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Journalist begins series, focuses on the Christian prayer life

Carston Saelzler | The Feather Online

Carston Saelzler, (middle left), pictured here with his family on top of Mount Arbel overlooking the Galilee Region.

This is the first article in an opinion series about reporter Carston Saelzler’s, ’21, 12-day trip to Israel, Nov. 26-Dec. 6, 2018. In this article he discusses issues that are found in the Christian prayer life. To read his introduction to the trip, click COLUMN: My experience in the Holy Land of Israel. 

Memories are just a start with what I took away from my trip to Israel in November 2018. I gained new friends and strengthened current ones. I learned about the land of Israel and its geography, the people, the culture of the Israelites, but the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel I gained made the biggest impact on me.

The Bible, written and printed in black and white lettering, turns to vivid color with a trip to the land where much of it was penned. I am continually being enriched by this trip.

I hiked Mount Arbel, a place where Jesus likely went to pray. There our pastor, Brad Bell, spoke about why we pray as believers.

Bell, the lead pastor at The Well Community Church, got his masters degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. I took a lot of thoughts away from his message.

For example, many Christians are willing to talk about church or their Bible time, but avoid discussing prayer life. Of course, it’s not wrong to go to church or read the Bible, but I believe most Christians, including myself, miss out on authentic prayer.

Did the disciples ask Jesus how to perform miracles? No. But what did the disciples ask Jesus? They asked him about prayer in Luke 11. If we struggle praying publicly it is probably because we pray privately a lot. There are no magic words, no magic phrases, it is an honest conversation with our heavenly father.

The following podcast includes Carston Saelzler interviewing FC Chaplain Reese Brown,’19, about student prayer lives.

I don’t think Jesus ever prayed the Luke 11 prayer though. We are the ones that need forgiveness, not Jesus. We are the ones that need daily bread, not Jesus. When we pray to God, begin your prayer by talking about God:

“God, you are Holy, you are perfect, merciful, near, faithful. God you are. …”

When I think about this I feel guilty because I let my own selfish pride get in the way of me and my Heavenly Father:

“Your kingdom come… your will be done. Redeem this broken world for your praise. Would the word of God or rather the will of God be accomplished through me.”

God’s vision for us might be rich, it might be poor, but God’s desire for everyone is to have daily bread found in Him-just enough:

“Give me just enough. Just my daily bread.”

God is not surprised that we screw up, it is the fact that we hide it. We have to confess to another human being because it is much harder to hide in the dark when someone else has a flashlight on your life.

1 Cor 10:13 is a verse that goes along with that:

“Lead me not into temptation but show me your way out. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen.”

Thank you to Pastor Bell for the knowledge shared on this topic.

For more of Saelzler’s articles, check out Journalist explores the concept of community and COLUMN: My experience in the Holy Land of Israel.

For the latest Feather editorial read Editorial: Role of student leadership.

Carston Saelzler can be reached via email.

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