Author Topic: National Day of Prayer  (Read 2273 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2021, 03:08:57 PM »
God also made promises to the Jews. Have those promises been rescinded?

I think of those promises not as rescinded, but as fulfilled.  Fulfilled in Christ. 

We pray that Israel, that is God's people, chosen to bear the promise and through which would come the Savior, would yet be saved by coming to a knowledge of the truth through faith in Christ.
Romans 10:1-4
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Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2021, 03:14:54 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians.
Me:
And God does not always do so.
God also made promises to the Jews. Have those promises been rescinded?
Au contraire, Charles, I fervently believe that God always lovingly and powerfully answers the prayers of Christians, He just does not always answer the way that we want Him to but in His love, wisdom, and knowledge answers in the way that is best for us and for everyone else. When God tells us , "No" in response to prayer He does not do so because He doesn't love us enough or isn't powerful enough to give us a good answer to our prayer. He sometimes knows better than we do how things should go. And out of faith, trust, and love I accept, sometimes grudgingly, His answer as for the best. I may not understand why He answers as He does and may never understand but accepting His answer as better than the one I wanted is part of faith.


It's like I assure people that God always brings healing to His people. Sometimes His healing is to take away the illness or disability, sometimes His healing is to give us the resources and strength to live with the illness or disability, and sometimes His healing is to recall us to our heavenly home where we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. But healing is always there for us.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 03:17:09 PM by Dan Fienen »
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jebutler

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2021, 03:23:23 PM »
This thread is about the national day of prayer. If you're going to emphasize the need to focus, focus on that.

Can Lutherans in the U.S. come together for prayer?

That would depend on which Lutherans. The WELS has a unit concept of fellowship, so I wouldn't expect to see them present. But I've been in many situations with other Lutherans and have had no problem with it.

Will LCMS clergy gather to pray with ELCA clergy? What restrictions might be in place?

I've done it several times. No one has ever placed any restrictions on me. Wouldn't know why any would be.

Historically, Walther and the boys had several "free conferences." Each day, those meetings began with Matins and ended with Vespers. This was the practice until the Presdestinarian Controversy at which time the LCMS moved to a unit concept of fellowship. That was one of the issues that the ALPB argued against--and one they wound up winning.

A report (whether true or not, I don't know) was that when the District President of Kansas was to receive an award from Bethany College (an ELCA school,) he was allowed to participate if it wasn't a worship service; specifically, as the story goes, no vestments and no candles.

This whole scenario sounds weird to me. The only way it makes any sense is if he was the commencement speaker and they planned to give him a honorary degree (or something like that). That's the only time anyone who receives an award from a college also participates in the ceremony itself. Otherwise, those being honored sit off to one side and come up when their name is called. I don't know why that would be an issue even if it took place in a service.

About 20 years ago, the ELCA church in Springfield, MA installed a new pastor. I, along with many other Springfield clergy, was invited to attend. I had gotten along quite well with his predecessor and I knew his brother via LTHRN-L. The bishop (who I knew from our New England Lutheran Dialog) asked me if I would mind saying a few words of welcome following his installation. I sat, unvested, but wearing a collar, with the congregation. He asked me to come forward. I welcomed him to Springfield. I said that I prayed for God's blessings on his ministry and I looked forward to working with him wherever I could. The bishop said he appreciated my words; I thanked him for his invitation, which I thought was quite gracious. No one had any problem with my "participation." I'd say the same thing would be true here.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Dave Benke

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2021, 03:34:21 PM »
A)  I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Syncretistically and Unionistically yours,

Dave Benke

Dave, I am happy to answer your very thoughtful and serious questions.

A)   I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

Answer: No, you are not.


B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

Answer: God can bless people through pain, so perhaps all of your singing may be the occasion for God blessing somebody.  Don’t grab a beer because it’s bad and overpriced.

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

Answer:  First, ask yourself why you are so fixated on the blessings achieved by prayers.  Take out your worn copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, read it for the hundredth time, and repeat one hundred times: "Everything Peale says about prayer is wrong."  If you pray with a Presbyterian (or any other Calvinist) don't wear your Some Lives Matter T shirt.


C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Answer: First of all, you should not eat anything at McDonalds.  You’re not getting any younger and that stuff will kill you.  Second, if you wanted to avoid syncretism on coins and currency you couldn’t use cash money.  Third, by all mean you should buy meat from Hindus and liquor from Muslims.  It’s a wonderful confession of Christian freedom!

Nice answers!  I agree with one and a half.  I should add that normally we don't even have a beer at the ballpark.  We have something with Jim Beam in it, because Jim is the reigning king of bourbon for the Mets.  At home we favor Jack, although I received bottles of both Johnny (Black) and Glen (Fiddich) for my birthday.  People seem to think I drink a lot since I'm on a first name basis with my booze, which I don't, but there are always plenty of brown liquids available for friends on the back deck in summer, where the sounds of surf surge through the air - it's really the traffic on the Long Island Expressway, but a soothing sound nonetheless.

Dave Benke

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2021, 03:43:11 PM »
God also made promises to the Jews. Have those promises been rescinded?

I think of those promises not as rescinded, but as fulfilled.  Fulfilled in Christ. 

We pray that Israel, that is God's people, chosen to bear the promise and through which would come the Savior, would yet be saved by coming to a knowledge of the truth through faith in Christ.
Romans 10:1-4

Aye.

Beautifully summarized in the Orthodox Hymn of the Little Entrance during Paschatide:

Quote

Bless God in the churches, the Lord from the fountains of Israel.

Save us, O Son of God,
risen from the dead.
We sing to You, Alleluia

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2021, 06:25:19 PM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?


I believe that the Johannine writings make a distinction between "God" and "Father." No one can have a relationship with God as "Father" without the Son. It's significant that Jesus says that no one can come to the Father except through me, rather than no one can come to God except through me. Without Jesus, we cannot know, or be in relationship with God as Father. Without the Son, there is no Father. That doesn't preclude God from being God, the authority and creator of all peoples on earth.

And the Christological/Trinitarian confusion/error rears its ugly head yet again. 

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father." John 14:9. "I and the Father are one." John 10:30


Exactly. Jesus does not say, "He who has seen me has seen God." Nor, "I and God are one." As I stated above, for John there is a distinction between the word "God" and the use of the term, "Father."


Would you consider the phrase, "God bless America," (written by Irving Berlin, and sung by millions of people) to be the same God as in the phrase, "God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2021, 06:28:50 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.


Boldface added. The question was asked if God hears the prayers of others. Your answer is Yes, God hears them. How God responds to them is up to God, not us.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2021, 06:32:58 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.


Boldface added. The question was asked if God hears the prayers of others. Your answer is Yes, God hears them. How God responds to them is up to God, not us.

We are of the vintage to remember being scandalized by Southern Baptist Convention leader Bailey Smith asserting that "God Almighty does not hear the prayers of a Jew" ...a statement which he then nuanced by stating "unless it is the 'Sinner's Prayer'".

I am thankful that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2021, 07:50:49 PM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?

I believe that the Johannine writings make a distinction between "God" and "Father." No one can have a relationship with God as "Father" without the Son. It's significant that Jesus says that no one can come to the Father except through me, rather than no one can come to God except through me. Without Jesus, we cannot know, or be in relationship with God as Father. Without the Son, there is no Father. That doesn't preclude God from being God, the authority and creator of all peoples on earth.

And the Christological/Trinitarian confusion/error rears its ugly head yet again. 

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father." John 14:9. "I and the Father are one." John 10:30

Exactly. Jesus does not say, "He who has seen me has seen God." Nor, "I and God are one." As I stated above, for John there is a distinction between the word "God" and the use of the term, "Father."

And the error continues.
 ::)

« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 11:09:24 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Dave Benke

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2021, 07:58:03 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.


Boldface added. The question was asked if God hears the prayers of others. Your answer is Yes, God hears them. How God responds to them is up to God, not us.

We are of the vintage to remember being scandalized by Southern Baptist Convention leader Bailey Smith asserting that "God Almighty does not hear the prayers of a Jew" ...a statement which he then nuanced by stating "unless it is the 'Sinner's Prayer'".

I am thankful that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.

Thanks for this remembrance and insight, Thomas.

Dave Benke

Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2021, 08:06:10 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.


Boldface added. The question was asked if God hears the prayers of others. Your answer is Yes, God hears them. How God responds to them is up to God, not us.
You have,accurately summarized my position.
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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2021, 10:27:01 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.

Seeking the oh so reasonable synthesis between two opposing positions may (or may not!) be the means of facilitating productive discussion.  When one does so however, he should first make sure that he correctly identifies the opposing positions.  I would not dream of speaking for Rev. Austin, but I doubt he thinks he can force God to do anything and, speaking for myself, I do not think that I can forbid God to do anything.  So then, let's dismiss that little piece of foolishness and ask the question: Is the promise Jesus gives us Christians about prayer the basis for a sound theology of prayer that applies, not just personally to ourselves, but to everyone else as well?  Rev. Fienen, when you say that you ~personally~ are not anxious to meet God without Christ the Redeemer as your advocate are you saying that nobody in the whole world should want to meet God without Christ the Redeemer as his advocate?  I assume this is so.  If this is so, why do you plead ignorance about how God will respond to those who have repudiated Christ?  Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”  If I were to conclude from this that the Father will not favorably hear the prayers of those who repudiate Jesus, would you reply by saying that it’s up to God to make such a determination?  Hasn’t he already done so?

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2021, 12:47:25 AM »
Pastor  Preus:
 If I were to conclude from this that the Father will not favorably hear the prayers of those who repudiate Jesus, would you reply by saying that it’s up to God to make such a determination?  Hasn’t he already done so?
Me:
Maybe God has made a determination; maybe not. Maybe God‘s mind will change about the decision that was made. We don’t know.
I have said it here before. Anyone who gets into the presence of God in eternity gets there through Jesus, whether they knew it or not.
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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #73 on: May 09, 2021, 02:44:36 AM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?

I believe that the Johannine writings make a distinction between "God" and "Father." No one can have a relationship with God as "Father" without the Son. It's significant that Jesus says that no one can come to the Father except through me, rather than no one can come to God except through me. Without Jesus, we cannot know, or be in relationship with God as Father. Without the Son, there is no Father. That doesn't preclude God from being God, the authority and creator of all peoples on earth.

And the Christological/Trinitarian confusion/error rears its ugly head yet again. 

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father." John 14:9. "I and the Father are one." John 10:30

Exactly. Jesus does not say, "He who has seen me has seen God." Nor, "I and God are one." As I stated above, for John there is a distinction between the word "God" and the use of the term, "Father."

And the error continues.
 ::)


What error? I pointed out the accuracy of your biblical quote.


You failed to answer my question: Would you consider the phrase, "God bless America," (written by Irving Berlin, and sung by millions of people) to be the same God as in the phrase, "God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"?


Or do you again think I'm making an error by asking that question?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #74 on: May 09, 2021, 05:14:28 AM »
In my New Jersey male chorus, I stood next to a Jew as we sang "God Bless America" at civic events. So just what was going on in this singing? Prayer? Proclamation? Mere longing? A meaningless ritual?
Do the origin of the words matter? Does what is in his mind and what is in my mind as we sing matter?
Do civic prayers have to mention Jesus to be "real"? I have prayed at Memorial Day observances, ending with "in God's holy name, Amen." Does that count?
I heard a Reform rabbi pray to "Creator God," or "Holy One." Was it ok that I said "Amen" to that?
Or do I have to say "Jesus" in order to make the prayer "valid" and reject any prayer that does not mention - even by implication - Jesus?  Or when I know that the rabbi is not praying in the name of Jesus?
 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 05:16:20 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.