Prayer: The New Common Denominator?

The Crumbling ChurchDo you pray? Have you thought about prayer?  Christians pray.  Muslims pray.  Hindus pray.  Buddhists pray.  Just about everyone prays.

And this, says Mark Siljander in his book, A Deadly Misunderstanding— is something that can unite people from different faiths.

Especially, he says if they can unite around the person of Jesus.  The Qur’an speaks highly of Jesus, in many ways similarly to the Gospels.  All the great religions have a place for Jesus — or Isa, as He is known in the Qur’an.

So Mr Siljander has been wandering around the world as an ambassador for world peace trying to find ways to bring warring people together.  And this is his solution.

Now, if prayer and Jesus are to be linked together, a proposition I think highly worthy, then I wonder if Mr. Siljander has in mind this prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven Hallowed by they name. Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done On earth, as it is in heaven.

I can’t help but wonder if this is the kind of prayer these men of different faiths had when they came together.  The very idea of a God who exists — in heaven — is a problem for many religions, and, of course, the idea of doing His will on earth, as it is in heaven raises another range of issues many people would rather not talk about.

First and foremost, what is God’s will?  How do we know what it is?  Is it subjective or objective?  Is it merely a matter of the inward leading of the . . . . I was about to say Holy Spirit, but that seems disallowed in the dialogue. Are the characteristics of the Three Persons of the Trinity merely attributes of a one-Person God?  How can an “attribute” speak to an individual inwardly?  This is a question I would like to see Mr. Siljander answer.

Or, on the other hand, is God’s will a matter of written authority?  But now we’re back to the perplexing question of last week.  Should it be Torah, New Testament or Qur’an that takes the top spot?

Keep thinking.  We’re not done, yet.

Have a great week.

Ian Hodge, Ph.D.

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