Prayer still works, Wignall, ask the Reggae Boyz
THANKS to all for your responses to the article, 'God speaks through the drought', regardless of the positions taken.
This is a healthy dialogue that forces us all to think, learn from each other and grapple with tough questions. I hope many will search for answers and understanding. The only negative side is that some speak with great authority in areas where knowledge base is weak, rather than asking questions for stronger understanding. We all may not agree in our opinions but differing opinions does not alter facts like God is.
Many who are suggesting that prayer is religious nonsense may need to recall that you are where you are today because of the faith and prayers of your mothers and grandparents who trusted God. But how easy it is now to forget or let pride and misapplied higher education let us think God is for 'dummies'.
Thank you, Mark, for some good exciting stuff in your column of Thursday, August 14. I love it. Firstly, Mark, help me to confirm for our readers that we speak without malice toward each other while engaging in serious dialogue. For when we speak in the public sphere, we must expect to be challenged at times. The good columnist that you are makes you 'lick hot' at times and your 'tough skin mek yuh can tek lick' too! I am glad I got you to look up scriptures. I want to give you a few more to see you move from an 'atheistic view' to 'theistic reality'. Praise the Lord, brother (smile).
Wignall points out that 100 per cent of atheists were once religious, while about 100 per cent religious people have always been so. Whereas I agree to a large extent with the statement, I must point that it is also true that many atheists are now religious — as I hope Wignall will soon be. Oops, I should not have said that last piece.
Further, Wignall confessed that as an atheist he has "dug into many sides of the argument — religious, cultural, scientific, etc — while the religious have deleted the supreme importance of inquiry, accepted guidance of myopia and simply chosen to endure their brainwashing from childhood".
Mark, I certainly do not want to sound immodest or arrogant, but the latter part of that statement may be true to some, but far from the truth for many, many of us Christians. Like you, we too have dug into many sides of the argument. It is upon this that we have arrived and maintained our position of faith and can speak with confidence and authority, beyond mere academic reasoning; but have added tested and proven experience of a personal relationship with the risen Christ, who is an indisputable fact of history.
Mark, allow me to jog your memory and clarify my statement as I made the assumption of the westerly direction as a given. Hurricane Ivan was scheduled for a direct hit on Jamaica across the eastern parishes moving northward. Do recall that the hurricane, as reported, stood for hours about 40 miles out as the speed slowed down, off the eastern shores on a west-north-west course.
Then, it made what I called a 90-degree turn south, then went west, passing our southern shores, 20-30 miles out and came within 30 miles of the Cayman Islands. It caused a meteorologist out of Miami Meteorological Office to comment on air that he has never seen a hurricane make such a sudden angled turn. Check your tracking maps again. Here are statements from Stacy K Stewart of the National Hurricane Centre's article:
"The hurricane was previously forecasted to make landfall on the island (Jamaica), though the weakening and a turn to the west kept the strongest winds offshore; however, sustained winds of category 4 were reported... Ivan's last-minute turn was due to a mid-level, high-pressure system over the eastern gulf of Mexico."
Another report reads: "Ivan weakened as it moved west-north-west towards Jamaica. As Ivan approached the island late September 10, it began a westward jog that kept the eye and the strongest winds to the south and west."
The fact is, prayer still works; and not just for me, but for all who knows the power given to us, whose faith is placed in the
Let me raise another controversial issue. Reminisce with me for a moment: the Reggae Boyz created history qualifying for World Cup 1998 against the odds. A country without a pro-league and predominantly amateur players.
How did it happen? Luck, chance, or prayer and hard work. I suggest it was the latter.
Let me make this point. I believe our success was God's favour and goodness on a nation in crisis that needed to revive its soul and find a reason to hope again or it would likely have imploded or exploded — a matter of perspective.
God heard the cries of thousands who prayed for the nation. Football was the vehicle God used to give that hope and calm the rising tensions. Specifically, as it relates to Reggae Boys, it is prayer and hard work that did it. Technical Director Rene Simoes, Coach Carl Brown, and myself were all Christians at the helm, who prayed privately, together and publicly, constantly for the team and the issues affecting it. The God who hears and answers prayer helped us. None of us or the players were under any delusion that it was simply our skill or luck; it was God's favour and goodness.
Ironically, we have not qualified since, with better of everything and even weaker competition, but much less prayer and faith in God at the same level and intensity. I guess it is another of those special prayer-connected coincidences. I am not ashamed of being a Christian and servant of God; not ashamed to say I pray about everything and hear from God and try to be directed by His principles on the affairs of life. For me, it is proven, tested and works. No guessing, the formula works every time. Millions around the world can attest to this reality.
I am prepared to challenge all the readers, sceptics and the nation to put prayer to the test. I am not about religion. I am about the reality of God and our personal relationship with Him, demonstrated by lifestyle and works. God is for real and is intimately concerned and involved in the affairs of men.
Let me inform you and the nation that many groups have been specifically assigned across the country praying for the economic and social recovery to see prosperity come to our nation. This has been going on for some time now, so we are confident that the nation will have a total turnaround. We are on the brink of it. The process for prosperity has begun and will show rapid increase. We will hear announcements confirming this, from time. However, this will not be effected until key requirements are in place. There are some basic requirements by God to release full blessings of prosperity on individuals or nations. One such condition is that God does not give prosperity where there is no effective trustworthy management.
At the 50th anniversary of our nation's Independence we made some declarations concerning the prosperity and restoration of the nation that will be fulfilled in the days to come. These were publicly made so that when it happens there will be no mistake as to who did it. Copies are available and were sent to all parliamentarians and other leaders of church and State.
Prayer still works! Watch for the results!
Al Miller is senior pastor at Fellowship Tabernacle. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org