By Pastor Tim White
The movie "The 15:17 to Paris" is the real-life drama of three Americans and one French citizen who saved over 500 people from a terrorist armed with an AK47 and a handgun. Clint Eastwood directs it and it seems to come from a Christian perspective. It's the story of three young men who had been life-long friends and how two of them, who were serving in the military, had been preparing all their lives for such a moment as this. In fact, at one point in their childhood these boys kept getting in trouble so were thought to be troubled kids. However, their single mom's answer back to the school principle was that "their God was bigger than any problem." And he was, because those troubled boys all grew up to be outstanding young men. As you may know from the News story -- They disarmed the terrorist and put him in a sleeper hold. And then applied first aid to save another man's life who had been shot. At one point the three young men tell the wounded passenger that he could die, and they asked him if he wanted them to pray for him. It almost comical but the man and his wife say - "No Thanks". When Jackie and I watched this on our Valentines date the whole theater laughed in response to that line.
Sometimes we know we are in need but the last thing we want is someone's mistaken view of prayer. This man was more afraid of an unknown prayer than the tragedy he was going through. And I think the audience laughed because we could all relate to that in some small way. As followers of Jesus we would, of course, say please pray for me. But there is still that misguided prayer that we all are concerned about. The prayer that stresses us out.
This week I will be returning to the pulpit after my knee surgery and I would appreciate your prayers for my continued healing. I am going to be sharing from the words of Jesus on prayer and meditation. I call it the Prayers that Refresh Best. There is a difference between stressing yourself out by praying all your fears instead of being in authentic conversation with a personal God in which you receive strength, thanksgiving, joy, and encouragement. God hears your prayers and has something to say to your inner soul in order to refresh you. Please join me this weekend.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White