Sunday, August 14, 2005

Praying for Osama Bin Ladin

I've never prayed for Osama Bin Ladin.

Well, at least not outside of praying for his capture, death, impotence, humiliation and stuff like that.

RG left a comment on my blog. He was responding to the introductory material on my blog, in which I said, "I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe our greatest calling as Christians is to love. I am opposed to the War in Iraq, and protested the war from the beginning."

RG asked, "Why do you put your love and protection of dark and evil forces above the love of America's people?"

RG also said in another comment, "God does not consider those who chose to kill his followers, his children. "

I appreciate RG taking the time to comment on my posts. Thanks! I've been considering your comments.

I mean it when I say I am proud of this country. God has poured out many blessings upon our land and our people. I am very proud to be an American.

But I do not believe God loves America more than any other nation.

I believe God loves America, and He also loves England, Scotland (who wouldn't), Haiti, Niger, Iraq, Iran, North Korea as well as South Korea, and dare I say it?

God even loves -- yes, I'm sure it's true whether they know it or not -- France.

My protest against the war was actually more political than theological. I questioned the authenticity of what was being said by the Bush administration, as many are now questioning those things.

But forget the politics -- there are some good theological reasons to question this war. Paul said in Romans 12:17, "Do not return evil for evil," reflecting Christ's teachings regarding "turning the other cheek" in Matthew 5.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"

Have you prayed for Osama lately?

I haven't.

But I should.

And I should pray also for the insurgents.

I haven't done that either.

I pray for our military, in part because I have a son in the military.

I pray for the President, that he would have wisdom.

But I have not been praying for my enemy, as Christ commanded.

St. Paul said in Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If we judge our success as Christians based on these verses, we have a long way to go.

Or at least I do.

Perhaps we should pray for Osama bin Ladin:

Gracioius Father,
Who created a universe filled with beauty and wonder,
and who made humanity in your image --
We give you thanks that when we have turned our back on you
you did not turn your back on us.
You love us still, and you are always calling call us to turn from wickness and to embrace your ways.

We ask especially at this time that you would bless Osama bin Ladin.

Your child, Osama, harbors anger against our nation and people. Grant him a love for all people.

Your child, Osama, fosters a bitterness at the injustice he sees in the actions of others. Grant him the humility to see that all of us are guilty of injustice. Lead Osama and each of to love mercy and to seek justice.

Your child, Osama, has seen evil and returned this evil with more evil. We pray that you would quiet the violence in his soul so as to follow the way of peace.

Your child, Osama, has led others into the ways of violence, distruction, hatred and terror. We pray that he would lead his followers into a way of peace, love and harmony.

Bring us into the day, dear Lord, when wars will cease.

Bring us into the day, dear Lord, when we will beat our "swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks."

Bring us into the day, dear Lord, when "nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

Do I hear an Amen?

55 Comments:

Anonymous RG said...

"Do you hear an Amen?"

Of course not. You consider yourself a master at taking scripture out of context. You are exposing a knowledge of God so limited that I have a difficult time understanding how you can consider yourself a sheppard of the Lord's people.

At Gitmo we treat the enemy as God has commanded. Also at Abu Gharib and in the jails througout this nation.

However, I will pray for your son, the one who trully deserves our prayer, who IS doing the right thing. Hunting down evil with the Lord, the Captain of the Hosts, as his Master in service to his great nation.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Donna Grayson said...

Hi, you visited my blog. Sorry it took me a bit to stop by yours. I am running behind on everything these days.
Wow - you really have alot of thoughtful ideas. I enjoyed reading your posts. It reall does give me alot to ponder. You really do have a way with words, and I think I can learn alot by what you have to say. Great blog.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Donna Grayson said...

Oh, one more thing - I did add you to my "BlogRoll", so a link should be showing up on my site soon.
Thanks again !

3:40 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

My Prayer for your noble soldier son:

Psalm 91
4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth [shall be your] shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, [Nor] of the arrow [that] flies by day, 6 [Nor] of the pestilence [that] walks in darkness, [Nor] of the destruction [that] lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; [But] it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Angelique said...

This is a difficult subject to comment on. The situation in the middle east has been a continuous conflict that seems to have no end in sight. I was told that the problems in the middle east began as a family feud between Abraham's children that can be seen today by the conflicts between Jews, Christians and Muslims. I wish that there was an easy answer to this problem but history seems to repeat itself and people have long memories that they can not let go. As for praying, I am sure there are plenty of prayers for Osama Bin Laden, just not the ones that are filled with brotherly love.

4:34 PM  
Blogger revbill said...

Thanks for bringing up the topic. I will probably blog about it in the next few days. Your gave a beautiful prayer -- and great ideas on Jesus' call to love all people -- even our enemies. This is not the easy -- or popular -- thing to do -- but it is the Christian thing to do! So -- to your prayer -- I indee say "Amen! "

9:47 PM  
Blogger Apostle John said...

Thanks Rev. Bill -- but please notice that it took me 3 years and 11 months before I was able to consider praying for this enemy.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

Bill and Apostle John,

Christians pray for their enemies but the enemy must make the ultimate, final decision to accept Christ as their savior or not.

When it becomes clear that the enemy has chosen beyond a doubt that his decision is to continue to destroy Christianity, it is the duty of the Christian to pray for deliverance and for the warriors that are fighting this evil force.

The entire Christian faith was destroyed in Asia Minor—5,000,000 Christian Armenians slaughtered, and 1,000,000 Christian Greeks put to the sword by the ideology of Wahhabi Islam that was established between 632 A.D. and 732 A.D. A vast area larger than the Roman Empire at the Roman Empire's zenith.

In your prayer you call followers of this ideology servants of God. You disgrace those of us Christians that are servants of God. That evil and dark ideology struck at the very heart of America all these years later on 9/11 killing thousands of innocents at the direction of this evil non-servant of God.

As God told Joshua as he entered the promise land, "Take it, I have delivered it to you." It was Joshua who took the promised land, by force as God's judgement on the inhabits there for their iniquity. For as Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Osama Bin Laden's iniquity has been fulfilled. And his destiny has been sealed.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Apostle John said...

RG -- do you have a blog? I'd love to read more of your thoughts -- beyond this theme.

10:40 PM  
Blogger ~**Dawn**~ said...

i am so torn when it comes to this war. i have a very good friend who served a tour in Iraq & who will go back soon to serve another one. i fear for his safety. i pray for his safe return to U.S. soil. i believe in what he's doing "over there" & i am proud & grateful. i believe our troops are over there defending all that is good about our country. but in the flip side, i wish the political reasoning for this war matched the spirit with which our brave men & women go as commanded. i don't believe that the politics are a reflection of that which is patriotic even as our Armed Forces carry out these orders with a sense of dignity & honor. i struggle with this everyday. i wish we weren't there anymore. i wish there was no reason to be there in the first place. but i also remember "eye for an eye"...sometimes it's all so cloudy.

10:43 PM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

Apostle John, I'll give you an "Amen" Praying for our enemies is painful. I can see from the other comments that part of the pain is that many believe that enemies don't deserve prayer.
South Florida, huh? Hot there, too??? It was 98 when I got into my car to drive home from church today.

10:49 PM  
Blogger dcat said...

I pray every day that God takes him off of this earth and that he takes his cronies with him! Apparently he doesn’t want him either. If this is some sort of test we are all failing miserably!

11:12 PM  
Blogger skye said...

I pray for all terrorists, OBL included, will meet allah sooner rather than later.

I pray to God, Allah, Yahweh, Buddah, several Hindu gods, Zeus, Gaia, Mars and the various Wiccan Gods and Goddesses to support Coalition troops in their task to facilitate the terrorists meeting with Allah.

Like our good minister, I pray daily for our enemies.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Apostle John said...

I have to smile at Skye's first sentence in the comment above, about praying that Osama meets Allah sooner than later. It reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof.

"Rabbi, is there a blessing for the czar?"

"Yes my son, may the Lord bless and keep the Czar far away from us."

1:42 AM  
Blogger JaBLes D said...

AJ thanks for stopping by my site and I hope we can get something to help my guys out.

About your site, very interesting. I won't get too much into the politics or ideology of it, but lets just say we differ. Ahh what the heck..a few words can't hurt.

I'm not a Christian, but I believe there once lived a man named Jesus who did some great things. I also believe there were some other men who lifted him too far up and fought wars in his name. That is wrong.

However, I think it is counter-productive to fight wars because of any religion. I am a spiritualist and a realist. Serving those two masters is difficult. Religion to me, is false. Faith is not. I believe you can have faith in a higher power without a religion to guide you. I find God in nature and within myself. Meditation and understanding lead me to my great truths and my vision of morality.

I hate the concept of killing for any reason, but I understand the need for it especially in these times. War is not a light propositon, but it is neccessary. It always will be. As long as large groups of people disagree over fundamental ideology, or survival as a society, there will be War. All the prayers in the Universe won't stop our need to protect ourselves from our enemies.

I love my Country, not everything about it, but most things. I love the American Spirit. It is a tangible thing I can feel just as much as I feel the presence of a higher power. Without War, without killing, I would not be here in this Country today. I must respect and support those who came before and those that now go into the mouth of the beast to protect and secure our freedoms, economy, and society.

So, should you pray for OBL? You can, or you can pray for the man who eventually pulls the trigger on him. That he be given the strength to do so, and the understanding to know he did the right thing. Who knows, it may be your Son.

All my best, friend.

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go jables D -- War is a great thing about America. Like Patton said, "all true Americans love war." Peace is bullshit. I can't understand why any true american would pray for peace.

4:14 AM  
Blogger JaBLes D said...

Wait...I don't love War. I don't think anybody really loves War. The concept and false glories of it are appealing to people who haven't faced the harsh realities of War. War is a bad thing. I never said it was a good thing, but a necessary thing. The final outcome of a War is most often times not truly appreciated until years later when the fruits of that terrible labor can be seen. Such will be the case in this War. We might not see the outcome as brightly as our children will. Hopefully they will look back on the efforts of a few and appreciate what they did for the many.

5:47 AM  
Blogger TheGreenKnight said...

You get an Amen from me.

Jesus said (Matthew 5:43-47), "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"

He never said, "You won't have enemies." But he also never said it mattered what your enemies had done. What he said was, pray for them -- for your own good. Not easy to do.

10:24 AM  
Blogger dailyread said...

The Amen resounding within your own mind is all you will ever need, apostle john, but sharing your thoughts and prayers is a good thing.
Each of us has developed a philosophy on war, politics, religion, and life in general through our personal experiences over time, and I believe the final product of that philosophy is a constant work in progress.
We are destined to expound on that which we seek desperately to know more about (personally)in order to get the feedback required to modify and order our thoughts.
I believe that war is simply an expression of the inability to display qualities of maturity. Hatred is an expression of our fear.
There are only two states of being: one is Love, and one is ignorance. Those coming from a state of Love are those complete in themselves...acceptance is the ultimate expression of Love...allowing all others to be who, what and where they are at any given moment in time.
Ignorance is simply a lack of knowing, which spawns fear, which spawns hatred, which spawns all of the problems we face in society (including war). What you think, say, feel or do has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone but you. It is all generated within.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting me. I would not have discovered your interesting thoughts otherwise.

10:42 AM  
Blogger skye said...

Amen! My Brother!

Not truer words have been spoken.

Peace is bullshit - to the innocent children murdered in Beslan.

Peace is bullshit - The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi victims lying in mass graves, a decade of "peace" did nothing to help.

Peace is bullshit - to the 3 million victims of the khmer rouge lying forgotten in the killing fields.

Peace is bullshit - 1 million tutsis massacred while Romeo Dallair kept the "peace".

Peace is bullshit - to the 7-11 million victims of stalin's genocidal "Harvest of Sorrow" in the Ukraine

Peace is bullshit - to the countless unknown North Korean victims of their own government.

Sadly, this is an incomplete list of atrocities committed under the illusion of peace.

Evil thrives when good men and women pray for peace.


----------------------------
Peace is bullshit

11:22 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Pray and reload.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to Skye, peace is bullshit. The quicker someone takes a shotgun and blows the head off this Presbyterian Minister, the better.

The most dangerous and destructive power in the world is peace. Fuck that and give me war. It's the only way we ever get our own way.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I can see why anonymous remains so.

Peace is more than the absence of war. I pray for peace and unity and absence of war.

I do think, however, it is scripturally acceptable to defend ourselves. I just don't think that's what we're doing in this war.

One thing is for sure, sarcastic quips (including mine) are pointless and add nothing.

12:15 PM  
Blogger skye said...

How many Iraqi's died under the "peace" of saddam and the UN?

How many Americans died during the clinton's administration's foreign policy of appeasement?

Peace in the hands of liberals is the most deadliest force on this planet.

Peace is bullshit when it ignores predators within its midst, hoping they will simply go away.

Theodore Roosevelt had the right idea when he quoted: "speak softly, and carry a big stick."



----------------------------------
The most dangerous and destructive power in the world is peace

12:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Webster covers all the different meanings of peace. If we had any one of them, it would be impossible to call peace destructive.

True good cannot be also bad. But bad posing as good is another thing.

When some cry "peace" it is not really peace they desire or for which they send out troops.

We will probably never have true peace on earth as a nation or as nations. Our peace is in Christ. Individually and corporately. It is through this peace that we do our best with one another. As Paul said, "In as much as it is up to you..." It isn't always up to us. Sometimes peace is not an option.

12:41 PM  
Blogger skye said...

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

The Byrds

-------------------------

Paul said, "In as much as it is up to you..." It isn't always up to us. Sometimes peace is not an option.

1:17 PM  
Blogger littledminor said...

I think that a few of you have gotten off topic and actually forgotten how powerful prayer really is. I mean, John clearly is opposed to the activties in the middle east, based on the ideology that our current admistration espouses. However, prayer (and maybe John needs to be reminded of this) is a inerrant tool.

A church in Texas had a gay bar as neighbors. They prayed and prayed that somehow that the bar would be no longer. One night lightning struck the gay bar and left the church unscathed. The owners of the gay bar took the church to court citing malignant intent. The judge ruled in favor of the gay bar, and when the leaders of the church replied, in aghast, "all we did was pray, we didn't do anything else". The non-christian judge replied, "you of little faith, yes, you prayed."

I'm just trying to say, prayer can have unspeakable effect and power. Even upon discontented men's souls.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

It is difficult for me to pray for Bin Laden. I've not prayed for anyone in a long time - even those who are closest to me. I don't know why - I consider myself a Christian and I believe in God, but I've been a bit disillusioned with organized religion (or what I call the Church). I am not a good Christian, because the vindictive part of me only prays for Bin Laden to be captured. However, I'm pragmatic in that I believe that if Bin Laden were captured, that terrorism would not end - there would be someone else to take his place. Like you, I do not support the U.S. being in Iraq and I have no faith that what the Bush administration tells us is in any way truthful. If I pray for anyone, it will be the innocent people in Iraq being killed.

2:37 PM  
Blogger skye said...

That's what I've been praying for since 9/12/01.

And also for the those to get a clue about the reasons why we are in Iraq.


And when prayer fails, there is always cold, hard fact:

http://guardian.blogdrive.com/archive/cm-9_cy-2004_m-9_d-22_y-2004_o-0.html

and

http://www.rightwingnews.com/special/xyz.php

and my favorite:

http://www.archive-news.net/Articles/SH040923.html


It is my opinion that when dealing with the subject of Iraq, fact trumps prayer every time.


---------------------------------
I'm just trying to say, prayer can have unspeakable effect and power. Even upon discontented men's souls.

3:30 PM  
Blogger the reverend mommy said...

Amen and Amen.
Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come. On earth as it is already accomplished in heaven.

God's will and our response to his graces determines our peace. Skye is not at peace, nor is rg -- nor does it sound like they will be for a while and perhaps they shouldn't be.

I cannot pray for anything but peace and dignity for all men, women and children -- all who are created Imago Dei, in the image of God. Freedom so that they can freely choose the Way that leads to Life. Freedom from hate and poverty. I can pray that OBL find freedom from his own hate. I can pray that OBL find the Way that leads to Life -- Jesus. I can pray for all those who suffer and are imprisioned by sin. I can pray and your son.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skye, why in the world would you have started praying for the innocent people being killed in Iraq on September 12th, 2001? At that time, Iraq was at relative peace, between the earlier killing times by Saddam and the later destruction of the war we took to them.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

reverend mommy

I find your comments regarding my peace typical of left wing religious types.

You feel that people who advocate justice in the face of evil to be "not at peace".

Quite the opposite. God is the same today, as He was yesterday, as He will be tomorrow.

I take great comfort and peace in that.

I did not get information simply from a "minister" or a "theologian". I learn the heart and mind of God from doing what Christ commanded us to do. I let no man (or woman "preacher") come between Him and I. I read the Bible all the way through for one purpose. To truly understand the mind of God.

Now that bothers some of you people privately as you want to be the bearer of the "Good News" to your followers. Makes some of you "ministers" nervous if you are not that one they rely on to do all the explaining. If people get off thier butts and search for the heart and mind of God on thier own, going straight to the source of that information, the Bible, it kind of cuts you "ministers" out of the loop.

Then people don't have to deal with the political and power plays of the "ministers', the pharasees, and the sudacees, doesn't it.

But at least when the day of judgement comes I will be at peace then too. For when even "ministers" say to the Lord, "Lord, Lord, we healed the sick and drove out the demons" and he says in response, "I never knew you. Go away you lawless ones.", I will be at peace, for He and I will know one another.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

"Anonymous said...
Skye, why in the world would you have started praying for the innocent people being killed in Iraq on September 12th, 2001? At that time, Iraq was at relative peace, between the earlier killing times by Saddam and the later destruction of the war we took to them."



YOU MUST BE KIDDING. IRAQI's HAVE NEVER KNOWN PEACE UNDER SADDAM.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

Anonymous,

You call infants being shot in the back of the head under Saddam PEACE?

5:06 PM  
Blogger Apostle John said...

In parliamentary procedure, as every good Presbyterian knows, once you've spoken, you can't speak again until everyone else has had a chance.

Thanks RG and others for your comments -- they are insightful and certainly expressed with clarity.

Let's leave future comments for those who haven't weighed in yet. OK?

5:36 PM  
Blogger skye said...

Anon,

You need to read my first posting. I have been devotedly praying since 9/12/01 for the hastened meeting of TERRORISTS and Allah.

Interspersing my devotions with prayers of enlightenment to those who fail to grasp the reasons for this War on Terror. If that don't work, I use cold fact on the misguided ones.

Obviously prayer won't work with you, so let's stick to the facts about saddam and Iraq. This quote below is the worst case of historical revisionism I have seen..yet.

Sanctions against Iraq were not working, the UN and saddam had a cozy working relationship with the Oil-for-food fund. Abu Nidal, and Abu Abbas were living comfortably in Baghdad. Salman Pac, on the southern edge of Baghdad, was a safe training area for terrorists worldwide.

All during the 90's mass graves were quietly being filled all over Iraq.

Yes, Iraq was "relatively peaceful" during the years leading up to March 20, 2003.

-------------------------------
Skye, why in the world would you have started praying for the innocent people being killed in Iraq on September 12th, 2001? At that time, Iraq was at relative peace, between the earlier killing times by Saddam and the later destruction of the war we took to them

8:13 PM  
Blogger skye said...

I'm not a good Presbyterian, in fact I'm not a Presbyterian at all.

---------------------------------
In parliamentary procedure, as every good Presbyterian knows, once you've spoken, you can't speak again until everyone else has had a chance

8:14 PM  
Anonymous RG said...

Apostle John

When addressing RG, you are addressing a CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation. Therefore I am adequately aware of Parliamentary Procedures.

Parliamentary Procedures apply to organizational meetings where other organizational rules are not available.

A STANDARD AGENDA where parliamentary procedures apply.

Call to order
Reading and approval of minutes
Reports of officers and standing committees
Reports of ad hoc committees
Unfinished business
New business
Announcements
Adjournment

Out of the prior 35 comments 6 were mine and 5 were yours.

Therefore, dressing me down when you had made about as many comments as I have is very telling wouldn't you say?

Being that you took a comment I made at your last post and made a major new post out of that comment with "RG" all over that post and then telling me I cannot respond appropriately in an open discussion to 29 other comments regarding your analysis of my comment is also very telling.

Non of the previous 23 comments made, non of which were mine, 2 of which were yours, before the recent 3 successive comments I made in response to the previous 23 comments in regards to this topic. Therefore this is INDEED a very balanced discussion.

In a fair and open discussion, it is not appropriate to suddenly decide to exclude the member of this discussion whose comment you chose to base this post on. Quite the opposite. That individual should be allowd to respond freely.

My recent comments have addressed the issues brought up by the previous 23 concecutive comments from others, Apostle John.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah--now that we know you are the CEO of a money-making operation, we will of course believe everything you have to say . . . That's certainly the standard Jesus used.

9:23 PM  
Blogger WarrentonMan said...

RG -- CEO oooooooh!

Now we understand why you are such an ass hole. Like you are so egotistical you thought he was talkign to U. ha!

OK, I don't know much about parlimentary stuff, but isn't the Presb. Minister like the moderator or presiding officer? So he can respond and moderate -- but I think what he was trying to say politely to you was -- "RG, shut the hell up."

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), they have a General Assembly, generally assembled downwind from the anesthesia factory.
This used to happen annually, but so many folks are leaving the PCUSA that they couldn't afford to keep that up.
So now it's less frequent.
Still, it's true that, once spoken, you get at the end of the line.

The PCUSA has a history of being on the wrong side of practically everything since the start of the Cold War.

I have no problem with praying that Osama will cease being a murderous bastard, but I will also pray that he be killed, whichever comes first and as soon as possible. The problem with Osama is not Osama, it's his victims. Praying for Osama--or some other murderous bastard--and ignoring the victims is a PCUSA way of getting a superiority rush.

The PCUSA is presently pressuring Israel, but not Zimbabwe. When the Soviets were invading Afghanistan, the PCUSA practically excisd the letter "A" from its alphabet in order to avoid an accidental necessity to say the USSR shouldn't do that. Now, it's the turn of "Z". Problem is, Mugabe has PCUSA lipstick all over his skinny ass.
Anyway, when an institution gets all hot and bothered about Israel's attempts to retreat with safety and ignores Zimbabwe, you know it's morally bankrupt, corrupt, and dishonest.
I, as it happens, am an elder.
I am loyal to our local congregation, and, perforce, will stay in the denomination until we move upon retirement, and not an instant longer.
Fortunately, I am being measured in my criticism.

10:40 PM  
Blogger WarrentonMan said...

Richard -- any reason you can't pray for both????

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sometimes think my prayers are the kiss of death, so I think I will pray for Osama. Thanks for the reminder.

Joanne

10:50 PM  
Blogger WarrentonMan said...

Hey, I've just read all of RG's comments -- HE'S OSAMA! We found Osama! Quick -- let's pray for RG.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Warrentonman.

I am. It doesn't matter which one comes first, and, in fact, if Osama relents, it would still be a good idea if he's killed, because if he relented, he couldn't stand the thought of what he'd done. Or something.
But, whichever, faster, please.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Apostle John said...

Warrentonman, that's funny. Thanks for the laugh :)

Richard, the prayer I constructed for Osama has to do with matters related to his soul, or his enlightenment.

I left his physical situation out of the prayer. I'm not sure what to pray for, except that he come to justice. Even with some degree of enlightenment, he has much to answer for in the courts of justice.

But I think I'm with you on this, as I understand your comment. Let him die. I imagine having him in a courtroom would increase his power, make him the martyr, and put us all at risk of terrorists.

I'm still struggling with this concept of praying for our enemies. I've taken almost 4 years at it, it may take a little longer for me to get it together :)

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

I guess praying for souls is your job, preacher.
There are a good many with the backwards collar who don't want to deal with that sort of thing. It might lead to consider the concept of "evil" and, except for voting Republican, they never heard of it.
Don't want to go near it.

Anyway, Osama's soul, or lack thereof, isn't going to harm or keep from harm a single person on this earth if his actions don't change.
We'll see which effects the change first.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

How many were opposed to peace?

Surely you know better.

Surely you know exactly what's going on.

My first impression of you was that you would not stoop to such tactics to put people unjustly in the wrong.

You know that Christians routinely call massacre "peace" if it doesn't cross international boundaries or isn't carried out by guys in those nasty ol' uniforms. Unless it's politically useful to do so, I mean.

To pretend that people who were against such states of affairs were against peace is absurd, if not willfully deceitful.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous steph said...

gee wizz

AMEN

THANK YOU APOSTLE JOHN

5:52 AM  
Blogger FRITZ said...

Amen.

7:52 AM  
Blogger will willimon said...

Great thoughts. We are called by Jesus to pray for enemies. Interesting blog site.
will

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Mary Beth said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post, Apostle John.

Amen! twice.

According to my count, there are 22 separate commenters in the 51 (so far) comments here

Clearly this is an issue that excites a lot of high feelings, and whether I agree with you folks or not, I am moved to pray for you all.

Plus Osama.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Ryan Baer said...

Amen, amen, and AMEN! What a beautiful, moving prayer!

Praying for our enemies is indeed a tall order. In fact, as if to underscore the point, look at the verse that comes immediately after the teaching on praying for our enemies: Matthew 5:48 -- "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Ouch.

I am a seminary student, and I am slated to preach on Sept. 11. I am thinking about working through Matthew 5:43-48 and Psalm 137. Mind if I "borrow" your prayer for our liturgy that day?

Grace and peace to you, and what a great blog!

Ryan

3:53 PM  
Blogger REM said...

Praying for Bin Laden is good. Jesus commands us to pray in general, in secret, and to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5 and 6). That enemy prayer is a prayer for us and them, but not necessarily that we will live long and prosper or that they die and perish. It is praying for them as you would a friend. If I had an enemy, who I am to pray for as a friend, who killed people and was on the run, I pray that God would open his eyes so that he could see the error of his ways and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is going to be my action. I hope others join me. Now here is my argument.

When you post a prayer on a website, you receive your reward in full. I know you could have just been expressing yourself for others which isn't necessarily praying, but why did you call it a prayer? Public prayer tends to bring us more recognition than God. Sorry to sound rude, but I hope that is what Matthew 6:5 clearly states. I could be wrong and didn't want to even bring this up. Call me on it if you think I am wrong.

Second to all:
I am challenging others to pray for Bush like I am going to pray for Bin Laden.

Finally to all of us, me included:

We are skirting around the fact that we continually despise and forget God's law. We don't even remember when his laws are broken. Osama Bin Laden was an accomplice to murder. He orchestrated and verbally put his signature on the WTC in '93 and '01. He went beyond what Saul of Taursus did in holding coats, he actually planned and organized the killings. Are we "praying" so that we don't have to say murder is wrong? Are we praying so that we, or Bin Laden, doesn't ultimately have to obey God? (On a side note-I could be wrong, but I missed this outpouring of calls to prayer for Timothy McVeigh. He, like Bin Laden, had his hand in the bombing of a building. Will we pray for a Bin Laden and not a McVeigh? If so, that is called partiality.) We can pray for Bin Laden, while bringing him to justice. I do pray God changes his heart, but I also pray God changes his location to a prison cell for now. I am going to pray for Christians that we don't turn our hearts away from God, toward our versions of war and peace.

The world needs to see Christians who can have more than one thought in their head at a time (not only peace and only justice), something I am only encouraging, not accusing you of.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Julie & Davis said...

You got my amen. What comments!

When I pray about the war against terror, and all the terrible things that are associated with it... I pray an overwhelmed "God help us" prayer...not naming specific people, but praying that God would remind us that God's in control and that we need God... And that God would "bring justice and peace" out of the situation, but I admit that I don't know what "bringing justice"means. And how can we know? I think what's important is that we follow Christ, and not try to be Christ. Let's let God be God and not try to read God's mind. Because we can't!
I will break tradition and try praying for Bin Laden tonight... We'll see how that goes...

7:51 PM  

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