8. Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World by Frank C. Laubach
It was such a challenge to caste my prayer for world leaders (which was one of my applications from the Prayer Challenge that I am doing from Super Bowl Sunday to Easter). I had a half day in prayer last Friday; and because of this book's reminders, I prayed for the president of Ukraine to step down. Within hours, he fled the country. Now I have to really get on my knees for Putin because he might mess the whole thing up by sending military there. Oh my.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I am cutting and pasting one person's reflections and quotes from the book:
One of Laubach's most important suggestions in this terrific little book is that we pray during the "chinks" that happen in all of our schedules: while stuck in traffic, doing mindless chores, standing in lines, and so on. Lengthy concentrated prayer time is good, Laubach asserts, but if we are to follow Saint Paul's admonition to "pray without ceasing," we need to cultivate the habit of offering up prayers all the time. Laubach is especially urgent in commending prayer for the leaders of all nations. (This is a suggestion that the New Testament authors, who even urged prayer for Roman emperors who persecuted the Church, would readily endorse, I'm sure.)It has a weird thing about "telepathy" which I did not care for, but the rest is good!
I keep a file of meaningful quotes drawn from the books I read. Prayer: The Mightiest Force in the World is full of great quotes. In the current international crisis though, several stand out:
"Most of us will never enter the White House and offer advice to the President. Probably he will never have time to read our letters [or our e-mails, I thought, as I read this]. But we can give him what is far more important than advice. We can give him a lift into the presence of God, make him hungry for divine wisdom...We can visit the White House with prayer as many times a day as we think of it, and every such visit makes us a channel between God and the President."
He also says that in our praying for the President and other leaders, "[w]e do not 'persuade God to try harder'...; it is our world leaders, our statesmen and church men [sic] whom we persuade to try harder. We help God when we pray. When great numbers of us pray for leaders, a mighty invisible spiritual force lifts our minds and eyes toward God. His Spirit flows through our prayer to them, and He can speak to them directly."
I laughed out loud when I read this assertion by Laubach: "We can do more for the world with prayer than if we were to walk into Whitehall, London, or the Kremlin in Moscow, and tell those men [sic] what to do---far more! If they listened to our suggestions, we would probably be more or less wrong[emphasis mine]. But what God tells them, when they listen to Him, must be right. It is infinitely better for world leaders to listen to God than for them to listen to us." (http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2003/03/learning-to-pray-from-man-who-taught.html)