Opinion

Power of prayer in Federal Way | Nandell Palmer

If there’s ever a time we need prayer in our nation, it’s now.

Don’t worry about uttering special phrases or perfecting the right posture. If all you can do is grunt during your quiet time in reverence, then those grunts are saying a thousand words.

On May 3, a group of Federal Way’s clergy, politicians, police officers, business executive, and rank-and-file folk, gathered at The Commons Mall for the annual Prayer Breakfast to pray for our city, state and country — and the inhabitants therein.

Coach Bob Roach, the brainchild behind this event, ought to be commended for his dedication and service over the years for this refresher in our fair city.

Since man shall not live by prayer alone, we were feted to a most succulent breakfast and a musical treat that revved up the place a few notches.

Patrick Eskew and his three fellow singers from Our Savior’s Baptist Church brought good news through their powerful renditions. For a while, I thought Bill Gaither’s quartet was in the house. They could switch to contemporary gospel just like that as well. Gifted is a mild word to describe this awesome group.

The very glib Danielle Encinas from Overcomer Covenant Church had the audience in rapt attention as she described her life of prostitution as a young girl under the bondage of human trafficking. She’s now a happily married wife and mother — thanks to prayer.

Pam Tuggle, the adorable principal of Lakota Middle School, also brought greetings from her school, and extolled the virtue of being our brothers/sisters’ keepers.

Since a number of Federal Way’s students are homeless and depend on the school for breakfast and lunch, she said, they don’t happily look forward to the summer break because that would ration their daily meals.

One young man who is destined to go somewhere is the affable and articulate Caleb Dawson, the newly-elected ASB president of Federal Way High School who wowed the audience with his speech.

What a wonderful medley of prayer and good company and great oration, and just sterling camaraderie. That humble Asian lady who sat at my table was the ultimate prayer warrior, if there was one.

Aside from the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City, drawing upward of 4,000 people to its prayer meeting every Tuesday evening, I have never known prayer to hold a starring role inside the church. But could we be mistaken?

Some would argue that New York’s Fulton Street Prayer Meeting, begun in 1857, and the great Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906, were monumental in shaping our nation’s spiritual consciousness. But we’re talking about more than 100 years ago here.

Truth be told, many proponents seeking to have prayer in public schools today have no meaningful prayer life themselves, either in the church or at home. Now, what an embarrassment that would be if that rude awakening were ever to be tossed into prayer proponents’ faces.

While prayer hardly ever gets the press coverage it deserves, it has a way of binding kindred hearts in unity like no other forms of spiritual activities. In other words, one love.

Get out of the way some, as this neglected pastime is stepping into the limelight as never before. Don your party hats because prayer is about to throw the all-time celebrated bash of the century.

In some people’s minds, prayer’s only claim to fame is that miracles can happen when they’re at their wit’s end. Sometimes! Prayer is a lot more exciting than anybody ever dreamed. It is the conduit to hope and despair.

When the power of prayer is unleashed, nobody can truly predict what might truly happen. Prayer can get you from the pit to the palace. It is said by the pauper’s daughter and the rich man’s son. It is the great equalizer.

Politicians and school superintendents and doctors and teachers and CEOs and law enforcement officers are never independent of our collective prayers. And as one person said, when email is not available, then “knee mail” is always at the ready.

In hard times, when legions are out of work, struggling to put food on the table and pay their mortgage, and when they don’t know where next to turn, prayer can become that fulcrum in otherwise failed situations. Know that your prayer is only one heartbeat away.

All of us have a chance to make prayer the spiritual food of choice. Let’s make prayer chic even outside the four walls of the church, synagogue, temple, and mosque.

In the meantime, you pray for me and I pray for you. You pray and I’ll pray, too.

 

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