Monday, November 9, 2015

Israel - Pray Through Unpleasantries

The Dome of the Rock - a mosque on the Temple Mount
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2

Another first - the Muslim call to prayer.

I was alarmed by the Arabic chant resounding from a garish loud speaker, halting all conversation for several minutes. Five times a day the call can be heard all over the city. Oddly, our group must not have been in the Muslim quarter during prayer time because I never observed Muslims praying.

Imagine being a Jew in Jerusalem. Five times a day the call sounds from the Dome of the Rock, the Muslim mosque that stands on the Temple mount within feet of the spot where God's presence resided in the Ark of the Covenant. In photos overlooking Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, it is the iconic gold dome to the right - a swollen festering wound in the eyes of Jews.

There is renewed tension over the site, but for many years the presence of the mosque and Muslim control of the Temple mount has prevented Jews access to their most holy site. The Western Wall (formerly called the Wailing Wall) is the nearest physical location Jews can come to the original location of the Holy of Holies, the Temple room containing the Ark. For Jews, God's presence is strongest at the Wall.

Five times a day Jews are reminded of Muslim control and their missing Temple. More than once we heard that the Jews hate that call.

As we toured the Garden Tomb, one of the possible places of Jesus' burial, the Muslim call to prayer sounded. Our Christian guide shared his beautiful perspective. He uses the unpleasant  blast as a reminder to pray for both Muslims and Jews who don't know Jesus and to pray for peace. I love this perspective.

I need reminders in my own life to pray. I have alerts programmed on my device to remind me to pray for particular situations. Perhaps we could also use (sometimes unpleasant) daily activities as prayer prompts. When folding laundry, thank God for family and ask for a joyful heart of service. When stopped at a red traffic light, pray for patience and the peace of Christ. Instead of being annoyed, we could use a crying child, a grumpy cashier, or a telemarketing call as a reminder to pray.

What unpleasant daily activity will you use as a reminder to pray?

#SeedsOfScripture #Israel #TripOfALifetime #P31HolyLand #Prayer

3 comments:

  1. Great post. I am in continual prayer because of my health conditions. I pray for my son while he is at school and my husband while he works around the house. There always seems to be something to pray for and many things to Praise. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

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    1. Cherrilynn, you seem to be a person who is in constant contact with the Father. I sometimes get busy and forget to pray. I lvoe the idea of triggers - like an ambulance passing, opening the shades in the morning or closing them at night, etc. I love my prayer app that can be programmed to send a reminder.

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  2. Cathy - love these posts!! That very comment by our guide was one of my most important "take-aways" from our time together in Israel and the one that has had the greatest impact on me since I've been home! I find myself redeeming all sorts of hard, annoying or frustrating things into calls to prayer and even encouraging others to do the same! Thank you for sharing this!! :) Tammy

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