Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal

Theme: Praying With Persistence

Volume 4 No. 233 August 22, 2014

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St. Mary's Cheriapally, Pampady East, Kottayam Diocese, Look of Church at Century Celebrations
Morth Mariam Cheriapally, Nenmala, Pampady East, Kottayam Diocese

The church is celebrating its centennial this year. The completely renovated and remodeled church will be consecrated and dedicated by His Beatitude Catholicose Baseliose Thomas I, Presiding Hierarch of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church in India, on Saturday, August 30, 2014 assisted by His Grace Dr. Thomas Mor Themotheous, Metropolitan, Kottayam Diocese. Hon. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala, will deliver the key note address and also will inaugurate the Charity activities in a meeting preceding the consecration ceremony. A large number of dignitaries, including Mr. Jose K. Mani M. P. and Mr. V. M. Vasavan Ex M. L. A., will be present at the meeting.

The festivities will continue on Sunday, August 31, 2014 with a tri-mass (Moonninmel Qurbana) celebrated by HG Thomas Mor Themothious, Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese, H. G. Zacharias Mor Philaxinous, and H. G. Zacharias Mor Polycarpose, assisted by Cor Episcopos, Priests, Deacons and altar assistants.

The church has a storied history.

The Church Founding Contract (Udampadi) was signed on August 10 1914 and a Kalpana (Bull) of Approval of The Church was issued by Saint Paulose Mor Coorilose, Metropolitan, Kottayam Diocese in 1915. The First Holy Qurbana was celebrated on January 28 1915.
The Koodasha (Consecration and Dedication) of the new church was performed by H.G. Paulose Mor Philaxinous, Metropolitan, Kottayam Diocese on January 15, 1964. (HG later became HB Baseliose Paulose II, Catholicos of the East).

Morth Mariam Cheriapally is proud of its famous son His Grace Yacoub Mor Julios. Sri Chacko Madapattu was ordained as 'Kaseessa' in 1945 and elevated as Ramban in 1955 in this church. H. H Ignatius Yakoob III , the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, ordained him as Metropolitan in 1975. His Grace has done a commendable service to the Jacobite church and taught many of our priests at Manjinikkara Seminary and at Malekurishu till his departure to heavenly abode on January 24, 1992.

Sri K .C Andrayose of the Kollamparampil family was ordained as Kaseessa in 1974 and later elevated as Ramban in 1977. The ordination service was held in this church.

Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Moolayil, Rev. Fr. Mathews Kavumkal and Rev. Fr. Mathews Edathara (all cor episcopose now) were ordained as priests in this church by H.G. Geevargheese Mar Gregorius (Perumpalli Thirumeni) in this church. A long list of priests in Jacobite church has served in this church.

On a personal note, Dr. Jacob Mathew Pullolickal, The Chief Editor and Founder of Malankara World, is a proud member of this church. He was baptized and married in this church. Two years ago, his daughter, Dr. Seena Mathew, also was married in this church.

We congratulate Fr. Jiby Mathew, Vicar; Chev. Shibu Mathew, Pullolickal, Gen. Convenor; T. C. Philip Thachedathu, Gen. Secretary and the entire Centenary Committee for a job well done.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1. Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 24)

 

2. Sermons for This Sunday (August 24)

Sermons for the 2nd Sunday After Shunoyo

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_2nd-sunday-after-Shunoyo.htm

3. Inspiration for Today - You Are Special: The Spice Of Life

If you want to feel good about life, see yourself as you are - an irreplaceable and necessary spice in the cookie-dough of life!

And when someone else spices up your experience of life, be sure and thank them. ...

4. Featured: Three Teachings from the Lord on Prayer

The teaching that we persist in prayer is something of a mystery. God is not deaf, he is not forgetful, he is not stubborn. But yet, he teaches in many places that we are to persevere, even pester him, in our prayer.

Why he teaches this cannot be for his sake, it must be for ours. Perhaps he seeks to help us clarify what we really want, perhaps he wants to strengthen our faith, perhaps he wants to instill appreciation in us for the finally answered prayer. What ever it may be there is something of a mystery here as to the exact reason. But persistent prayer is taught and insisted upon by Jesus, here and elsewhere....

5. Praying With Persistence

It is not that God is hard of hearing that we are admonished to be persistent in prayer. Rather, it is because God, our heavenly Parent, wants an intimate relationship with each one of us and by giving us the gift of his Holy Spirit we shall come to trust in God as we ask, search and knock; knowing that whatever God gives us by way of answering our prayers; it is all and always for the best. ...

6. Prayer Opens the Door for God

When we don't pray, what we're doing is closing the door to the Lord. And not praying is this: closing the door to the Lord, so that He can do nothing. On the other hand, prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. So that He builds things, He knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something. ..

7. Prayers to Start and End the Day

Many people benefit from using set prayers for different life circumstances or during different times of the day. An ancient Jewish pattern of prayer is to offer oneself to God as the first thought of the day, and at day's end. Both of these prayers focus on the idea of "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," which were Jesus' last words on the cross, but also were the words of a common Jewish daily prayer, almost like the modern: "Now I lay me down to sleep..." ...

8. Prayer Killers

As I reflect on my prayer time, there are many obstacles to get past before I even get into my closet to pray. Here are four prayer killers and how I've been learning to keep them at bay. ...

9. Prayer: Back to School Prayers from Psalms & Proverbs

I ended the summer reading through the Psalms and Proverbs. As I drank in the wisdom of these two books, certain passages in particular have encouraged and directed my hopes for my children as they head back to school. These verses have shaped my prayers and given words to the longings of my heart. As my children spend less time in my presence, I am thankful that I can bring all my concerns and cares before the Lord in prayer. ...

10. The Power of Family Prayer

God wants your family to shine like lights in a rapidly darkening and dysfunctional world. He desires each member to have his or her eyes open to realities that others refuse to see. He longs for you to walk with Christ through a larger, more wondrous world than some are capable of imagining. Take the roof off and establish a direct link between your home and the heart of the King of all creation. ...

11. Health: How Should Christians Respond to Suicide and Depression?

Alcohol, drugs, depression, all of these are associated with suicide. And as psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison of Johns Hopkins writes in her book, "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide," the most common factor in suicide is mental illness, in particular "mood disorders" such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder. ...

12. ISIS Loots Christian Homes, Vandalizes Churches in Mosul

Witnesses report that ISIS entered the Cathedral of St. Ephrem in the Shurta neighborhood and destroyed a cross made with red glass; it also hung a huge black flag of the Islamic State on the wall of the building to cover a large cross on the facade of the cathedral. The cathedral is now being used as headquarters for ISIS. ...

13. All 45 Christian Institutions in Mosul Destroyed or Occupied By ISIS

Since taking over Mosul on June 10, ISIS has destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered all 45 Christian institutions in Mosul. ...

14. About Malankara World

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 24)
 

Sermons for This Sunday (August 24)
This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today - You Are Special: The Spice Of Life

by Wes Hopper

"There is a place that you are to fill that no one else can fill, something you are to do which no one else can do."
Florence Scovel Shinn

One of the reasons that we might get discouraged is that we don't realize the truth in today's quote.

Let's face it - not everything we want to do turns out the way we want it. Not everything we want to achieve turns out the way we imagined.

Then we become discouraged, and, to one degree or another, we start to believe that what we do is not that important.

Florence Shinn noticed that kind of discouragement in her coaching clients 100 years ago, and our quote is what she told them.

We know we can't bake tasty cookies without some sugar and spice, yet when we look at the sugar it doesn't seem like much.

But we can sure taste the difference if it's missing! And the world will notice the difference if you're missing. You have your own unique spice to add to the life of the world.

If you want to feel good about life, see yourself as you are - an irreplaceable and necessary spice in the cookie-dough of life!

And when someone else spices up your experience of life, be sure and thank them.

Source: Gratitude Journal

Featured: Three Teachings from the Lord on Prayer

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Gospel: Luke 11:1-13

In today's gospel we see the request by the disciples that the Lord teach them on prayer. In answer, the Lord gives us three basic teachings or prescriptions for prayer.

Lets look at these three prescriptions he gives.

I. Pattern of Prayer

The Gospel opens: Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."

In giving the "Our Father" we must be careful to understand that the Lord Jesus is not simply giving us words to say. More than this, he is giving us a pattern for prayer. He is "teaching us to pray." He does this in response to the disciples, who did not ask to be given words to say, but to taught how to pray.

Thus, while the words of the Our Father are precious, it is also important to look at the underlying structure implicit in the prayer so as to learn "how to pray." Jesus is illustrating by these words what ought to be going on in us interiorly, in our mind and heart as we pray: Here is what the mind and heart of a person of prayer is like.

Let's consider then, five basic disciplines, taught by Jesus in the Our Father that form a kind of pattern or structure for prayer. I use here the Mattean version of the prayer only because it is more familiar, but all the basic elements are the same:

1. RELATEOur Father who art in heaven

Here begins true spirituality: Relate to the Father! Relate to him with family intimacy, affection, reverence and love. We are not merely praying the "the deity" or the "Godhead." We are praying to our Father who loves us, who provides for us and, who sent his only Son to die for us and save us. When Jesus lives his life in us and His Spirit dwells in us we begin to experience God as our Abba, (Father).

As developed in other New Testament texts, the deeper Christian word Abba underlies the prayer. Abba is the family word for the more generic and formal word "father." When my Father was alive I did not call him "Father" I called him "Dad." This is really what the word Abba is getting at. It is the family word for Father. It indicates family ties, intimacy, close bonds. Why the word Abba is not used here in the Our Father is uncertain. St. Paul develops the theme here: For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" (Rom 8:15 ) and here: And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Gal 4:6).

Ask God for the gift to experience him as Abba. At the heart of our worship and prayer is a deep and personal experience of God's love and fatherly care for us. The first discipline or practice of the Spiritual life is to RELATE to God as to a Father who loves us and to experience him as Abba.

2. REJOICEhallowed by thy name!

The praise and love of God is the essential discipline and element of our spiritual lives. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift and to Him our praise is due. Praise and thanksgiving make us people of hope and joy. It is for this that we were made. God created us, so that we…might live for his praise and glory (Eph 1:12).

Our prayer life should feature much joyful praise. Take a psalm of praise and pray it joyfully. Take the Gloria of the Mass and pray it with gusto! Rejoice in God, praise his name. Give glory to him who rides above the clouds.

There may be times when, due to some sadness or difficulty, we do not feel emotionally like praising God. Praise the Lord anyhow! Scripture says, I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1). Praise is to be a regular discipline of prayer, rooted even more in the will, than just the feelings. God is worthy our praise.

Ultimately praise is a refreshing way to pray, since we were made to praise God, and when we do what we were made to do, we experience a kind of satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. The second element and discipline of the spiritual life is a life of vigorous praise: REJOICE!

3. RECEIVEthy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

At the heart of this petition is an openness to God's will, to his word of instruction, to his plan for us and for this world. When Jesus lives in us we hunger for God's word and strive to know his will and have it operative in our life.

A basic component and discipline of the prayer and the spiritual life, is to receive the Word and instruction of God, so that his will might be manifest to us, and we can obey. We ought to pray the Scriptures (lectio divina). We ought to study the faith through the Catechism or other means. These are ways that we become open to God's will that his Kingdom might be manifest in our lives.

The Third element and discipline of prayer and the spiritual life is an openness to to God's teachings through the Church and Scriptures: RECEIVE!

4. REQUESTGive us today our daily bread

Intercessory prayer is at the heart of the Christian life. Allow "bread," in this case, to be a symbol of all our needs. Our greatest need of course is to be fed by God, and thus bread also points to the faithful reception of the Eucharist.

Intercessory prayer is the prayer of asking for God's help in every need. Take every opportunity to pray for others. When watching the news or reading the newspaper, pray the news. Much of the news contains many things for which to pray: victims of crime, disaster or war, the jobless, homeless and afflicted. Many are locked in sin and bad behavior, corruption, confusion, bad priorities and the like. Many are away from the sacraments and no longer seek their Eucharistic bread who is Christ. Pray, pray, pray.

There are also good things we hear of and we should be grateful and ask that solutions be lasting. This intercessory prayer flows from our love and solidarity with others. We see the world with the compassion of Christ and pray. The fourth element and discipline of prayer and the spiritual life is to INTERCEDE for ourselves and others.

5. REPENTand forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Sin is understood at two levels here:

1: sin – (lowercase) our personal sins and trespasses, also referred to as our "trespasses."
2. Sin (upper case) – referring to the whole climate of sin, the structures of sin that reinforce and underlie our own sins. Referred to here as "evil."

An essential element of our spiritual life is that we come to recognize the sins, and deep drives of sins, in our own life, to beg deliverance from them as well as mercy.

It is also true that we live in a sin soaked world were the powers and principalities of evil have great influence. We cannot fail to recognize this and pray that it's power will be curbed.

Then too, we must also pray for the grace to show mercy to others. For it often happens that sin escalates through resentments, and retribution rooted in unforgiving attitudes. We must pray to be delivered from these hurts and resentments so as to be able to break the cycle of violence and revenge that keeps sin multiplying.

But in the end we must pray for the Lord's grace and mercy to end evil in our own lives and that the whole world. The Fifth element and discipline of prayer and the spiritual life is to REPENT of evil.

So here then is a structure for our prayer and spiritual life contained in the Our Father. Jesus teaches us to pray, and gives us a basic structure for prayer. Some may use this an actual structure for daily prayer. Hence, if they are going to spend 25 minutes praying, they spend about five minutes on each aspect. Others may use this structure for an over all reference for their spiritual life in general. Hence, one might ask if these aspects and disciplines are reflected well in their overall prayer life.

Thus the first teaching of the Lord is to give us a pattern for prayer. We now go on to the next preisciption.

II. The Persistence of Prayer

Jesus goes on to say, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,' and he says in reply from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus tells a similar parable in Luke 18 of an unjust judge and a persistent widow. Finally the judge gives her justice because of her demanding persistence.

The upshot of both of these parables is that if even a grouchy neighbor and an unjust judge will respond to persistence, how much more will God the Father who is neither unjust or grouchy respond to those who call out to him day and night.

The teaching that we persist in prayer is something of a mystery. God is not deaf, he is not forgetful, he is not stubborn. But yet, he teaches in many places that we are to persevere, even pester him, in our prayer.

Why he teaches this cannot be for his sake, it must be for ours. Perhaps he seeks to help us clarify what we really want, perhaps he wants to strengthen our faith, perhaps he wants to instill appreciation in us for the finally answered prayer. What ever it may be there is something of a mystery here as to the exact reason. But persistent prayer is taught and insisted upon by Jesus, here and elsewhere.

Some may ponder as to why our prayers are not always effective. Some of the usual explanations from Scripture are:

1. Our faith is not strong enough - Jesus said: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22) And the Book of James says, But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; (James 1:6-7) There is also the sad fact of Nazareth where the Lord could work few miracles so much did their lack of faith disturb him (Matt 13:58)

2. We ask for improper things or with wrong motives - The Book of James says : "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures"

3. Unrepented sin sets up a barrier between us and God so that our prayer is blocked - "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities (sins) have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

4. We have not been generous with the requests and needs of others - "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered" (Proverbs 21:13)

5. God cannot trust us with blessings for we are not conformed to his word or trustworthy with lesser things - If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you" (John 15:7) and Again: So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? (Lk 16:11-12)

Now all these explanations are fine. But even if none of them apply God often delays anyway.

A man one day prayed to God and asked: "How long is a million years to you?" And said, "About a minute." And the man said, "How much is a million dollars to you?" And God said, "About a penny." The man said, "Can I have a penny?" And God said, "In a minute."

God's "delay" and our need to persist and persevere in prayer are mysterious aspects of God's providence but they are taught, there is no doubt about that.

Pray, Pray Pray – The insistence on persistence is taught to us all, not only to the sinful and weak in faith. The Lord says here quite simply: pray, pray, pray pray, pray. Realize that this is part of what is required of the Christian. Prayer is about more than "calling and hauling" or "naming and claiming." It is also about persevering, about persisting. Monica prayed thirty years, it would seem, for Augustine to accept the Faith. Some of us have prayed even longer for loved ones. In the end God seems to require persistence for some things and we dare not give up or become discouraged. We just have to keep praying: Pray, pray, pray.

Note that the two of the three images for persistent prayer given by Jesus involve an on-going action. We are to ask, seek and knock. Asking can be done only once, but can be repeated. But seeking implies an on-going even lengthy search. Knocking involves a persistent and repeated rapping at the the door. One does not simply give a single pulse, they usually give sever rapid and repeated pulses. When there is no answer the pattern is repeated a few times.

Prescription two for prayer is to persist, to persevere.

III. The Point of Prayer

Jesus then concludes: "What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

The rhythm of the Lord's analogy seems a bit odd here. If and earthly father knows how to "give good gifts" to his son, then we expect Jesus to say that the Heavenly Father also knows how to give "good gifts" to those who ask. But Jesus does not say "good gifts." He says, the Father gives "The Holy Spirit."

Why is this? Because it is the highest gift that contains all others. To receive the Holy Spirit is to receive the love of God, the Glory of God, the life of God, the Wisdom of God. It is to receive God Himself, who comes to live in us as in a temple. And with this gift comes every other gift and consolation. For, by the Holy Spirit we begin to think and see more as God does. We attain to his priorities and desire what he desires. We see sins and worldly attachments begin to go away. And thus the word loses its hold on us and can no longer vex us.

Jesus says elsewhere, Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt 6:33). Yes, to receive the gift of God the Holy Spirit, it to receive all things besides for nothing more can disturb us. St Thomas Aquinas one day sense the Lord asking what he would like. St Thomas replied nil nisi te, Domine, (Nothing except you O Lord). And for those who love God and have progressed in prayer, that really is all that is wanted. God can give cars and new jobs, and financial blessings, and for some, such things are well needed. But why not aim for the highest and best gift too? Ask for the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Nil nisi te Domine!

Ultimately the point of all prayer is deep communion with the Lord. This is our high calling, to be in communion with the Lord, here and one day fully in the glory of heaven. Don't miss the ultimate point of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I'll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Source: Archdiocese of Washington Blog

Praying With Persistence

by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson, Alberta, Canada

Gospel: Luke 11:9-13

Two men were shipwrecked on a deserted island. Frustrated by their situation one man began to pray, "Dear Lord, I know that I haven't been a very good person. In the past I have lied, cheated, and hurt people with my behavior. I drink, smoke, swear and gamble. But God, if you get us out of this mess, you'll see a changed man. I'll…."

At this point his friend shouted, "Hold it. Don't say another word. I see a boat and it is coming in our direction." It is interesting how some people view prayer. (1)

I think there are a lot of people - Christians included - who view prayer like these two men. The first chap turned to God in prayer only as a last resort. If there were other options, he most likely would have considered them first. Only when he is in a desperate situation that he believes he cannot get out of does he turn to God for help. The content of his prayer reveals he is praying to God in a conditional way - if God will rescue them from the mess they're in, then he is about to promise God certain things and make changes in his life. This method of praying is really bargaining with God - if you do this God, then I'll do thus and so. However, in most cases, such prayers are likely not going to change God. We cannot manipulate God like that to get what we want. God knows the deepest thoughts and motivations of our hearts, souls and minds. Such conditional, bargaining prayers are often not sincere - since when times improve and things are going well again, often the folks who prayed such prayers forget about God and fail to honour what they had promised God.

In the case of the second chap, who stopped his friend from praying any further; he may either have been skeptical that his friend could keep promises to God; or perhaps he didn't want his friend to stop living a sinful lifestyle; or perhaps he placed more faith in himself and other human beings to get them out of their mess than he did in God.

At any rate, I think that we too, at times, are tempted to pray conditional prayers; to bargain with God in our prayers - thinking incorrectly that we can manipulate God in order to get what we want. Or perhaps at times we, like the second chap, abandon prayer altogether; thinking incorrectly that we don't need God and we don't need to pray. Rather, we can do everything on our own or we can rely on other human beings to get what we want.

I must confess that our gospel today is a challenging one for me personally. I often feel guilty or feel badly that I come to God in prayer as if I were a shopper with an endless list of items that I want. Too often I think we get our priorities mixed up. We pray for what we want rather than what we really need. Yet, I counsel myself by the reminder that even Jesus and the apostle Paul could get it wrong in their prayers by mixing up wants and needs. You remember in Gethsemane that Jesus prayed for his heavenly Father to remove the cup of suffering and death from him. Afterwards he prayed the best prayer of all - not my, but thy will be done. Paul too had prayed that the Lord would remove his "thorn in the flesh." Yet, the answer he received was that no, God would not remove it - rather, God's power was made known through weakness.

Yet, in today's gospel, one of the most important messages Jesus teaches is to be persistent in praying: "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone - not a small chosen minority, NO! EVERYONE - who asks receives, and EVERYONE who searches finds, and for EVERYONE who knocks, the door will be opened."

As wonderful and full of promise as these words are I think that they've been misunderstood and misinterpreted by a lot of folks over the years. I DO NOT believe that Jesus offers his followers a blank check here; he DOES NOT mean that if you pray to win the fifty million dollar lottery you shall win; nor that if you pray you can fly off of Niagara Falls and land safely below without being killed, you will be able to do so! Such prayers are certainly incorrect and harmful. Nor does Jesus say here that he will give you ANYTHING OR EVERYTHING you pray for. For example, if you pray to understand the intricacies of thermodynamics and quantum physics at the age of five, most likely the answer to your prayer will be 'No'; or if you are one-hundred years old and you pray to be a healthy twenty-five-year-old, most likely the answer again shall be 'No.'

On the other hand, what Jesus is saying here is full of promise. He invites EVERYONE to ask, search, and knock. No one is left out here - he offers the invitation to you, me, and all people. The implication of his offer here is that HE DOES ANSWER EVERYONE who asks, searches, and knocks. The answer may be: 'yes,' 'no,' 'wait,' or perhaps even 'you're asking for the wrong things; you're searching in the wrong places; you're knocking on the wrong doors.' Such answers are all necessary and the best for us at the time; given the nature of the prayers we pray and the circumstances in which we pray them.

Sinners that we are, most likely we don't always get it right when we pray; thus Jesus' instruction to be persistent in praying - keep asking, don't stop searching, continue with your knocking. In fact, ultimately what is most important for us is not necessarily that:
we receive what we ask for or
find what we search for or
walk through the door we're knocking on.

NO! Rather, what is ultimately most important is that we DISCOVER AN INTIMACY WITH OUR LORD THROUGH PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER. We come to realise that it's about relationship with Christ and basking in and valuing that relationship more than everything or everyone in the world.

Prayer is being known by and knowing our God of love as OUR Father, OUR Messiah and OUR Holy Spirit. In the intimacy of prayer, we not only commune with God the Creator of the universe; we also bear our deepest secrets to Jesus our most Trustworthy Friend and Brother; and we are graced with the presence of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and reassures us of the promise that we are forgiven. With this gift of intimacy with God through persistent prayer God sometimes gives us the spiritual hug we need when we're lonely or rejected; or the state of joy by simply being alive; or the courage required to face a situation of conflict at home, on the job, or in school.

Another way of stating it is that through the gift of intimacy with God; we come to see our wealth is not in what we do not have; rather, it is in what we already have been given.

Jesus speaks about this intimacy of prayer with him by comparing it with sinful, imperfect parents providing for the needs of their children. Even they know how to give the right gifts to their children when they ask. If sinful, imperfect parents do not give their children a snake when they ask for a fish; or when they do not give their children a poisonous scorpion when they ask for an egg - then how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

In other words, it is not that God is hard of hearing that we are admonished to be persistent in prayer. Rather, it is because God, our heavenly Parent, wants an intimate relationship with each one of us and by giving us the gift of his Holy Spirit we shall come to trust in God as we ask, search and knock; knowing that whatever God gives us by way of answering our prayers; it is all and always for the best.

Reference:

1 Cited from: Emphasis: A Preaching Journal for the Parish Pastor, Vol. 25, No. 2, July-August 1995 (Lima: OH: CSS Publishing Co., Inc.), p. 36.

Source: Dim Lamp, 2010

Prayer Opens the Door for God

by Pope Francis

Scripture: Luke 10:38-42; Jonah 4:1-3

In his homily on September 8 2013 at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that a Christian is a person who has a heart that knows how to pray and knows how to forgive. The Gospel of the day was dedicated to the story of Saint Martha, the titular saint of his residence. The Pope took the Gospel story as the starting point, reminding us that "prayer works miracles" as long as it is not a purely mechanical act.

The very human figures of Saint Martha, from the New Testament, and the Prophet Jonah of the Old, the central characters of the day's readings, are united by a common incapacity: they did not know to pray. Pope Francis built his homily on this aspect, beginning with the famous scene in the Gospel where Martha asks Jesus, in an almost critical tone, to have her sister to help her do the serving, rather than sitting at His feet listening to Him. Jesus replied, "Mary has chosen the better part." This part, Pope Francis said, is "that of prayer, that of the contemplation of Jesus":

"To the eyes of the sister, this was time lost, it even seemed, perhaps, a bit of a fantasy: gazing upon the Lord as if she were a awestruck child. But who wants that? The Lord: 'This is the better part,' because Mary heard the Lord and prayed with her heart. And the Lord tells us: 'the first task in life is this: prayer.' But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord. We know that prayer works miracles."

And prayer produces a miracle even in the ancient city of Niniveh. Jonah, on God's instructions, had preached the imminent destruction of the city; the city, though, was saved because the inhabitants, believing the prophet, were converted, and from the greatest to the least called upon the divine forgiveness with all their strength. However, even in this story of redemption, the Pope took note of the erroneous attitude of Jonah, who was more disposed to justice without mercy. His attitude was similar to Martha's, inclining to service that excludes interiority:

"And Martha does this. Does what? But she didn't pray! But there are others like this stubborn Jonah, who are the executioners. He went, he prophesied, but in his heart he said: 'But if they deserve it. If they deserve it. If they were asking for it!' He prophesied, but he didn't pray! He didn't ask the Lord to forgive him. Only to beat them. They are executioners, those that believe themselves to be just! And in the end, the book of Jonah continues, it is seen that he was a selfish man, when the Lord saved Nineveh through the prayer of the people, he was angry with the Lord: 'You are always like that. You always forgive!'"

And so, the Pope concluded, prayer that is only a formula, without heart, as well as pessimism or the desire for justice without forgiveness, are the temptations a Christian must always guard against in order to be able to choose "the better part":

"And we ourselves, when we don't pray, what we're doing is closing the door to the Lord. And not praying is this: closing the door to the Lord, so that He can do nothing. On the other hand, prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. So that He builds things, He knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something. But if we close the door, God can do nothing! Let us think on this Mary who has chosen the better part, and makes us see the way, as the door is opened to the Lord."

Prayers to Start and End the Day

by Mel Lawrenz, The Brook Network

Prayers for Your Day

Many people benefit from using set prayers for different life circumstances or during different times of the day. An ancient Jewish pattern of prayer is to offer oneself to God as the first thought of the day, and at day's end. Both of these prayers focus on the idea of "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," which were Jesus' last words on the cross, but also were the words of a common Jewish daily prayer, almost like the modern: "Now I lay me down to sleep..." Perhaps you will find them useful.

A Morning Prayer

Dear Lord... As this day begins I confess that I will need you every moment. I long to know you more deeply today. Help me in what I say to other people. Give me wisdom in each decision I will make. Make love and truth the motives behind everything I do. And when I fall short, help me not to give up, but to find an extra measure of your strength. This day is your creation and your gift. I commit my body and spirit to your good purposes. In Jesus' name, Amen.

An Evening Prayer

Dear Lord...As this day ends I am glad to be able to rest in you. I believe that you are with me and that you hear my prayer. May the good things that happened today be planted deeply in the memory of my heart and shape me into a better person. Help me to learn from my mistakes and sins. Thank you for the promise of a new beginning tomorrow. Now allow me to rest in you and you alone, body, mind, heart, and soul, to awake refreshed in the goodness of your care. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Editor's Note:

We can also use the prayers prescribed in our prayer book. What is important is to develop a habit of prayer. Prayer is an important communication with our Father, Who is in Heaven.

Prayer Killers

by Joey Cochran

How's your prayer life? On a scale of 1 to 10 from non-existent to stellar how would you rate it? I bet most charitably argue for a 6 to 8. Few might place them self in a 9 or 10.

Rating myself honestly, I am a solid 3. I know. That's a low score! But let's be honest. We live in a world of distraction. If we give ourselves to prayer for a cumulative 30 minutes a day, then that might be a good day. Think about it. Do you think you pray for 30 minutes a day? Okay, now compare yourself to a Jonathan Edwards or George Whitefield: two men who gave themselves to prayer for 2 to 4 hours a day. True, these guys are probably not the norm. But still, I imagine that people prior to TV, computers, and e-mail gave themselves to private prayer much more than we do.

As I reflect on my prayer time, there are many obstacles to get past before I even get into my closet to pray. Here are four prayer killers and how I've been learning to keep them at bay:

Toys

I've got a lot of toys that threaten my prayer time. I've got my smart phone, my TV, and my gaming console to name a few. All of these contend for time. They beckon when I am most free for prayer.

For instance, I recently had to wait outside a coffee shop for 5 minutes before it opened. Instinctively, I reached for my phone to pass the time, but then I suppressed the urge by refreshing two Scriptures to mind: Romans 12:12 "Be constant in prayer" and 1Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing."

Clinging to these verses develops an attitude that gravitates towards prayer, especially in the gaps. Don't give up on this discipline; persevere in it; keep returning to prayer. When prayer comes to the forefront of your life, you'll carve out even more time for the discipline.

Trials

Each person navigates trials in life. You might lose your job, come down with an illness, have unexpected expenses, or experience loss. Trials can take your prayer life towards a dead end, but trials can also cause your prayer life to flourish. What determines the path you take your prayer life when you face a trial?

An indelible link is found in James 1:2-5. Trials are testings that press the one under trial into God for wisdom. Fundamentally, the path you take is determined by the posture you take to God. The foolish or prideful will head down a dead end path. The wise and humble will seek after God. When you face a trial, set your heart upon God. Run to him, and run to him in prayer.

Constancy

It might seem like a strange word to use here. But the truth is, sometimes we don't pray because we just don't believe anything will change. It can lead to despair from a feeling of hopelessness about this. Perhaps it's a broken relationship that seems too far-gone to mend, or your financial hole keeps getting deeper, or your health is failing. Despair over the constancy of persistent life problems can be a prayer killer.

To thwart this obstacle, cling to Gods' promises. Psalm 119 talks about the promises of God over a dozen times. For example, Psalm 119:116 say, "Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!" This psalmist clung to Gods' promises in the midst of affliction, anxiety, and danger. His cries to God permeate with hope in Gods' promises.

To win the bout with constancy, hide Scripture in your heart that proclaims the good promises of God. Meditate on His Word during those times when you are most prone to despair.

Control

Prayer is a declaration of helplessness. It is saying that we are dependent on someone else – God. Since many people equate helplessness with weakness, they just won't pray. That's because deep down inside each of us is a desire for control. Control is comfortable and safe. But in reality, none of us have it, though we wish we did.

I love what Gordon D. Fee says about prayer in his comments on 1Thessalonians 5:17 in his commentary, The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians. "Continual prayer is the ongoing reminder that God's children are always and wholly dependent on their heavenly Father for all things" (215).

If you want to overcome the obstacle of control, you have to release your need for control. Recognize God's sovereignty over all things and trust Him to bring the contours of your life in line with his providential concerns. Just as Fee alludes, the more you pray, the less you will seek control. And the less you seek control, the more you will pray. Release control by becoming dependent on God through prayer.

These are not the only obstacles to prayer. But they're four big ones I face most often. What about you? Can you relate to these? What other obstacles to prayer do you face and how do you overcome them?

About The Author:

Joey Cochran, a ThM graduate of Dallas Seminary, is the church planting intern at Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois.

Source: Christianity.com Daily Update

Prayer: Back to School Prayers from Psalms & Proverbs

by Melissa Kruger

It's that time of year again. Yellow buses practice their circuitous routes, stores brim with school supplies, and teachers adorn their rooms with inviting bulletin boards and welcoming smiles. Back to school is officially upon us.

I ended the summer reading through the Psalms and Proverbs. As I drank in the wisdom of these two books, certain passages in particular have encouraged and directed my hopes for my children as they head back to school. These verses have shaped my prayers and given words to the longings of my heart. As my children spend less time in my presence, I am thankful that I can bring all my concerns and cares before the Lord in prayer.

Lord, I pray that my children would understand their need for Jesus and rejoice in the good news of the Gospel. Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death (Psalms 68:19-20).

Lord, I pray that my children will love learning; that their hearts would seek to understand the world you have created. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly (Proverbs 15:14).

I pray that as they learn about your world, they would behold the majesty of your glory. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. (Psalm 19:1)

Lord, I pray that you would surround them with friends who make wise choices and encourage their faith. Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20).

I pray that their teachers would be wise and gentle. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit (Proverbs 15:2,4).

Lord, I pray that they would work with diligence and put forth their best efforts. The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied (Proverbs 13:4).

I pray that they would be thoughtful with their words and respectful in their replies. The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things (Proverbs 15:28).

I pray that you would free them from the pressure of trying to be like everyone else by instilling in them the confidence to know that they are uniquely made by you. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well (Psalms 139:14).

I pray that they would receive correction well. The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence (Proverbs 15:31-32).

I pray that they would share their faith with others. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom (Psalm 145: 11-12).

I pray that when they do what is wrong, they would bear consequences that lead them to repentance. I pray that when they do what is right, you would bless their obedience that they may learn to love your ways. The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his way (Proverbs 14:14).

I pray that your Word would be on their hearts and in their minds as they learn. Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD (Proverbs 16:20).

I pray that they would be kind to others. Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:21)

I pray that you would give them the grace of self-control. A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28).

Lord, I pray that your grace would rest upon my children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (Psalms 90:17)

I pray that you would protect them from all evil. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life (Psalm 121:1-2,7).

More than anything else, may their lives glorify you. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever (Psalm 86:12).

O Lord, hear our prayers! Amen.

About The Author:

Melissa Kruger serves as Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the author of 'The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World' (Christian Focus, 2012). Her husband Mike is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary.

Source: Christianity. com Daily Update

The Power of Family Prayer
"Dad, I'm so hungry. May I have some bread?"

Does that sound like a prayer to you? Or is it more like a child asking his father for what he needs? God invites us to come to Him as a little child. It's as simple as saying, "Daddy, I need you."

God holds the key to all your longings: provision, protection, belonging, compassion, forgiveness. And He wants to provide them for you . . . just ask Him. He strengthens and encourages you and your family through your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer—corporate family prayer—is the power source from which that faith derives its life. Families that pray together lay hold of the very power of God to cope with the challenges of daily living.

Prayer is really quite simple. It is the single most important experience your family can share.

Prayer can be as dynamic and varied as your own imagination and creativity. Mealtime and bedtime are great starting points, but God has so much more in store for you as your family learns to talk to Him. Prayers can be spoken aloud, sung, staged, danced or even painted. The possibilities are endless as you turn your family's heart toward the Lord. You'll want to begin a journal of requests in order to refresh your memory and jump-start your words of thanksgiving.

God wants your family to shine like lights in a rapidly darkening and dysfunctional world. He desires each member to have his or her eyes open to realities that others refuse to see. He longs for you to walk with Christ through a larger, more wondrous world than some are capable of imagining. Take the roof off and establish a direct link between your home and the heart of the King of all creation.

No greater or more crucial task has been entrusted to us as parents than that of teaching our children to pray. Your children have already had practice when they've said, "Dad, may I have some bread?"

Source: National Day of Prayer Task Force © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Health Tip: How Should Christians Respond to Suicide and Depression?

by Eric Metaxas

By now, you've probably heard about the shocking suicide of comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams.

Shocking, but if you know anything about suicide and Williams' personal history, not entirely a surprise. Williams had been open about his problems with alcohol and drugs. What's more, Williams had been, according to his publicist, "battling 'severe depression.'"

Alcohol, drugs, depression, all of these are associated with suicide. And as psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison of Johns Hopkins writes in her book, "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide," the most common factor in suicide is mental illness, in particular "mood disorders" such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder.

Now, as somebody who has suffered from this myself over the years, I have to say it's very important to be clear about what doctors mean by clinical depression. It is not being sad, even for extended periods of time. Sadness is part of the human condition. But clinical depression is a medical condition "which paralyzes all the otherwise vital forces that make us human," leaving us with a life that is "bloodless" and "painless."

In his book, "The Noonday Demon," which chronicled his life with severe clinical depression, Andrew Solomon has written that the opposite of depression isn't happiness, it's vitality.

And as Jamison tells us, the presence of mood disorders not only makes it more likely that a person will attempt suicide, but also will incline them towards more "serious" efforts in that direction—that is, efforts that exhibit more forethought and planning.

Depressed people often self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, which, according to Jamison, "more often worsen [the pain]" and "undermine the individual's willingness to seek out and receive good clinical care." They also reduce inhibitions and increase risk-taking, thus reinforcing whatever tendencies toward self-destruction a person may possess.

A friend of mine told me that several time he'd seen Robin Williams attending Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City. Apparently Williams was looking for answers. Maybe he found them, and maybe he didn't; but we serve a merciful God whose thoughts and ways are not our own.

I say this because tragic events over the past few years have reminded us that Christians are not immune to the scourge of suicide. Outstanding Christians such as Tony Dungy and Rick Warren have lost sons to suicide. As Warren and his wife, Kay, told Piers Morgan of CNN, they had talked their son Matthew off the proverbial ledge many times in his tragically-short life.

Like most of those left behind in the wake of suicide, they wondered if there was anything more they could have done, and concluded that the answer was "no." As Warren told Morgan "If love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today, because he was incredibly loved."

In the wake of Matthew Warren's suicide, discussion about how churches deal with depression intensified. Christian leaders wrote about their own struggles with depression. And let me add my name and that of the colleague who helped me prepare this BreakPoint commentary to the list of those who struggle with depression.

If you or anyone you love suffers from depression, please get help.

Why some people ultimately succumb to what Christianity Today writer C. Michael Patton called "the asphyxiation of hope" and others don't is something we just don't know.

What we do know is that Christians are called to walk alongside those who suffer.

About The Author:

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Source: BreakPoint Commentary (BreakPoint.org)

ISIS Loots Christian Homes, Vandalizes Churches in Mosul
Mosul, August 22, 2014 (AINA) -- ISIS began looting Assyrian homes in Mosul yesterday in the neighborhoods of Jamiaa, Muhandiseen, Thaqafa, Noor, and Zuhoor. The homes had been previously marked with "property of the Islamic State" and the Arabic letter noon (meaning Christian) and had their doors locked with chains.

Witnesses report that ISIS entered the Cathedral of St. Ephrem in the Shurta neighborhood and destroyed a cross made with red glass; it also hung a huge black flag of the Islamic State on the wall of the building to cover a large cross on the facade of the cathedral. The cathedral is now being used as headquarters for ISIS.

ISIS was helped by members of its own police force, which it has created by recruiting young Muslims from the neighborhoods of Hathar, Qayyarah, Shirqat, Baaj, and Rabia, and paying each one 500,000 Iraqi diners per month.

ISIS entered the Syriac Catholic Diocese and smashed icons and statues of the Virgin Mary, and set fire to pictures of patriarchs and bishops.

The number of Assyrian families remaining in Mosul is estimated at 25.

Commerce in Mosul has come to a near complete halt and most markets are closed.

Yesterday the the Iraqi government dropped leaflets over Mosul, encouraging residents to help the Iraqi army and stand up against ISIS . The reaction from the residents to the leaflets has been positive.

ankawa.com contributed to this report.

© 2014, Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved.

All 45 Christian Institutions in Mosul Destroyed or Occupied By ISIS
Since taking over Mosul on June 10, ISIS has destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered all 45 Christian institutions in Mosul.

The following is the complete list of the Christian institutions in Mosul, grouped by denomination.

Syriac Catholic Church:

1. Syrian Catholic Diocese - Maidan Neighborhood, Mosul
2. The Old Church of the Immaculate - Maidan Neighborhood, Mosul (The church goes back to the eighth century AD)
3. The New Church of the Immaculate - Maidan Neighborhood
4. Church of Mar (Saint) Toma - Khazraj Neighborhood
5. Museum of Mar (Saint) Toma - Khazraj Neighborhood
6. Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation - Muhandiseen Neighborhood
7. Church of the Virgin of Fatima - Faisaliah Neighborhood
8. Our Lady of Deliverance Chapel - Shifaa Neighborhood
9. The House of the Young Sisters of Jesus - Ras Al-Kour Neighborhood
10. Archbishop's Palace Chapel - Dawasa Neighborhood

Syriac Orthodox Church:

1. Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese - Shurta Neighborhood
2. The Antiquarian Church of Saint Ahodeeni - Bab AlJadeed Neighborhood
3. Mar (Saint) Toma Church and cemetery, (the old Bishopric) - Khazraj Neighborhood
4. Church of The Immaculate (Castle) - Maidan Neighborhood
5. Church of The Immaculate - Shifaa Neighborhood
6. Mar (Saint) Aprim Church - Shurta Neighborhood
7. St. Joseph Church - The New Mosul Neighborhood

Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East:

1. Diocese of the Assyrian Church of the East - Noor Neighborhood
2. Assyrian Church of the East, Dawasa Neighborhood
3. Church of the Virgin Mary (old rite) - Wihda Neighborhood

Chaldean Church of Babylon:

1. Chaldean Diocese - Shurta Neighborhood
2. Miskinta Church - Mayassa Neighborhood
3. The Antiquarian Church of Shimon alSafa - Mayassa Neighborhood
4. Church of Mar (Saint) Buthyoon - Shahar AlSouq Neighborhood
5. Church of St. Ephrem, Wady AlAin Neighborhood
6. Church of St. Paul - Majmooaa AlThaqafiya District
7. The Old Church of the Immaculate (with the bombed archdiocese)- Shifaa Neighborhood
8. Church of the Holy Spirit - Bakir Neighborhood
9. Church of the Virgin Mary - Drakziliya Neighborhood
10. Ancient Church of Saint Isaiah and Cemetery - Ras AlKour Neighborhood
11. Mother of Aid Church - Dawasa Neighborhood
12. The Antiquarian Church of St. George- Khazraj Neighborhood
13. St. George Monastery with Cemetery - Arab Neighborhood
14. Monastery of AlNasir (Victory) - Arab Neighborhood
15. Convent of the Chaldean Nuns - Mayassa Neighborhood
16. Monastery of St. Michael - Hawi Church Neighborhood
17. The Antiquarian Monastery of St. Elijah - Ghazlany Neighborhood

Armenian Orthodox Church:

1. Armenian Church - Maidan Neighborhood
2. The New Armenian Church - Wihda Neighborhood

Evangelical Presbyterian Church:

1. Evangelical Presbyterian Church - Mayassa Neighborhood

Latin Church:

1. Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and Convent of Katrina Siena Nuns - Sa'a Neighborhood
2. Convent of the Dominican Sisters, - Mosul AlJadeed Neighborhood
3. Convent of the Dominican Sisters (AlKilma Monastery) - Majmooaa AlThaqafiya District
4. House of Qasada AlRasouliya (Apostolic Aim) (Institute of St. John the Beloved)

Cemeteries:

1. Christian Cemetery in the Ekab Valley which contains a small chapel.

© 2014, Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved.

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