Elim Lutheran : Learning Prayer As A Vehicle For Turning Faith Into Action

I woke this morning to my meditation on Elim Lutheran’s Adult Forum Sunday’s Prayer Class and thinking about something I said that interested a another member, “I tell people I believe God’s Will for me is accepting Whatever God’s Will is for me”, forgot to expand my belief which is,” in the meantime I have a work list to accomplish on a daily basis as professed by St. Paul”. St. Paul said that, “God is a Great Spirit (Enthusiasmos) of Love, Truth and Honesty, and I will carry the Great Spirit into All my daily actions!”. This morning I further considered my belief that God knows and wants us to have the desires of our hearts, even if my requests pale in magnitude to the gifts and blessings He would bestow upon us. Similar to any intelligent and thoughtful parent, God is aware of our needs before they reach fruition, and has a perfect plan to make them a meaningful part of our lives. I thought of my mother honoring my desire to play an instrument, but rather than go out and purchase any musical instrument I took a juvenile fancy to; she passed on the ubiquitous violin,which my older sister had started and later lost interest. That would become the instrument by which I developed and gained discipline, into the complex and intricate world of musicianship.I now easily see in hindsight the related analogy of embracing and developing my fledgling faith in God, and practicing and experiencing the power of Prayer. Spiritual concepts which eludes people I try to help understand Who is God, and how does prayer work when trying to communicate, with an Omniscient, Empathetic, and Loving Higher Power? In the Black community the ability of mothers to provide the wants, needs and desires of black children is called “Mother’s  Wit”, who intuitively sense their children’s longings, obsessions and preoccupations and sincere desires in advance, then immediately plan workable strategies to help their children receive and maintain their desires. Like in the embracing of my religion when I saw my sister struggling at her new found pursuit of violin virtuosity; when she made some progress and become part of an orchestrated group of like-minded young musicians, I too wanted to be on stage and receive the applause and adulation of my peers and admirarion from the community. I wasn’t aware or concerned of all the hard work I’d have to do to get to that lofty stage and honored position, I just wanted the blessings that this role promised me, and convinced myself that getting there would be a small matter. My mother also similar to my Heavenly Father saw the Bigger Picture of my sudden desire to achieve a new goal; she would have to arrange and pay for violin lessons at Ford’s Music, adjust her schedule to get me to lessons and make certain I knew bus schedules, buy new updated books, strings, new bows, new chin strap and extra resin, and prepare to buy new exercise and classroom books now  , and in the future when I probably joined the Seattle Youth Orchestra. Mom knew our schedules would be altered and she would have to press me to Practice, Practice, Practice, and endure my whining and complaining, even though I promised I’d rehearse faithfully when I tried to convince her to let me start taking lessons. Mom pressed me to keep my commitment, would not allow me to quit and encouraged me to go from 4th chair to 1 st chair violinist; even though it meant her enduring my interminable, squeaky, atonal scratching on my poor suffering junior violin for years. As I became more proficient on my instrument, which then required Mom to pay for advanced lessons, and consider purchasing a better quality instrument: plus arrange for transportation to All City Orchestra practices, special school practices, and concerts. I was amazed – Who Know…all this would be happening? Mom had all these contingencies under control, which surprised me since she didn’t play an instrument, though Mom provided us with an excellent music appreciation record collection. Mom had taught generations of her 2nd graders at Concord Elementary, the joys of good music and inspired some budding musicians. Mom was always happily singing around the house during the good times, and sadly moaning melancholy dirges during our bad periods, when she was feeling overwhelmed we could hear her mournfully humming her pleas and prayers to her Lord. Mom also sat with us with sheet music in hand, while  we rehearsed class or concert pieces throughout the years, diplomatically correcting our many mistakes and applauding our eventual successes, and when I wanted to master the more costly loud snare drum ($75 in 1960 or in 2015 = $600.00)… she agreed without much discussion or objection. At that moment I could not see her speculating the new financial expenditures; plus the additional rental cost of a new instrument, the neighbor’s assailed by this new loud obnoxious percussive instrument, and future commitments of participation in All City Orchestra and All City Concert Band. In my religious and prayerful life  I was clueless how my willful  desires affected and altered others lives, even to this day I  usually  primarily consider my wants and needs in prayers, I have learned to uses certain prayers to have  God help me be more sensitive to the needs of others. When I was 8 years old I was so impressed by God asking Solomon what he wanted, and Solomon saying he wanted only knowledge and power to serve his people, and God being impressed by Solomon’s earnest desires to help his people…God gave Solomon knowledge and power! I wanted to be admired and blessed by God as well, so that became my prayers and life goals . I never considered my Mother’s sacrifices in any of my youth, I like most acquisitive children (and many Christians) acted as though Mom and God owed me, and regardless of what I did or didn’t do, they should give me what I determined I needed to be happy or at least pacified. Even when my younger siblings were passed on the ubiquitous violin and I had to endure their rites of passage, I unsympathetically viewed their similar progress as a minor annoyance, never making the connection how Mom continued to do this in all areas of our lives. The Adult Forum Class at Elim Lutheran Church helps me to remember and appreciate how God continues to work in my life and my church family, understanding that though God knows the desires of our hearts and is capable of fulfilling them for us, God wants us to accept the Spiritual Gifts of  Wisdom and Discernment so we can mature as well meaning devoted Christians, learning to change prayer and meditation into Faith and Righteous Action. We will realize God is supplying all our needs and our lives with be filled with days of positive contemplation, and restful nights after long days of honest toil.