I’m grateful for the chance to share my new book, “Call Him, He’s Home: A Regular Person’s Guide to Prayer” with the Authors’ Lounge.
The book is my attempt to bring readers closer to God by learning that prayer isn’t so complicated or rules-soaked as many are raised to believe. The good news is that God created each of us as unique works of art, he wants to hear from us, and He loves all of us.
About me: I am a Christian.
What does that mean? It depends on your interpretation. Some may have stopped reading with the previous paragraph. Their experience led them to mutter something like, “Oh no, not one of them. I’ll save the harangue for another day. Or not.”
Believe me, I get it. (Also, thanks for still reading). Christians have a checkered reputation for many. In the modern world, much of that can be attributed to the failings of some who cynically highjacked the faith to gain power. Many of them, having obtained the power, pay only lip service to the faith, making sure believer’s money keeps flowing to their campaigns so that they might continue using their power for ungodly purposes.
But just as high-profile political types undermine the salvation message of Jesus Christ, everyday Christians are not immune to judgment, bigotry, anger, greed, division, jealousy, hatred, pride, and other sinful mindsets. There is a reason for this. They are sinners.
But before you start feeling superior, I have bad news. You’re a sinner too. So am I.
One of the earliest adages I learned in life is that ‘Nobody’s Perfect.’ We aren’t God, and so we are subject to sins of various shapes, sizes, flavors, and styles.
Since few people could argue with “Nobody’s Perfect,” the default some Christians move to is “Some of us are better than others.” This is an example of the sins of pride and judgment, suggesting that “At least my sins aren’t as bad as yours are.”
From God’s perspective, it’s all sin. He hates all of it. Can’t stand it. Therefore, we all need forgiveness, even those who act as though they don’t. Not from you or me. From God. Why? Because God decides what happens to you in eternity, which is a lot longer than an arduous Monday at work or even a New England winter.
God could have been done with us. Hit the reset button and begin anew. But there is one thing that kept Him from doing so: He loves us. So rather than give up, He solved our problem by sending His only son to teach us how to live and then to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. He took the punishment that we deserved. Therefore, Jesus is the Savior. Without Him, we would be, quite literally, damned.
It’s likely that some Christians are too zealous for you. They are too strident and come on too strong. Used car salespeople for God. It’s easy to dismiss them especially if they are asking for money or a time commitment or some other imposition.
And yes, some are insincere. Or judgmental.
But the great majority of Christians are trying hard and imperfectly to emulate our Lord and Savior. In this life, we are going to fail, but God wants us to try. He modeled this way of life for all to see. Gentleness, humility, compassion, decency, acceptance, peace, love. This is what He wanted us to know. That through our love for one another and for God, we show our authentic faith and devotion to His teachings.
What do we mean by ‘one another?’ Jesus told us to ‘love one another.’ He did not follow with a list of exceptions. Or any exception. ‘One another’ includes all people, everywhere. He didn’t stipulate that they had to look, speak, believe, love, or worship as we do. He didn’t say they had to be from our homeland. (Unless you define homeland as ‘earth’)
No, Christians are directed to love everyone. Without exception.
Do we like everyone? No.
Do we like everything everyone does? No.
But do we accept that all people were made by God, that we are made in His image, and that on that basis, we are to love one another? Yes. Or rather, we certainly should.
But being imperfect sometimes involves letting our zeal or our pride or our misunderstandings or our insincerity blind us to the simplicity of Jesus’ teaching.
One thing He taught us was how to pray. That is the focus of “Call Him, He’s Home”
Before Jesus, regular people were not invited to pray directly to God. But Jesus opened the channel of prayer directly to ‘Our’ Father. There was no need for priests or anyone else to be a go-between. All we need is Jesus, who is with the Father and will intercede on our behalf when we pray.
With this channel, regular people like you and me can speak directly to God. We can ask for things, pray for people, share our worries and concerns, give thanks and praise. He cares and answers. He is trustworthy and almighty. Nothing is beyond His capability.
If you are seeking meaning, comfort, and faith, my book may be a wonderful place for you to start. God is found by all who seek Him. If you wish to read more of my writing or to get a sense of my style before trying the book, visit my website at JimDonaher.com. Read the blog, see an excerpt from “Call Him, He’s Home” and subscribe for updates and to just stay in touch.