Greensboro ... it's time for you to pray!
This is your time to get still in God's presence. Our lives are surrounded with so much movement, so many pressures, so many demands that our spirits are often crowded into a corner and weakened so that we are not able to wage successful warfare against the enemy of our soul.Greensboro ... I personally invite you to the Prayer and Life Clinic at COGIC Cathedral, 1001 E. Washington St., Sept. 10-14. Our prayer clinic is designed to cut a hole in our busyness and remind us that it is God and not we who created and sustains the world. This will be a time for us to shift from the active to the receptive.
In this age of glitz, prosperity narcissism, television imagery and consumerism, one must be disciplined, determined, diacritical (not simply critical but given to an alternative lifestyle that promotes wholeness). The great dilemma of modern times is the fact that there is a declining ability to meet life's moral demands just at the moment in history when more inner moral strength is demanded. To live amid the complexities and pressures of the post-modern world, one needs a hard-nosed, clear-eyed faith free of pious sentimentality.
Upon a realistic, critical, adult reading, by those prepared to be honest with their experience, the Bible incisively lays bare the depths and obscurities of the human heart. This is why the Bible continues to play a decisive role in human history and culture and why it is fitted to be the perpetual instrument of the Spirit of God for human transformation. We can tap into our source by meditation, prayer, fasting and the right study of God's word.
Our prayer clinic will give you the time to battle-proof the inner person. In our emergency-oriented era, life demands adequate inner resources. The older a person grows, the more that person seeks to be inwardly prepared for life's contingencies. Only resources of a strong spiritual life, grounded in faith, exercised in moral habit, and in touch with adequate reserves of power will do.
Prayer at its best is communion with God. Prayer is maintenance of an interior companionship. This week we want to enter in a new thankfulness for him, a new appreciation of him, a new intimacy with him.
Here is the plan. This a five-day adventure. It is an inward, individual journey, but it is our hope that you will share with fellow pilgrims the benefits of your revelations and the spiritual diamonds that you will extract in prayer. God will give to you some insights that are for you alone. However, whatever and whenever possible, you can share it with someone. Attune your ear to hear, to listen, to get away from mere words. Real meditation will absorb your mind and spirit so that they are open to the influence of God's light.
I trust that you will go forth from our prayer clinic with renewed strength to keep on keeping on.
Bishop Ithiel Clemmons is pastor of COGIC Cathedral (Home of Wells Memorial Church of God in Christ). Ministers and lay leaders are invited to submit columns for the weekly Forum on questions of social and religious concern. Call staff writer Pringle Pipkin at 373-7098.