Come and pray: Let’s change things for our children

Come and pray: Let’s change things for our children

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 6:41 pm
By: Glenda H. Caudle Special Features Editor

The preacher said, in words as close as I can remember them, that the most important thing facing us as Americans is not whom we elect as president. The most important thing is what Christians do to impact our society. I am not excited over this election. I find far less common ground than I have ever supported before with one of the candidates and virtually nothing I can trust in or agree on with the other. Frankly, I am horrified at the direction our nation seems to be moving in. Maybe that’s why the preacher’s words have replayed in my head for the past two weeks. Maybe that’s why one of the things I feel I need to do is invite you to pray for the children who are going to be impacted by the results of this election — both those who are already born and those who are yet to be born — and may not have that chance if we decide that the abortion issue should not figure into our election year decisions. It is a small group I’m inviting you to. Over the past dozen-plus years, it has accommodated a wide array of Christian backgrounds — from Catholic to Church of Christ; from Presbyterian to Assembly of God; from Methodist to Baptist; from Episcopalian to Pentecostal. It has welcomed people who represent different races, ethnicities and cultures but are forever united in their “sameness” before their Creator. It has been made up of preachers and teachers, retirees and youth, professional folks and laborers in a variety of job settings, college graduates and those whose educational levels reach no further than a single- digit designation. It has found common cause among liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans and Independents whose concern for children loomed larger than their political allegiance. It has, on a minute number of occasions, been limited to only the two the Bible says may expect to be joined by the Lord as they come together in His name. At other times, the alter railing has supported a full house of pray-ers. It has given rise to community-wide revival services and praise gatherings and it has operated so quietly and unobtrusively that most people were totally unaware of it. It has welcomed new faces and said good-byes — for just a little while, we believe — to beloved brothers and sisters in this household of faith. It begins each Tuesday at 7 a.m. in the sanctuary of Union City First United Methodist Church with a unison reading of scripture printed on sheets of paper crinkled and softened by busy hands grown still and quiet for those few moments. It moves on to prayer — first the one Jesus taught His disciples so many years ago — and then to specifics from any of those present who wish to petition God aloud. It progresses with whispered requests, punctuated sometimes by a glad “Amen” or a joyful “Hallelujah.” It ebbs and flows as God’s Spirit touches the participants — some of whom always offer their requests in such manner that only their Heavenly Father hears them. It winds toward a close as someone reads aloud the prayer requests that have come to the group from petitioners in far away places and as names — usually of the sick, but sometimes of the bereaved, the needy, the addiction-plagued, the prisoners, the ones who have volunteered to guard our safety and well-being — are mentioned. It closes as those kneeling or standing around the altar rail clasp hands and sing “This Little Light of Mine” and remind each other with a parting smile, “All God’s people said ‘Amen’ and ‘Go in peace.’” It touches on many needs and concerns, but it always comes back to its original and ongoing purpose — our children. It takes about 30 minutes — though some with tight schedules slip in or out quietly as they need to and sometimes there is a lingering for a few additional moments to celebrate and share. I will confess to you that I wondered what would become of us when our most brightly shining “little light,” Trudy Whitsey, accepted the call to move her service much closer to her Master a few weeks ago. Trudy cannot be replaced. In truth, none of those who have been part of this prayer group for our children through the years can ever be replaced. Each has been, and is, unique and special and an essential building block in this prayer tower. But others can help faithfully build the wall of prayerful protection around our children. This “original” group remains open to anyone who wishes to join. Park in the back of the church at 420 East Main St. and come up either the steps or the ramp to the double glass doors at the landing. However, a second possibility exists: It may be time to begin other such groups at different times or other places. Two or three, gathered in the name of the Lord, can change things for our children. It is a small service in terms of time and energy. It is a powerful force against the threats our children face. Come and pray. Special Features Editor Glen-da Caudle may be reached by e-mail at glendacaudle@ucmes senger.com. Published in The Messenger 7.11.08

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