The Original 17 Step Journey: Step 16

With the Rev. Dr. Mel White
"One Journey Ends…Another Journey Begins!"

QUESTION: Do you pray? Does prayer play in active role in your life? In one sentence describe your "prayer life" to your partner before you forward this file. If you don’t have a journey partner, write that sentence anyway. If you don’t have a "prayer life" that’s OK. Admit it and say why. If your "prayer life" is mediocre, that’s OK, too. Talk about it. Find out how you really feel about prayer and why. Go on record. Be outrageously honest. Enjoy!

WRITE YOUR ANSWER HERE

The Foolishness of Praying
For too many of us PRAYER is a rather ancient, primitive notion, a practice associated with PRAYERS at church or at table, a symbolic act with of no real consequence to our lives, a request we toss toward the sky with no real expectation that anyone is out there to hear let alone to respond.

And yet Gandhi and King both warn us that we can’t take Truth to Lynchburg until we learn to pray. They say specifically that we can’t discover the power of Soulforce in our lives until we begin a serious conversation with the Soulforce at the center of our lives.

MAHATMA GANDHI ON PRAYER

"Prayer is our greatest weapon…" (1)

"As time went on my faith in God increased and the more irresistible became the yearning for prayer. Life seems to me dull and vacant without it…" (2)

"Prayer is even more indispensable for the soul than food for the body. One may have a surfeit of food but never that of prayer…" (3)

"A heart-felt prayer…is a yearning from within which expresses itself in our every word, every act, nay every thought…" (4)

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ON PRAYER

"One thing we are depending on is prayer…" (5)

"If I had the luxury of an entire uninterrupted week, I would spend it meditating and reading, refreshing myself spiritually and intellectually…Amidst the struggle, amidst the frustrations, amidst the endless work, I often reflect that I am forever giving – never pausing to take in. I feel urgently the need for even an hour of time to get away, to withdraw, to refuel…" (6)

"We ask people everywhere to pray that God will guide us, pray that justice will be done and that righteousness will stand. Through these prayers we will be strengthened. It will make us feel the unity of the nation and the presence of Almighty God. For as we said all along, this is a spiritual movement…" (7)

A SOULFORCE CALL TO PRAY
Jerry and the other primary sources of anti-homosexual misinformation are NOT our enemies. UNTRUTH is our enemy. Confronting UNTRUTH effectively begins when we remember that we are children of the loving Creator who wants to empower us to do justice. Prayer is plugging into that power.

Call it what you will. Practice it as it pleases you. But never forget, our struggle against UNTRUTH cannot be accomplished without it.

So, we end this first seventeen-step Journey into Soulforce with a call to pray.

Pray for the healing and empowering of our own wounded souls.
Pray for our friends.
Pray for our enemies.
Pray for Jerry, his staff and people at the Thomas Road Baptist Church,
his faculty and student body at Liberty University,
his team at the Old Time Gospel Hour radio & TV center,
his ghost-writers who create the terrible UNTRUTHS for Jerry’s anti-homosexual fund-raising industry.
Pray for the millions of good people Jerry has confused with his UNTRUTH.
Pray that we will find the Soulforce Direct Action(s) that will help him see TRUTH.

QUESTION: What are you feeling now after I’ve asked you to pray? This is Step #16 of 17 and we’re almost to the end of the seventeen-email Journey into Soulforce. Are you asking yourself, "Is he going to end it here?" Or "I thought we were going to do something NOT JUST PRAY ABOUT IT."

During the past eight weeks, I’ve tried to summarize the principles of Soulforce behind the powerful lives of Gandhi and King. I’ve read endlessly from their writings. I’ve interviewed their friends and co-workers. I’ve traveled across India with Gandhi’s grandson pursuing Soulforce.

And everywhere I turn, the people who really knew them are convinced that their on-going, life-long, never-ending conversation with God is the secret to their success and will be the secret to ours.

Will you Join us on the next phase of this Journey into Soulforce?

This Journey has ended but File #17 begins a new Journey altogether.

The Soulforce principles we’ve discussed in Files #1-16 can be applied anywhere you like. But with File #17 we apply those principles specifically to Jerry Falwell’s tragic misinformation campaign. And by applying them to Jerry we will be applying them to Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, D. James Kennedy, Cardinal Ratzinger and the rest of them.

We’re going to take TRUTH TO LYNCHBURG. Whether or not you are on the list of 200 invited to have dinner with Jerry, mark your calendar for the weekend of October 22-24. This is not a holiday, a party, or a celebration of Pride. There won’t be loud, angry speeches nor banners that condemn or demand. This is not a political protest or demonstration. This is a spiritual battle to confront UNTRUTH with TRUTH and without prayer it will fail.

But if we begin praying now, it will NOT fail. God will go with us to Lynchburg and God has ways of changing people’s minds and hearts that we cannot even dream, even Jerry’s. All God asks of us, is to take that first step.

If you have absolutely no interest in considering taking TRUTH TO LYNCHBURG, send me one simple word DELETE and you will not hear from me again.

But if are willing to consider this second stage of our Journey into Soulforce, stay tuned…

AN OPEN LETTER TO JERRY FALWELL
I’m hoping that Jerry has been reading these email files. One of Gandhi’s primary rules is "Do nothing in secret." Let your adversary know the Direct Action you are planning every step of the way. (That way, he or she can call for NEGOTIATIONS at any point and avoid the Direct Action altogether.)

On Wednesday, April 28, (Canada’s National Day of Mourning) I’m going to start a series of OPEN LETTERS TO JERRY FALWELL that will last 18 weeks (through summer). Each, brief, one-page letter will contain a specific UNTRUTH by Jerry about homosexuality and homosexuals. That UNTRUTH will be answered just as specifically with TRUTH by scientists, scholars, researchers, pollsters, biblical experts and other authorities. If you stay tuned, I will send you that weekly OPEN LETTER. Feel free to forward these OPEN LETTERS to your own email net.

As a postscript, I will include a brief TAKING TRUTH TO LYNCHBURG ALERT with the details of our October journey and how you can be involved.

In the meantime, review the Soulforce files and pray that God will guide us every step of this new journey.

Love to you all and peace,
Mel

SOURCES QUOTED IN FILE #16
(1) Harijan, Dec. 9, 1939, p 371, in D. p 125.
(2) Nation’s Voice, p. 102, in D. p 125.
(3) N.V., p. 103, in D. p. 124.
(4) Young India, III, pp. 976,977 in D. p. 124.
(5) Fellowship of Reconciliation Magazine, (May 1957, pp 5-7) in TofHope, p. 84.
(6) Playboy Magazine Interview with MLKJr. (1965) pp 175ff in TofHope, p. 372.
(7) FOR Magazine (May 1956), p. 507 in TofHope, p. 84.

NEXT: Step 17

Mel White and Gary Nixon, Partners in Soulforce, Inc.
P.O. Box 4467, Laguna Beach, CA. 92652.
Fax: (949) 455-0959
Email: melwhite@soulforce.org

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