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Image 5 of The Advocate Messenger April 6, 2012

Part of The Advocate Messenger

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FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2012 A5 THE ADVOCATE-MESSENGER WWW.AMNEWS.COM RELIGION Considering the meanings of and motives for prayer By EDWARD CLARK “Bless thy little lamb tonight” and finished with Contributing Columnist …”and make me a good Prayer is a subjective girl.” practice in the lives of Most often, in times of those who do it while for stress, tension and concern others it is nothing more for a loved one or friend, than rote rotations of we pray. It is not unusual to words learned in childpray for specific resoluhood and beyond which tions, such as healing, rethey have not progressed. lease from financial In the more honest mopressures, job procurements of the devout, they ment, etc. is is not forced will tell us that prayer, most prayer, but circumstances often, is a one-way attempt produced the force behind to converse with God and it. when prayers, however ofPrayer is not instinctive. fered, are not answered in It’s not like eating. e less the expectation of how they I eat, the more I want to were presented, it is diffieat. Oddly, the less we pray cult to maintain interest in the less we feel inclined to the exercise. do it. We could wish that It is necessary to individ- we yearned for God with ually define prayer and to the same fervor we yearn constantly re-evaluate the for food, but that isn’t so, is importance, or lack of it, in it? our daily existence. I read Perhaps it is better to of an older woman who pray once a week rather confessed to her pastor than each night or mornthat each night she knelt by ing, or both, if it is done her bed and uttered … with some sense of purpose in knowing God at some deeper level. e pretense of prayer can sometimes be more destructive than anything else, but since we do it, the temptation to believe that our life is changed because of it tends to smother the truth of our exasperation that prayers often seem to have little or no effect. We often say, or hear it said, “It is God’s will” or “It was God’s will.” If so, we miss the point that if “it” is, or was, God’s will, our prayer had little hope of changing what God had ordained. We need a clear and concise expectation of what prayer is designed to do in our lives. ere is little doubt that prayer is an attempted conversation with God. We should not allow ourselves to think that we pray for God’s sake, rather than our own, but realize that prayer is like yeast within our heart and spiritual growth comes from the consistent prayer that is not designed for repetitive utterance, but is the culmination of events, circumstance and eventualities of life. Prayer is often used as some universal blanket. We pray for nationalistic outcomes, wartime outcomes, investment outcomes, etc. Prayer, perhaps, needs to be more narrowly focused on specifics and uttered with some desire to become a part of an outcome for which prayer was offered. I rarely pray for myself. Why? For me, God knows me better than I know myself and while He allows me to make decisions He also knows that I am capable of making the wrong ones. I know myself and know the weaknesses that I endeavor to hide. For me to ask God, in prayer, to help me be stronger is an attempt to blame Him when I fall, fail and disappoint others. He knows I have a choice. I know it, too. Some would say He knows what I will do and if that is true, why waste His time by asking for special consideration when He has already given me the freedom to make the right one? Prayer can sometimes exclude those things that are within our biased opinion of others. We don’t like to think that is true of ourselves, but in our finer moments, we know it is. As a boy, I recall a Sunday School teacher who was a rabid sports fan of outgrown proportions, pray, on a Sunday morning after his team had been beaten by an arch rival, …”and bless the citizens of ...” I . later overheard him say to one of his friends that he had “made it right” by praying for the @^&* town. Years ago, I read an account of prayer that had been of- fered by an older woman with prejudice toward Australians, so after having prayed for the Indians, Africans, Americans, Chinese and Japanese, she added, “And bless those dear Australians as they swing from tree to tree!” Prayer may need to be personal to be effective. Prayers like “bless all those who are ill” leaves us with little expectation of results in that it is so broad as to be a well-intended cover thrown over all who were physically impaired, but with no specific relationship. e first prayer many learned was “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” When compared to some involved and lengthy salutations, this can be seen as a solid beginning of learning how to pray. Correcting our failure to Jerusalem mayor sees tourism potential communicate this Easter By JOSEF FEDERMAN Associated Press George Bernard Shaw once said, “e single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Communication is an imperfect science, to say the least. I picked up the phone just the other day and thought I correctly read the caller ID: “Lebanon Elementary School,” the school where my wife works. So naturally, I assumed it was her. But that’s not what it said. And it wasn’t her. I didn’t have my reading glasses on, and though I held the phone at arm’s length and squinted, I still missed the name. But, convinced it was Lori, I blurted, “Hey, Babe, why didn’t you call me on my cell, like you always do?” I could feel tension on the other line, then a timid, “Could I speak with Lori?” Oops. It definitely wasn’t Lori. en I wrongly assumed it was another teacher: “Oh, I’m sorry,” I chuckled, a bit chagrined at the thought of how I had referred to the caller as “Babe.” I tried to recover: “You want to speak with Lori? But Lori’s with you isn’t she?” “No, sir, Lori isn’t with me.” “en where is she?” I asked with confusion oozing from my voice. Now, with the faintest hint of irritation, “Sir, I’m calling to confirm her appointment tomorrow.” Ahh, I finally got it, even without my reading glasses. I wished I hadn’t answered the phone and just let the voice mail get it. I imagined the receptionist hanging up the phone, twirling her seat around, and giggling to her coworkers. e whole thing David Whitlock Contributing writer had probably been recorded for quality control. “Hey, come on over here and listen to this guy,” I could hear her saying as she bent over in her chair laughing. e whole office is now primed for a funny one before they even hear my voice. I could see them all gathered around the recorder, laughing hysterically until their sides ache. “We needed that,” one chortles. “Talk about a confused hubby,” says another. ey shake their heads in pity at me as they return to work. Having located my reading glasses, I try and dismiss this scene by calling my 87 year-old father. Sharing my embarrassing moment with him will be cathartic, I think. But first I ask him how he’s doing. “Ok, now,” he says, “but yesterday we saw the worst movie ever.” (Dad and a group of men at his retirement center go to a movie once a week.) “Foul language, horrible. I don’t know why people think they have to talk like that. And this couple lived together just to have sex. Terrible.” “Well, what was the name of the movie?” “I don’t even know.” “You didn’t know the name of the movie? Why did you see it?” “Didn’t intend to. We misread the marquee and went in the wrong theatre!” I started laughing at the thought of these perplexed men, well into their 80s, sitting in the wrong theater, grimacing at each other, trying to figure out what’s going on. en, I caught myself. “What am I laughing about? I haven’t told him my story.” As the saying goes, “e acorn didn’t fall far from the tree.” And if you think about it, it didn’t fall far from you either. We’re all communicatively impaired. e Tree of Communication Confusion, planted in the Garden of Eden, blossomed when our first ancestors ignored God and misread Satan. en the confusion went viral at the Tower of Babel. ough down the centuries, through word and prophesy, God kept trying to grab humankind’s attention, most just didn’t get it. As a last resort that was always in the works, God himself came in the flesh to talk like one of us in our language. “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand” (Mark 4:9), Jesus said. But even after the resurrection of Christ, it was difficult to read the message, at least at first sight: “It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him” (John 20:14), John noted of a disoriented Mary Magdalene. But it’s a true and wonderful story, even though we still struggle to understand, and this week Christians celebrate it — the Passion of Christ, culminating in his death and resurrection. So, put your reading glasses on and find the right theater. You don’t want to miss this one. Contact David B. Whitlock at drdavid@davidbwhitlock.com or visit his website, www.Davidbwhitlock.com. JERUSALEM (AP) — When Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat stares out at his city, the one-time venture capitalist sees fresh opportunity: He believes he can turn Jerusalem into one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, on par with New York, Paris and London. In a city known as much for its religious strife as its religious sites, this will be no simple task. But Barkat, sounding very much like the businessman he once was, says he has a product that’s easy to market. He confidently predicts a tripling of the number of visitors over the next decade. “ere are very few cities like Jerusalem that have such potential, with over 3.5 billion people on Earth who would like to come visit Jerusalem at least once in their lifetime,” he said in an interview. “e brand Jerusalem is one of the most powerful brands in the world.” Since taking office 3½ years ago, Barkat has presided over an ambitious development plan that has brought in new sporting and cultural events, opened a light rail system that has helped renew the long-neglected city center and boosted the number of international visitors by a third, according to the Tourism Ministry. In April alone, some 300,000 people are expected for the Easter and Passover holidays. Barkat says Jerusalem attracted some 3.5 million tourists last year. It is no wonder that Jerusalem is the country’s leading tourist destination, attracting 80 percent of all those who visit Israel, according to the Tourism Ministry. e word “Jerusalem” takes on almost magical connotations for many. Holy to Judaism, Christianity and JOIN US THIS SUNDAY experience GOD’S GLORY APRIL 6 • Good Friday Service at 7:00pm APRIL 8 • Easter Sunday Easter Breakfast at 9:30am Easter Sunday Services at 8:30am and 11am Islam, it is a city where biblical forefathers roamed the streets and is home to famed holy sites like the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the goldencapped Dome of the Rock. History and intrigue seem to lurk inside every crevice of the city’s cobblestone alleyways, bustling open-air marketplaces and parched hills. e city also has a biblical zoo, a surprisingly vibrant nightlife and culinary scene, a top learning institution in Hebrew University, the respected Israel Museum and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. But problems also plague modern-day Jerusalem. It is among Israel’s poorest cities, with rundown areas and an outdated road system often snarled with traffic. Any attempt at development, no matter how well meaning, can be politically explosive. Excavations have sparked protests by Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox population, which objects to any construction that risks disturbing ancient Jewish graves. With 3,000 years of history, virtually every corner of the city is built upon an ancient burial site. Tourism operators complain of more mundane problems. ey say the dire shortage of hotel rooms, narrow and overcrowded roads and a lack of parking are l serious constraints on future growth. e lack of hotel space has driven up prices, with rates in upper-end hotels exceeding $450 a night. TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH 320 W. Main • Danville The Rev. Amy Dafler Meaux, Rector Holy Week Services Good Friday, April 6th: Good Friday Service: Noon; Stations of the Cross: 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm; Church Open for Prayer: 1:00 pm — 6:00 pm Saturday, April 7th: The Great Vigil of Easter: 8:00 pm Easter Day, April 8th: Holy Eucharist (Rite II): 9:30 am (Nursery Available) 859-239-3374 WWW.TRINITYDANVILLE.ORG Community Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch First Christian Church Saturday, April 7 10:30 - Noon First Christian Church 555 E. Lexington Ave. Danville, KY For children age 10 and younger! Children need to bring a basket to hold all their eggs!! Events of the Day Brunch, Crafts, Egg Hunt, Drawings & Pictures with the Easter Bunny (10:30-11:00) For more information about advertising your church in this directory, please call 859-236-2551. 144953 COME JOIN US!!

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