Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Time to Pray?

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Daniel 6:10

As you know, I sometimes post about and request pray for countries where the gospel is restricted and for the persecuted brethren. I've often felt that it won't be too long before I need to talk more about the persecuted church in America, but then I often contend that unfortunately, the church here is too weak to be persecuted. Heaven forbid that any of the "Christians" in this country should have to suffer for our faith here on our own soil.

I wonder, though, if there are not hopeful signs. Some may view it the other way around. I just read a news article about a small group of women here in our home town who responded in a strange way to an incident in September. Someone fired shots at an elementary school and a fourth grade classroom window was shattered. I don't think they've ever found out who did it.

In response to that, a few moms who take their kids to one of the other elementary schools have started gathering together somewhere on school grounds to pray for the safety and well being of the children inside. How dare they do that. Other parents complained and the other day, the principal (without speaking to these moms first), called the police who shooed them away. .The moms say they have never been loud or disorderly.

Now I'm sure there are facts that I don't know and perhaps it would be better if they found a more obscure place such as a car, but from some of the things I've been hearing about the goings on at schools, instead of calling the police maybe it would have been a better idea for the principal to come outside and join them! BTW, if I ever get kicked out of a place, I wouldn't mind if it would be for praying.

I started this post a while ago and have since found out that the moms have said they will be coming back. My husband and younger daughter have just finished having a heated discussion about this. What do you think--if they come back and pray on the school property in an orderly and quiet manner, are they being like Daniel and obeying God rather than men, or are they causing a disturbance such as people often do in protests, showing a lack of respect for authority and the rights of others? Remember, we are living in a day of "rights."

I do know that I pray, with the help of the Lord, that we will have more opportunities to take up our cross and follow the Savior who willingly and lovingly took up the cross to bear our sins. May He help us not to continue to sit in our comfortable places and live a life unto ourselves. Mr. Ryle and I are now traveling through the book of Luke together and I'll close with his words concerning chapter 9, verses 23-27:

"We ought to be on our guard, like soldiers in an enemy's country. We ought to fight a daily battle, and war a daily warfare. The command of our Master is clear and plain: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

~J.C. Ryle


Cami said...

Oh, this just gives me goosebumps:

"I've often felt that it won't be too long before I need to talk more about the persecuted church in America, but then I often contend that unfortunately, the church here is too weak to be persecuted. Heaven forbid that any of the "Christians" in this country should have to suffer for our faith here on our own soil."

It goes along so well with what Professor Alan shared about the European Christians right now. To think of Christians in other countries "getting it" when we are so inundated here in the U.S. with opportunities to know the truth. I weep often to see people who have heard the truth to know God, to serve Him, worship Him--LIVE it no matter the cost--as He is worthy!

Wow, I'm moved. I will be praying for these young moms, for wisdom, that they will know what God would have them do.

Thank you for sharing this!!!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Wow. What a shame that people are more concerned with someone praying on a playground than people shooting a gun on a playground. I'm not sure about what I'd do. I guess I'd have to really pray about it, no pun intended. My first thought is that Daniel prayed in his room, by an open window. He wasn't hiding it, but he wasn't forcing it where it wasn't welcomed. Good food for thought.

I'd really appreciate prayer for what has been going on in regards to my "Dark Materials" post. (comment section) My heart is aching over what has been happening. Satan has been having a field day.

Barbara said...

I love the words of Ryle you quoted. So many are not willing to make a sacrifice for Christ. These women were not. Prayer meant something to them - the vehicle through which they could find safety for their children. As you said, perhaps the principal would have been better off joining them. But, in this day and age of political correctness, it isn't going to happen. Most are more scared of the government than they are of God!

I probably would have found some other place to pray, but these women should have been respected for their willingness to do whatever it took to see that the children were in a safe environment.

Barbara said...

Oops! I meant to say those women WERE willing to make a sacrifice and stand up for the Lord. Sorry - fast typing/thinking. :)

Maxine said...

That's so funny, Barbara. I have been doing the same thing today--leaving fast comments and then making all kinds of mistakes! I think you are right, though, maybe it would have been less intrusive to pray in a more obscure place, but the reaction to them is a sad reflection of the times we're in.

Cami, thanks. You and I have certainly been communicating! These are hard days, sis.In our country and every country, really.

Susan, all I can say is keep pressing on. I know all about what's happening at your place and pray the Lord will give you strength. Such a blessing to see that you posted a hymn, so true and so timely.

Rita L. Betti said...

Thanks for sharing this, I am glad to see that people are willing to step up to the plate. Maybe there is still hope for us yet.

Maxine said...

Amen, Rita. That's why it made me a bit hopeful. We have to use wisdom with what we do, but I think we should do more during the times we're in.

Carol said...

I just cannot imagine police being called and asked to shoo away mums who are praying for the safety of children.If this were to happen in a near by school I would have joined them in prayer.I can't think of no better way to show the world prayer leads to peace.Not too many people openly admit to praying let alone being seen to pray.It is so sad that people witness more crime and violence than prayer and peace.Too many try to solve issues with more violence. I am always upset when I hear about shooting sprees in the US and I really just cannot fathom how easy it is for Americans to have easy access to guns, especially children.In Australia we have pretty strict gun laws and although some get through the cracks it appears to be working.But this is another subject and won't go there because I won't be able to stop..:)

Thanks for sharing this..

Maxine said...

Carol, you really hit on a topic that is a touchy one for me--this whole issue of guns here in America. I consider myself a conservative, but this is an issue that I have struggled much with over the years. I think we need stricter gun control laws and I always have. I wrote a paper about it a comp class I had and I really studied it then and came to the conclusion that much needs to be done here in this country. I applaud Australia for keeping guns out of the hands of many people who shouldn't have them. Somehow, we've failed in this country, I'm sorry to say. I am proud of many things about my country, but this is not one of them. This is another subject that I don't want to discuss any further with anyone else--I'm just stating it here in response to your comment in agreement with you.

Thanks for your thoughts on prayer--there are so many worse things these women could have been doing and there are so many worse things that people of all ages are doing and there are no consequences.

The Lord have mercy on us all.
Blessings, Sister