"Liberating Wisdom of God" - Pastor Parimal Roy
We moved to Bellflower several years ago. Almost immediately, a pastor colleague introduced me to the Wednesday morning "Church of Bellflower" Prayer meeting! It meets at 7:30am in Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) on Bellflower Blvd. I found there a dedicated group of people – pastors, lay people, men, women, Indian American, African American and an American born in Africa, - in nutshell, a foretaste of heaven. The group, drawn from various ministries, churches and denominations in Bellflower, comes together to pray as the "Church of Bellflower". They pray for the City of Bellflower and various needs the city represents.
I learned to pray for the City Council, the Mayor, Officers of the City, various departments that run the city, but my favorite became the Bellflower Unified School District (BUSD). I later realized that my prayers should include other institutions of education also. I was drawn to pray for the District Superintendent, the Board Chair and members, principals of schools, administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and the children who come to study. I realized what an important role each one plays to nurture the life of a child that he and she would become a useful, fruitful and contributing citizen of this great nation. What an awesome responsibility the educators have toward each child! So I learned to pray for the Superintendent, for the decision she makes that affect an entire school district, for the Board members as they work with the Superintendent, each one bringing wisdom and strength to bear upon the deliberations that go on behind each decision that will eventually percolate down to impacting what happens to a student. I learned to pray for the safety in schools and of students. I learned to pray for parents that they would clean, dress and feed their children and send them to school. I learned to pray for teachers because students hold them in high esteem and trust them. I learned to pray that teachers would not only provide knowledge, they would also instill values to live by in the society, and that they would model these value-filled living. How liberating that would be!
As a Christian my mind goes back to the book of Proverbs in the Bible that carries insight for living in the world. The coolest insight is to seek wisdom and the source of true wisdom. It is in the acknowledgement and reverence of God we will find wisdom. In bringing ourselves in the light of God's word, somehow we learn that knowing all the information is not enough. Accumulation of knowledge in itself can be burdensome and binding. Gaining ways to use that information and translating it into insight and positive values can be liberating. I remembered Fynn's Mister God, This is Anna (NY: Ballantine Books, 1976). On page 97, this is what you'd read: “Letting your soul, or whatever fancy name you like to give it, out of its cage and into the daylight is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do.” And then, there is Jesus, the wisdom of God, who in effect said, I have come to free you (Luke 4:18-19)! In receiving and following Jesus we find the source of true wisdom. The journey can be hard yet rewarding! The season of Lent provides an opportunity to stretch our imagination, read the Bible, and let God speak to our heart. Imagine there is heaven! And then you speak to Jesus. Wednesday morning is not the only time God hears our prayers!
HOW TO PRAY:
Pray for safety at our local schools (including our local public and private schools)
Pray for parents of K-12 students as they do their best to provide for their children at home
Pray for teachers to have strength, compassion, and energy as they teach their students
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
About the Author: Parimal Roy lives in Bellflower and loves the folks here. The city has been on his heart and in his prayers.