Posted by Peggy Utley

On the first Sunday in January, my challenge was to make “Continue in Prayer” our motto for the New Year. The subject lingers on my mind and I hope on yours. More important, I hope that you are continuing in prayer.  As I said then, I say now, “We need God and we need him every hour. Our needs are so deep, we cannot afford to neglect prayer.”

In his book “Prayer, the Mightiest Force in the World,” Frank C. Laubach quoted an American Sailor aboard a World War II Ship saying to his ship mates, “Let’s pray hard, you guys, or this ship’s goin’ to blow up.” Laubach then wrote, “That American sailor in World War II told the truth about the “good ship earth,” as well as about his own carrier.  For our wounded world is full of holes and fires.  One more global war and we shall all be destroyed.  “Pray hard, you guys, or this ship’s goin’ to blow up.”

Within the past twelve months we have heard more about nuclear warfare than we have heard in several decades.  North Korea has been testing their nuclear capabilities at a steady pace and now claim that they have missiles capable of reaching even into the Eastern part of the USA.  They have already fired a missile over Japan. The present administration in many ways has been egging them on and legislation has just been passed to dramatically increase military spending. A recent false alarm in Hawaii sent shock waves across the islands, had parents and children texting “good bye, love you” messages and people in panic mode thinking they had only 15 to 20 minutes to seek shelter.  Many sincerely believed that the end was upon them and they would die that day. We are in a lull to “saber rattling” now that the Winter Olympics are in full swing. What do we face once the Olympics are over?

The sailor’s call to prayer aboard his World War II ship helped fellow sailors to keep their cool and do the right thing to put out their fires.  Their ship survived.  As Frank Laubach wrote, “Prayer will do the same thing for us.  We need cool heads to do the right thing – to put out the fires of hate and prejudice, if our ship earth is to survive. Prayer will quench hate, fear, and panic when nothing else will do it.”

Jesus taught us that right praying can remove mountains. It can remove the barriers of hatred and distrust. Continue to pray for peace.  Pray for a de-escalation of military force. Pray for cooler heads to prevail. Pray for every avenue of negotiation to be explored and pursued. “Let’s pray hard, you guys, or this ship’s goin’ to blow up”.

In His Love,  Charles