Weekly Thought – December 10, 2019
Fred’s prayer life was personal. He never raised his hand to be the “public prayer expert.” His prayer was part of his private devotional life. His daughter Brenda commented on seeing her Dad kneeling by his bed nightly during her childhood at home. “To see this strong man humbly coming before the Lord marked me.”
Thank you for supporting the team at Palm Beach Atlantic University last month. Ongoing reports from President William Fleming and other campus leaders reinforce the effective ministry of the What’s Next Roundtable.
San Angelo Prayer Breakfast
(Note: Fred was invited by his friend Max Hulse to be the initial speaker as San Angelo, Texas established their annual Prayer Breakfast, inspired by the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. This newspaper article written by Ron Durham covered the event. Fred’s thoughts in the 1980s still speak to us today.)
“Despite indications that the nation is in the Dark Ages morally, there are enough true believers acting out their commission as ‘the light of the world’ to prompt optimism,” Dallas businessman Fred Smith told an audience Thursday.
The remarks from Smith, a businessman, author, and inspirational speaker, was received enthusiastically by the approximate 600 people attending San Angelo’s version of the National Prayer Breakfast. This was the first-ever event.
“Prayer is a relationship that unites us instead of a doctrine which divides us.” At another point he said “moral problems require spiritual solutions.”
Acknowledging that “these are turbulent times because we are between Christian and non-Christian ideas.” He compared these times to a trapeze artist letting go of one bar and flying through the air reaching for the next swing.
Citing others who agree that the nation is in moral decline, Smith referred to Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitszyn’s remark “the West is spiritually weary.” He quoted newsman Ted Koppel’s observation that “the ten commandments have become the ten suggestions.”
He also observed that the culture’s materialistic bent only points to a hole in the soul. “Many people have means but very little meaning.”
Smith posed a blunt challenge to members of churches and synagogues to live up to the claims of their faith. He referenced a recent study which said only 10% of church and synagogue members showed any significant difference in their lifestyle from non-members.
On the brighter side, he spoke of strong ministries growing and flourishing. He cited prison ministries and others focused on professional athletes which are the reason for optimism. He observed what he is seeing in the number of people who are verbalizing their desire to move from success to significance.
This week think about: 1) How can I apply Fred’s words from the mid-80s to my life today? 2) Which quote is particularly applicable to me? 3) If I were asked to address a prayer breakfast, what would I say?
Words of Wisdom: “Prayer is a relationship that unites us instead of a doctrine which divides us.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1 NET Bible)