by Tim White
This weekend I will be concluding the series on the Book of James with the message on James Chapter 5 Prayers that Rock the World.
There was a blog on You tube which showed a debate between Biologist and Oxford Professor: Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the head of the Church of England. I like to read Richard Dawkins even though he believes that he is an atheist and has a lot of bitterness for those who believe in God. I have read Dawkins’ text book on Biology and it is quite good and of course I enjoyed learning his point of view from his book on the God Delusion and several other provocative books. To be fair I should point out that Dawkins recently suffered a stroke and by his own admission is not as fervent in belittling Christians since this event.
I did find it interesting that in a recent debate Dawkins begins by telling the Archbishop how it is his belief that in general Christians are just unintelligent people. He quotes a survey that the majority of Christians in England cannot even name the four gospels of the New Testament. After this tirade the Archbishop says, “that this is regrettable, but he believes that Christianity does have a lot of very intelligent people.” They are friends and have debated several times. So, the Archbishop asks Dawkins a question in response. He points out that Dawkins is an expert on Charles Darwin. The Archbishop goes on to return the question to his friend Dr. Dawkins by saying “could you tell me the complete title and subtitle of Darwin’s book on the Origin of the Species.” Dr. Dawkins says, “of course I could, I teach this in my college courses.” So, he begins … “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection…,” then he begins to stumble when trying to remember the subtitle which is “The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” Dawkins tries a couple of times and draws a blank turning red with embarrassment and he mutters, “God help me.” Which of course drew a big laugh because the atheist found himself praying in his debate about atheism.
I think almost everyone prays sometime, even if it is a slip and they find themselves saying “thank you God” and at the same time they are wondering if they believe in God. But there have been prayers that have rocked my life. One such prayer was when I prayed that God would forgive me of my sins and come into my life allowing me to be his follower the rest of my life. That prayer was life changing. When my Grandpa White used to pray, people in the congregation would say – “it is as if this old country pastor prayed heaven down to earth.” And many of you have witnessed or experienced prayers that been almost indescribable. Have you watched a father kneeling and praying with his kids as he tucks them into bed? Or have you seen a mother put her arms around one of her children and pray right from the heart that God would help this child? And many of us have watched Christians anoint someone with olive oil, laying hands on their shoulder, and being filled with Godly love as they ask for the Spirit of God to work in the life of this person who is in a desperate situation.
I think all of us have lots of questions about these prayers that ‘Rock the World’ and James Chapter 5 addresses that subject in such a way that we will all learn something and grow closer to the God who answers prayers. Please join me this weekend.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White