Volume 3: Issue 3
The Power of Prayer
Cover Story: The Power of Prayer:
Prayer - like the Holy - is available to all people, regardless of doctrinal position (or lack thereof), church membership, prior life experiences, political and ethical values, or belief in prayer's usefulness.
It's tempting to pray for things we want, then to sit around and wait for them to happen. When they don't fall into our laps, we become bitter and angry at God for ignoring us. The problem is, we've only prayed, we have not acted. We've prayed dishonestly.
Rarely do we realize the steady, ongoing growth of intimacy produced by
the constancy of this our interaction with God. Prayer is the switching
on, or the opening of circuits, of power between our Creator and
Without prayer (communication with God), a Christian begins to wither and grows distant from his/her faith. Eventually the faith dies and the Christian, while perhaps thinking that he/she is a good Christian, has really died too.
I saw a truth deeper than the simple words "praying
always" conveyed. What I saw was that prayer belongs in every season
that we pass through in
our lives spiritually.
constant prayer exchange between myself and God, life would be unbearable.
said, were accepted in the native world, and viewed as having mystical powers.
They were colorfully portrayed in the 19th century art of George Catlin and
other artists. Some in the gay community today feel a great connectedness
with the berdache, and a yearning to be similarly powerful and accepted in
The fundamentalist's definition of
God is too small. It doesn't allow any room for individual thinking or
I have experienced in a small way that service brings me closer to God, and that I can enrich my own spiritual life by sharing it with others. My current personal goal is to become a more conscious instrument of God's will in my community.
This Christmas we could ponder the limits we can be expected to observe
regarding mercy and justice - just as Peter and Jesus pondered the
limits of forgiveness. Does our involvement in justice and mercy end in
our own communities, cities or countries?
don't know why I'm gay. I've snuck down to the library and read a bunch
of books about it, you
know. Some people say its genetic. That's what I think makes the most sense.
other people think its caused by having a bad relationship with your
dad, or being too close to your mom."
Special Report: The Death of Matthew Shepard:
Shepard demonstrated the importance and the risk of "coming
out." He died during the night after National Coming Out Day. What
effect has all of this had on you? What do you plan to do about your own
life and mission?
Silence killed Matthew Shepard. The silence of Christians who know that
our scriptures on homosexuality are few and murky in interpretation and
far outweighed by the words of a savior whose only comment on human
relationships was to call us to never judge but only to love.
Falwell, Pat Robertson and all the other right-wing Bible thumpers were
racking up face
time on talk show after talk show, decrying her
bravery as "promoting homosexuality" and calling her names like
"degenerate." Now, when a young man, 21 years old, loses his life to the
brutality that these men create with their talk of a war against the
"homosexual agenda" where are they? They are strangely silent.
We must not let the death of Matthew scare us into inaction.
Resources for action after the death of Matthew Shepard.
For Spong, Christianity is all about breaking down the barriers that separate people from God. He sees the ultimate of acceptance of gays and lesbians into the church as part of the natural order of this barrier breaking action of Christ.
that innate understanding of spirituality needs is guidance. That's what
Helminiak offers in his new book, Religion and The Human Sciences, An
Approach via Spirituality.
I've felt a
healthy sense of accomplishment. I've recalled the lives we've
touched and helped. I've
thought about the ministries we've reclaimed and -- literally! -- the
lives we've helped to
I honestly don't know where I would be without MCC. This denomination came to me in one of the darkest moments of my life and shined the light of God into it. For that I am eternally grateful.
Readers sound off on what they like and dislike about Whosoever.
Readers share their praises.
Why is it that so many Christians prank call our Heavenly Father?
From The Pulpit:
Whether it is anticipated with light or heavy heart, we help give birth to Christmas. We help in all of our seasonal rituals. We bring the birth of
Christmas in the lighting of candles, the writing of letters, the singing of carols, the baking of cookies, the welcoming of friends and relatives
into our homes, the remembering of treasured Christmases, the wrapping of presents.
is one thing to believe that God exists. It is quite another thing to listen
to God. It is what is meant by the word "obedience." The root of the word "obey" is
What getting messed up means to me is that a theological education demystifies many of the things about the Bible and the Christian religion that have always seemed magical.
This world is
all about what's in it for me, including one of those WWJD bracelets.
Bible Study and Inspiration:
How can the transgendered, whether male or female, be comfortable with himself/herself within his/her gender? To address this issue it is necessary to
understand who and what a transgendered person is.
Ideas and understandings of sexuality have changed greatly over the
centuries. People in biblical times did not share our knowledge of
customs of sexuality; we do not share their experience.