December 07, 2015

The Bells Still Ring Peace – Ramona Heikel



This is a season of joy.

I don’t remember another year as full as this one of startling news around the world.  But that doesn’t change the fact that Jesus’ life and death cover every single person, group and nation that flash across our television, computer and cell phone screens.

As I’ve felt powerless over these past months when I see the violence and grief around the globe, I have felt God drawing me into praying about them.  My prayers typically begin, “Lord, I feel helpless, but I know that You are not helpless…”

To pray as practically and powerfully as possible, I have found help through certain scriptures and websites.  The website that has had the most powerful effect on me is called Prayer Ideas, where videos show scenes from various countries while a local believer prays for that country.  You can find it here.  Even though I work with many precious, gentle Muslim teens, I find it alarming to think about all those of that religion that are brutalizing others.  But while watching this video for the first time, I shed tears of joy as I listened to Middle East believers praying for God to deliver and change hardened hearts.  It reminds me that no matter how bleak the news reports are, there are just as many victories unreported of God’s grace and power in the lives of victims and perpetrators alike.  God is there, and He is at work accomplishing his will!



Some of the tools that help me pray, especially for the terrorists and the Middle East, are the prayers at  prayingscriptures.com, prayerideas.org, prayercast.com, and worldinprayer.org.  Psalm 10:12-18, Isaiah 55:3-13, Job 24:22-24 are some encouraging verses that I’ve copied and keep handy.

We can and do celebrate joyfully this Christmas season because we remember that Jesus accomplished the purpose for which he was born on this earth!

And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”


Posted by Ramona     

[Image: the public domain image The Nativity by Federico Barocci (1526-1612) is courtesy of www.reuseableart.com .  The portion of the Christmas carol is from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, music by Jean Baptiste Calkin, lyrics by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]

11 comments:

  1. You voiced the hearts of SO many of us. thank-you.
    More is wrought through prayer than we can ever fathom yet statistics reveal that we spend shameful little time in it...

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  2. Thank you for the wonderful resources. I think you have spoken what so many of us are feeling at this time in history. Also, I love the carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" although it is not one that is as popular. The lyrics are very timely.

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  3. Many of us feel helpless about what is happening in our world. Your message is a reminder full of hope and resources. I too have always loved "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Thank you for the reminder of this carol too, as this song really speaks to the heart of the matter.

    Working with Muslim teens, who are, as you say, "precious and gentle," you might have a better understanding of how the radicalization of some happens. "God is not dead, nor does he sleep."

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  4. You're on the front lines for sure. Praying for you even as we speak ...

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  5. Thank-you Ramona for this encouragement to pray beyond the headlines. Because of technology, we are inundated with these events from all corners. Truly the angels said the Good News is for all peoples. Thanks for the call to prayer!

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  6. Ramona--I checked out all your prayer tools and bookmarked them all. Thanks for the resources--and for the encouragement and reminder to be joyful.

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  7. Ramona, you brought to mind something I had not thought of before. When you mentioned the gentle Muslim teens you work with, I realized that while their nature is to be gentle, should pressure be put on them by those of their faith, their scriptures give them permission to attack, to be destructive. For Christian teens, their scriptures tell them to turn the other cheek, to return hate with love, to serve even unto death. Yes, we must pray. We MUST pray.

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  8. Thank you for this beautiful reminder. We are called to prayer in every circumstance, and the spiritual forces of darkness are pressing hard against us all these days. I am reminded to put on the full armor of God everyday (Ephesians 6:10-17), and I will be including these prayer resources in my daily routine. Thank you, Ramona!

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  9. Truly, when it seems dark,
    God is there, and He is at work accomplishing his will!
    Believing, we can celebrate this season of joy.
    Well said, Ramona!

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  10. A beautiful blog! Thanks you so much for thee prayer tools, Ramona.

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  11. Thank you, you're all so precious. I'm so thrilled that you can use some of these tools and we can join in prayer!

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