catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 22 :: 2007.11.30 — 2007.12.14


Strategies for hope

The word “hope” in the title can be understood in two ways.  One way is in the sense of wishful thinking.  Another way is in keeping with the meaning associated with Christian Bible-based understanding.  That meaning speaks of hope as confident expectation.  That kind of hope is necessarily associated with faith in the Lord God-with-us and God’s attributes, including God’s willingness to hear and answer faith-filled prayers in a way that is just, loving, righteous, and wise.   It is working for the latter sense of hope that intercessors and GRAPPLERs are needed, perhaps more than ever before in history.   

Like the word “hope,” the word “peace” has more than one way of being understood.   Intercessors and GRAPPLERs are needed to work for peace in the sense of shalom, or wholistic well-being, rather than merely an absence of physical violence or war.   For the discussion that follows, wholistic well-being refers to the emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of human life in creation.   

The following quotation—in regard to prayer and intercession—is excerpted from the words of Dr. Jack W. Hayford, editor of the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, as part of the introduction to a booklet entitled Prayer Matters:

Motivation toward such prayer occurs when we recognize the importance Jesus placed on prayer in helping us serve in our roles as ‘kingdom administrators’. Without the intervention of God’s kingdom rule through prayer, Earth’s circumstances will succumb to inevitable consequences.  Earthly scenes of need must be penetrated by God’s power….   God’s power alone can change things and bring heaven’s rule….  However, the praying is ours to do….  Unless we ask for the intervention of His kingdom and obey His prayer-lessons, nothing will change [except for the worst].  All kingdom ministry begins with, is sustained by, and will triumph through prayer.

Dr. Hayford’s words point to the need to offer an opportunity for believers, who would be disciples, to move to a new level of relationship with God through knowledge of the Lord Jesus and a new vision of prayer’s potential to facilitate the appropriation of God’s power, provision, and purposes.  Presentation and discussion of Prayer Matters is being undertaken for those reasons.

The Prayer Matters booklet presents four patterns to be used as tools that draw from biblical scripture for praying proactively, protectively, specifically, and systematically in regard to personal, family, community, group, national, and world events, experiences, and needs.    In the first pattern—“Worship and Spiritual Authority Matters”—the opening sentence, like Jehoshaphat’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20, addresses God in terms of what is believed about God’s actions, attributes and abilities.

Creating, eternal, loving, life and light-giving, saving, helping, Lord Emmanuel (God-with-us), You who are wise and have the knowledge, the power, willingness, ability and right to act for healing, as well as deliverance from and restraint of evil by any and all perpetrators of death, deception, disease, dysfunction, and destruction, I worship You and give You praise.

In regard to the exercise of authority over satanic forces that first pattern, also, includes words that take seriously the words of the Lord Jesus.  For example, “It is written that the Lord Jesus said that those who believe in Him could do what He did and even greater things than He did, [John 14:12] and He commanded the forces of nature, as well as satanic and demonic entities…near and far and they obeyed.  So loose your hold and leave……….!”

The second pattern—“Additional Prayer Matters for All Saints”—opens with words that give a scriptural basis for the requests and that allude to the Lord’s words about praying, about the Holy Spirit, and about there being conditions for some blessings.  The third pattern—“Additional Prayer Matters…for the Prevailing of God’s Kingdom and Righteousness”—makes specific requests in regard to needs associated with wholistic well-being individually, interpersonally, socio-economically, ethnically, nationally, and globally.   The fourth pattern—“Protective Intercessory Praying throughout the Day”—in three short paragraphs petitions our Heavenly Father for intervention in regard to activities, events and experiences that are challenging or threatening to a particular aspect, or all aspects, of the well-being of others, such as  accidents, storms, acute manifestations of life-threatening illnesses, and troubling  news reports. 

While the importance of unified strategic intercessory prayer cannot be overemphasized, Dr. Hayford’s words about  “all kingdom ministry” needing to be covered by prayer, points to the reality that acting and working in addition to praying is necessary.  That reality leads to a discussion of the need for a GRAPPLER, which is an acronym for Golden Rule Affirming Promoter of Peaceful Life-Enhancing Relationships.   The concept of a GRAPPLER was conceived by a group of people, GRAPPLERs themselves, who are willing to “work with others, who believe:

  1. That people from conception to death should be protected, have equal opportunities, and be treated with respect.
  2. That modern technology for death and destruction make the search for peaceful ways to resolve conflict mandatory, morally and practically.
  3. That transforming love, which includes even those who act as enemies canand should be lived-out.

The GRAPPLERs’ vision is for “a majority of governed and governing people affirming and seeking to apply principles associated with:

  • The Golden Rule
  • Life-Enhancing Practices
  • The Preamble of the United States Constitution.”

Its mission is “to promote affirmation and application of the GRAPPLERs vision and values.”

The Golden Rule, as many know, is “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”   Life-Enhancing Practices can, undoubtedly, mean many things to different people.  For a GRAPPLER, life-enhancing practices are those “associated with principles that are consistent with, or extensions of, the life-enhancing expressions and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.   Many have read, but may not remember the words to the Preamble.  They are:

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

GRAPPLER vision and mission statements were developed in response to concerns expressed in five “where as” clauses in a “Petition for the Nation.”   The petition read in part as follows:

Where as…The Golden Rule…presents wisdom that holds promise for peaceful relationships for and between persons, families, communities, and ethnic groups, as well as nations; and

Where as…The Preamble to the United States Constitution gives goals that point to a desire for the wholistic well-being of people in this nation, and

Where as…The nation is greatly divided racially, economically and over what constitutes morality, justice, and the best ways to reach the goals and establish the kind of relationships mentioned above; and

Where as…The history of the world has shown that when a nation remains divided and unjust it is headed for destruction; and

Where as…I believe that, if we, as a nation of concerned and caring people live, enact, as well as correct laws and policies in accordance with the eight points…we will truly be operating with integrity in regard to the Preamble’s goals and its implied vision for wholistic well-being.

The petition goes on to urge government officials and candidates “to promote and use the eight points, as guiding principles in” their lives and work for the formulation and enactment of laws and policies.   It closes with a sad possibility.  “It is very possible—in light of the history of nations—that, not only the wholistic well-being of this nation and its people, but continuance, as a greatly blessed nation, is at stake.”

GRAPPLER has condensed the petition’s eight points into seven core affirmations and values. The first value states: “The Golden Rule is the basic standard for interpersonal and inter-group actions and communication.”  The other six include statements about the sanctity of life; compassionate economic justice for all; peaceful resolution of international conflict, the need for personal righteousness and social justice for society’s well-being; and the enactment and equitable enforcement of laws.

The intention is to have the values serve, as guidelines, in the fulfilling of GRAPPLERs’ mission by those who become a part of local chapters that 1) encourage government officials and candidates to affirm and seek to govern in accordance with the vision and values, 2) work to encourage all segments of the body-politic to affirm, embrace, and promote the vision and values, and 3) work for development and support of life-enhancing laws and policies through ballot initiatives, if necessary.

A strategic intercessory prayer network made of faith-, hope-, and love-filled disciples of Christ Jesus or GRAPPLER—or both—may be just what God is looking for in order to establish peace.  One ancient prophet declared that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

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