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article imageOp-Ed: Fighting terror prayer challenge (selfies OK)

By John David Powell     Sep 1, 2014 in World
On Sundays, our parish sings the Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount. But this time, the words reached through the millennia to highlight the headlines of today: wars, beheadings, and the jihadist genocides of Christians and people of other faiths.
Stories I wrote during the past couple of months seemed to attach themselves to a beatitude , or blessing:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their faith, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Later on, I realized we sing “Lord have mercy” more than 100 times during the liturgy, making it the most recited prayer of the day. It’s also part of the Jesus Prayer, the oldest prayer in Christendom.
Then it hit me, as these things do at times and places like this. What if, just what if, some of us committed to saying “Lord have mercy” on the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks? Not 100 times, but maybe just once or twice. What effect would this have?
There apparently is a lot of chatter by jihadist terrorists about attacks on that day. Great Britain, as of this writing, is at the second-highest threat level. The Texas Department of Public Safety apparently issued a warning about terrorist threats along the Mexican border to occur on Sept. 11.
Do not be misled by jihadist apologists and their ilk: the Islamic State, or ISIS, is a well-organized and well-financed band of Islamist Sunni thugs who will not rest until all of Islam bends over in front of them, and all Christians and members of others faiths convert or die. And they are not the only jihadist in the pool.
Also, do not be misled by those who think the United States and whatever allies are left can bomb these people out of existence. They, and others like them, have been killing each other and everyone caught in the middle for 1,400 years, with no end in sight.
It is pretty apparent dropping bombs is not the answer. There are not enough bombs in all the arsenals in all the world that can eradicate this festering puss from the face of the earth.
So, what about dropping a prayer?
Theological tomes and medical research agree there is something, some kind of power, some kind of spiritual or psychic effect, some kind of healing or positive outcome that results from prayer.
Prayer is non-denominational. Every person of faith practices prayer. Heck, atheists practice prayer, only their prayer is in the form of lawsuits praying for the courts to quash any public display of faith. Even blood-thirsty hooligans who march under the flag of Islam practice prayer five times a day.
You still don’t believe in prayer? Well, step aside, because every Friday night in Texas, tens of thousands of high school football fans raise their voices to the heavens and ask God to let their team crush the infidels on the other team. And, exactly half of them have their prayers answered.
I only pay tithes or dues to two organizations: my Serbian Orthodox parish and the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, the Knights Templar. One is spiritual and the other sets out to protect Christians around the world.
So, right now, I am issuing the prayer version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to every Orthodox Christian and to every knight and dame in the SMOTJ. And, tangentially, to anyone reading this.
For those not in the know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it is a way to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. The idea is to post a video of someone pouring a bucket of ice water over your head, and then challenge someone you know to do the same, or pony up a hundred bucks.
The Lord Have Mercy (LHM) Prayer Challenge doesn’t require anything more than a commitment to say the prayer at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern time) on Sept. 11, or at any time on that day, as a way to prove the power of positive prayer to terrorists everywhere, and to unite people of all faiths, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, you name it, that we will not submit to evil.
Some folks may choose to pray in solitude. Others may want to take selfies of themselves praying. Still others may want to take pictures of a sign that simply says “Lord have mercy.” The message and result will be the same: a world united in prayer against the greatest evil of a generation.
So, yes, I challenge everyone reading this to take part in the LHM Prayer Challenge, and to challenge at least one person in your social media network, one person in your place of worship, one person in your work place, or one person in your family or circle of friends who will then pass along the challenge.
Who knows, we may just crash the Internet on 9/11. And wouldn’t that be a powerful message?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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