2005 Monthly Letter
Partner in UpBuilding others,
Celebration of the Resurrection of the Messiah!
death and resurrection allow old ways to pass away and new
ways to begin!
I was asked to address a gathering of men from around the
Sarasota area. A Bishop from an Episcopalian diocese had invited
seventy men from various denominations to form a select discipleship
group that would be trained to disciple 2000 men for evangelism
In my preparation time, I was led to focus on Luke 11:1: "Now
it came to pass, as Jesus was praying in a certain place,
when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord,
teach us to pray..."
I had instructed the organizer of this meeting to request
that each man bring a recent photo of his family to be used
during the teaching session.
of my desires was to teach men a new way to pray, especially
for their own family members.
After teaching various points on effective prayer, long slender
candles ("tapers" to Episcopalians) were given to each man.
I proceeded to instruct how these would be used during an
actual time of prayer in the sanctuary.
Each man entered the sanctuary, lit his taper, found a pew,
lowered the kneeler, knelt with taper in one hand, photo of
his family in the other, and prayed for each family individually
with eyes opened and with the flame of the taper over each
of the faces.
After about 20 minutes each of the men drifted back into the
fellowship hall for some refreshments and closing comments.
I asked the men to express what this "new way" of praying
meant to them. . Richard, a respected seasoned-with-age Rector
(or pastor) who was about to retire, rose to his feet and
man, (to which I responded, "Thank you for the compliment!")
there are two things I would comment upon. First, you are
a Presbyterian, a Protestant. You come from a tradition of
being anti-Roman Catholic, which uses tapers consistently
with prayers. Yet tonight I find it interesting that you have
chosen to lead us to use tapers as a means of praying for
I have been a Rector for more years then I care to admit.
I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and four lovely
daughters. Daily I seek to remember them in prayer. But when
do, I confess I pray for them collectively, not individually
as I did tonight. I am indebted to you for having given me
the most meaningful time of prayer for them that I can recall.
God has used you a Protestant to teach me an Anglican a new
way to pray. How about that!
It only goes to show that an old dog can learn
new tricks! Thank you! I shall not forget tonight!
testimony impacted the other men. One by one they, too, revealed
how meaningful the time of individualized and personalized
prayer with the taper had been. I closed by challenging each
man to take his taper home and practice this form of prayer
for the next 30 days and to see what specific blessings it
would bring to them and to each of their prayed-for family
power isn't in tapers but in Jesus. O Resurrected Lord,
teach us to pray in new ways!