Aug 4, 2008

Faith In Action: Join Our Prayer Roll

We've been having a very interesting and lively discussion about prayer here on The Faithful Dissident. I've enjoyed it very much, have found it to be enlightening and appreciate all the comments that you have shared. The discussion is far from over, so keep your comments coming if you have anything more to say.

I was thinking more about prayer the past few days as there are a few people on my mind whom I would like to help. Unfortunately, there's nothing much I can really do for them except pray. Although I have expressed my doubts about prayer in the past, by no means have I abandoned the practice and so I felt inspired to start a prayer roll here on my blog.

I invite you all, regardless of your current spiritual state, Mormon or non-Mormon, to join in and add the names of anyone you feel needs some heavenly help in their lives, for whatever reason. Post the name of the person and tell us a bit about their situation if you wish. Feel free to change the person's name (as I have done) for the sake of privacy. I'm sure the Lord will know who we're praying for, even if the name has been changed. Tell us as much or as little as you wish about the person you are concerned about. Here are the three that are on my mind at the moment:

Fredrick: I met him last summer as he took a summer job at the nursing home where I work. I was impressed by his patience and gentle way with the old people, not just because he was the only male in a female-dominated workplace, but also because of his age. At just 18, he fit in very well into a sometimes extremely challenging and stressful work environment, where patients are often aggressive, verbally and physically abusive, and downright unpleasant to be around. Fredrick had gone on to become a truck driver, recently finished his schooling and started work. He still picked up a shift here and there at the nursing home until he fell ill a few weeks ago. A couple days ago at work, I heard the news that he has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He's just undergone surgery, 80% of the tumour has been removed, but he now has to wait to hear the results of whether or not it's cancerous. On top of that, his sight has been compromised and it's too early to say whether it will come back, which in itself is a huge obstacle for a 19 year-old who thought he was going to spend his years driving trucks. Please pray that Fredrick's tumour is benign. And if it's not, that he will have the strength to fight through the treatment he faces and win the battle.

Mohammed: This young man hails from Afghanistan. When he was approximately 5 years old, his family was wiped out by a bomb during the war with the Soviets. He was the only survivour and was sent to an orphanage, where he spent his childhood. Since the orphanage was run by Soviets, he was not raised in the Muslim faith. Around his mid-20's, he escaped Afghanistan, without any passport or identification, and made his way across some of the old Soviet states, where he lived on the street and was sometimes subject to beatings. Eventually he reached Europe and crossed through several countries until he entered Norway hidden on a boat. Once there, he applied for political asylum and has been awaiting the decision on his case for almost 5 years. A couple of years into his Norwegian stay, a couple of Elders struck up a conversation with him on the street and he eagerly accepted the Gospel. Mohammed has worked hard, against the odds, and built up a decent life for himself with a job, staying active in the Church, and learning fluent Norwegian. His life has been like something out of a sad movie and yet he always remains cheerful, hopes for the best, and is extremely grateful for whatever help is extended to him. This past spring, he had another meeting with the Norwegian immigration authorities who will decide whether he can stay in Norway or if he's to be deported back to Afghanistan. He was told he would be informed of the decision in 3-6 weeks, but now it's been over 3 months. Some of the other asylum-seekers that had a meeting the same day that he did have already been approved, but he is still anxiously waiting. We've been hoping and praying and though local Church leaders have petitioned on his behalf, it's out of everyone's hands. We pray that he will finally have that cloud hanging over his head removed, so that he will no longer have to remain stateless. Pray that he will be given the opportunity to live his life in peace and safety and not have the flame of his potential snuffed out because of the political situation he was born into.

Cliff's sister: A reader who commented in the prayer discussion told of his sister, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Even though Cliff and I don't see eye-to-eye on some things, I feel for his sister and family because I know that ovarian cancer is tough to beat. Pray that she will have the strength to beat this terrible disease.

I hope that we can all remember these people in our prayers and, God-willing, we'll see those we care about receive the divine help they're in need of, in whatever form the Lord sees fit to deliver it to them.


Queta said...

I have been enjoying your comments on prayer.
Your petition about praying for this people made me think of an experience that I had a while back with one of my sons.

He had a gospel related question.
He said that his prayers had not been answered.I asked him to pray again, his answer taught me a great lessson about prayer, he said to me:
" That's not fair you know what He is going to answer"
I thought for a momment at what he had said and then it hit me, he already knew the answer!
When I told him that he already knew it he got more confused, I then went to explain to him that because he knew what the Lord was going to answer, it meant that he already had the answer right there.
But he first had to admit to himself that he wanted to hear something different, and that's where the confussion or the struggle was, and once he would admit to it, he had to act upon it.

I thought about how many times we are like that, we might know the answer to some of our prayers, we might even have a testimony of some gospel teachings, and yet somehow we are so preocupied of what we want to hear that it is much easier to say that our prayers have not been answered it. How many times we must have answers and we don't even know? We tend to close our minds to what we think it should be, go in circles and think there is no answer.
Until something or someone says or does something that can shake us and makes us look more deeply into it. Prayer is not a quick thing, it takes time and effort and lots of listening.

Which it brings me to my next comment.
I believe that in your petition to pray for those people who are suffering at this time, you have answered many of the things you all have commented on this blog regarding prayer.

I believe that prayer is not a passive thing it's action! I truly believe that prayer has been giving to us to be a comfort, a guide, a teaching tool, and the means to be more Christlike, it's here to helps us to go back to our Heavenly Father.
I have seen in your wonderful petition all the elements of prayer and how it should really be:

Belive, on a supreme being who loves, and wants the best for us.

Faith, that he will somehow will remove the cancer, or the suffering form others

Love, to be so concern for the welfare of others.

Charity, to think of how much they are going throught and to want to make a difference.

Service, to be willing to take few minutes to make others aware of their needs.

Humbleness, to know that after all of our prayers, that for some the trials might go on for a bit longer, so we ought to pray that they will be giving divine help to be able to bear it all.It's here where one learns the true meaning of " Thy Will Be Done "

Hope, as a group if we pray for them, will it make a difference? just think about the story in the Book of Mormon, Alma was told by the Lord that it was because of his constant prayers that the Lord decided to send and angel to his rebelious son Alma, and you all know the rest of the story.
So does the Lord ( for a reason only known to Him, according to the plan that he has for each one of us)changes his mind and might spared someone's life because of all our prayers? Personally I think so!!
So the way I look at it, your sincere petition for prayers reagarding this group of individuals who are our brothers and sisters and who are suffering at this time, it's what prayer is all about, it's the gospel in action and it's doing exactly what Heavenly Father intended prayer to be.

Thank you for the reminder, and I will definitely will keep all of them in my prayers.

Mormon Heretic said...

FD, I think this is an excellent idea! I'm glad to see you're not "holding your breath." ;)

Prayer always requires faith, and it seems you are exhibiting faith here.

The Faithful Dissident said...

Prayer Roll Update:

Fredrick did indeed have brain cancer, but last I heard the doctors were optimistic about his prognosis. Since the tumour can't be removed without making him go blind, they are going to try radiation to shrink it and hopefully operate later.

I talked to Mohammed a couple of days ago and it's status quo. He's still patiently waiting for a decision on his application for political asylum.

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