians. It is a response from our
heart with others in church services or when alone, anywhere. It is an attitude
that reminds us how dependent we are -- from rising sun to setting sun -- and
in the dark of night.
The great hymn writer and evangelist, John Wesley,
is said to have spent two hours a day in prayer, said: "God does nothing except
in response to believing prayer." S.D. Gordon wrote: "The greatest thing anyone
can do for God or man is pray."
"Donít pray when you feel like it. Have
an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man/woman is powerful on their knees"
(Corrie ten Boom, survivor of Nazi concentration camps).
Believe it or
not, the prayer of a serious and sincere supplicant does not change God's mind
or purposes, but it sure does steady the knees and embolden the heart of the one
The practice of repeating the Bible verses commonly called "The
Lord's Prayer" is fine, but living out the memorized words by actually hallowing
God's name; recognizing God's kingdom; and forgiving others makes for a richer
Along the Way with Britt
Britt Towery, a native of Brownwood lived in Arizona 1954-57,
can be reached via e-mail: email@example.com
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