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Editorial:Unity in prayer needed for River Parishes

L’Observateur / June 3, 1998

One of the most difficult functions as a Christian is to discipline oneself to pray. I’ve heard it said that prayer is work. I think we all can relate tobeing forced to pray. In other words, when our backs are against the walland we have no one to turn to, we desperately turn to God.

I can remember a few years ago when, during the Persian Gulf conflict, all Americans were asked to pray. Bumper stickers and yard signs were seenall over the country with the wording: “Pray for Peace.” Others read: “PrayTo Bring Our Troops Home.”Former President Bush, in every address, appealed to every American to pray and ended each news conference with “God Bless America.” It seemedlike as soon as the conflict ended, it was a sign to quit praying.

Sure, I can pray for two or three minutes a day, and most of that time is spent appealing to God for help – very little time is given to being thankful.

Reading the Bible sometimes seems to be more of an obligation than wanting to hear from God through His Word. However, reading the dailynewspaper for me is easy. I can’t wait to read about the world’s news. Iguess I’m like most people – more interested in worldly news than spiritual wisdom and direction.

Even one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, as found in Luke 11:1 of the Bible. Evidently, prayer has been a problem withChristians for many years.

Three years ago, Pastor Neil Bernard and his congregation went before the St. John Parish Council and requested that the first Saturday in June ofevery year be dedicated to prayer and fasting. Mr. Arnold Labat signed theproclamation and since then, on that day, people gather at the steps of the St. John Parish Office Building to pray.This Saturday, June 6, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at noon, the public isinvited to come together with one voice to pray that God will bless the River Parishes with godly leaders and loyal servants and that the people will be able to live in peace, without fear.

Many years ago, a popular bumper sticker read: “The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together.” It was referring to the family unit. Evidently,most families didn’t do that, as evidenced by the high divorce rate. I thinkthat it’s time for the church family to pray together for unity, so that God’s purposes may be accomplished.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see people, regardless of their church affiliations, come together this one day, with one voice, appealing to God to help them all become better Christians and to make the River Parishes one of the safest and most God-fearing places in America?

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