Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A One Minute Prayer - UPDATED

Today, I received an e-mail from a member of the prayer circle of which I am a member at our local church. It was about a one-minute prayer which many in the United States are trying to organize for the safety of our troops, our citizens and a return to Godliness in America.
The e-mail was a call to set aside one minute at the same time each day. The e-mail mentioned 9pm Eastern time. I think this is a great idea and would like to suggest this to my readers in the United States. For those readers not in the United States, you may want to find out if there is any movement within your country to pray on behalf of your nation's people, leadership, etc.
I do need to offer a small bit of advice about the story which often accompanies the e-mail. It makes the following claim:
"Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?"
Having read a number of "urban legends" in regard to Christianity in America ("Joshua's Long Day" is a perfect example of an attempt to put forth a Christian point but to do so with an accompanying story with is actually not true), I thought that the reference to an unnamed "advisor to Churchill" followed the track of many urban legends. In such urban legends, there is an attempt to give authoritative emphasis to the account. However, there is typically the untrackable reference to an authority figure. I tried to find out who this advisor to Churchill was via an Internet search. In virtually every case, the advisor to Churchill portion is quoted, almost word-for-word, in every source I could find. There is NO information as to who this person was or the group of praying people. Perhaps, they did exist. Yet, I cannot confirm this. UPDATE of April 10 2008 - There may actually be some names which can be historically linked to this practice. See the rest of the April 10th update below.
Therefore, this will be a strange call to prayer on my part. I do believe that the one-minute prayer is very much worth doing for the sake of our nation. However, do keep in mind that its' original promoters MIGHT have been a little zealous to find/created a justification for this. So, I suggest that you consider practicing the one-minute at 9pm Eastern (8pm Central; 7pm Mountain and 6pm Pacific Time). However, please do this regardless of an advisor to Winston Churchill. The justification we need is already clearly stated in the Word of God: "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2 NIV
Update - April 10 2008
One of the readers of the blog left a comment which contains a link to some information about the development of a Remembrance ceremony which involved remembering fallen soldiers at the 9pm chiming of Big Ben in London (as an aside, Big Ben turns 150 years old today).
Please read the page at the following link: Remembrance Ceremony


Anonymous said...

Did you look at this site? It might be relevant? And actually gives the full name of someone.

Walter Hampel said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for the link. I've read through the page and I could see how the story about a Churchill advisor during World War II could have developed from this. I will be updating the entry on the blog site to point to the link which you so kindly provided.

Thanks for reading the School of the Solitary Place.

mariah said...