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Eric's Sunday Sermon: Is It Love or Is It Prayer?

Updated on February 20, 2016

Morning is so often thought of as a beautiful day beginning but this one was filled with fear of the climb ahead.

Sometimes  the day ahead is harder than we would care for.
Sometimes the day ahead is harder than we would care for. | Source

Let us play along, kind of serious but more to entice.

For some reason I was just pondering if it was Love or Prayer that creates miracles in our lives. Now you may be thinking that of course it is both. Or you may be thinking that it is either one alone. Now in my little corner of the world it would be impossible to tell and love and prayer go hand in hand. There is no one without the other. I tried it and it just does not work for me. If I get to praying I am always thankful and in love with God for my life. If I get to feeling the love I am always thankful to my God for that.

But let us take the case of the non-believer and love. Presumably love there is a stand alone kind of love and I think we can all get that idea. Love is more of a biological function. Maybe not completely but in general. Sure we can get into the nature versus nurture concepts but that only brings us so far. Now let me suggest that I have never met a non-believer where I understood them to believe in a soul. You see if we start getting into the “unprovable” like the soul then we get into accepting other things without “scientific” proof. Not really complicated. Now for some this would be different but we are speaking in general here.

We can assume that the non-believer loves. And we can assume that that love has caused positive reactions in their body. And that they have felt the power of love as a driving force for the better. I wonder if it ends there. Take healing for example. Did you know there are studies that show in all kinds of ways that love is a natural healer and promoter of good health? Take premature infants. They are in need of a strong body to get through the first stages of life outside the womb. Things are not necessarily fully developed so that they can sustain life on their own. Especially lungs. There is no doubt there that the effects of holding and cuddling that child are beneficial and in fact without the love their chances of survival diminish greatly. I suppose the most hardened could say that that is not love but merely tactile stimulation. I dismiss that as poppycock. If you have ever held a tiny little infant and have not felt the love, then you have serious issues. Think of it this way, who would hold the baby if they did not feel the love?

Is love sacrifice? Is giving a sacrifice? Maybe not, maybe a gift to ourselves.

Just a simple rubber tree farm, but love changes it into a wonderful moment.

Our family is pretty simple. Respect of love is all that is required.
Our family is pretty simple. Respect of love is all that is required. | Source

Which is it?

Now we are raising this difference for a reason so let us get on with prayer. I recently and currently have had a bad case of the cancer. Trivial in the grand specter of things but problematic right here at home. So we sent out the prayer to have others pray. It was answered and indeed many prayed. And in fact my oncologist was amazed that without any medical “treatment” my cancer receded to a more manageable level. I could credit prayer with the change and the good news. But truth be told I had a heaping of love and we made positive dietary chemical changes in my body meant to stem cancerous growth.

So there is no way in which to discern which action brought the miraculous change. Or was it even miraculous? That is an example simply for the purpose of discussion. Even the closest examination cannot discern what caused the changes in my body all for the good.

And here is another concept to throw in the mix. Giving up. Funny as that sounds there is a power in giving up and giving it over to God. Stress can cause all kinds of ailments, most notably it can show itself in failure to fight off ailments. Seems if you focus your thoughts on the negative it prevents your body from doing the positive. All just stuff. But if you surrender the stress is lifted and you and your fine human body can concentrate on setting things right within you.

So let us get back to this false concept of dividing love and prayer. Yes it is a falsity if one believes in prayer. I heard a song once where the singer asked that his enemies be destroyed. OK I admit it, it was a psalm. Too strange for me to comprehend. I was born and raised and think that we are to love our enemies. But as hard as I try I do not have any so I really do not get it, how could I? Maybe I should go out and buy some enemies so I could pray for them ;-)

But here we are with the basic conclusion that we cannot separate love from prayer in the normal.

What about that old love?

Go figure a good old Southwestern Arizona boy's son and sun.

This little boy's name is My San which translates to American Saint. His love shows it.
This little boy's name is My San which translates to American Saint. His love shows it. | Source

Let it ride and just enjoy

Let us try this on for size. I hate God so I will pray to God? I hate my neighbor so I will pray for them? No the only thing that really works in this regard is: I hate so I pray that my hatred is removed. I don’t really know because it has been so long that I hated I can’t remember it. Yes I am sermonizing on something I do not get. But maybe you do hate. And so you can relate. Don’t look at me I only preach.

This is something a whole lot of people do not get but maybe they should. I pray for those I do not know. Really especially for some groups. I pray for servicemen and women in harm’s way. I pray for people I do not know who are sick. Crazy as it sounds I pray for our leaders and politicians. I pray for our schools and for first responders in crises. I pray for victims of crime and for single moms. I pray for all children and those that have had a loss. Well here is the kicker. In those prayers I send out my love to them and all of them. I do not know them. Strange as it sounds it is true.

Again I used a personal experience to relate an example. Better I make example of myself than of you. I just do what I do. So for me there is no difference between love and prayer.

I hope that this sermon did not lead you to a conclusion on a strange subject. I hope that it opened up some joy. You see this thought of prayer and love joining together is like a synergistic explosion of more and more love. Hey do not pray, if that is your spot in life. But send the love and it will get all mixed up in the positive energy that changes health and life. My buddies in the Eastern bent of the world, send out good intentions and say things like Namaste. That rocks and is a blessing for all. My buddies in the Southwestern Native American tribes like to nod and raise their chin in a certain way that means basically to go in peace and triumph. That is good to the soul.

No answers

So as is my want let me quote some stuff from my Bible. This is from the International Childrens Bible 1 Cor. 13 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. 5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not become angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always continues strong.

And let me end with a thought. We are not divided in ourselves. We are a one. If that one is connected through prayer or love or both. It certainly makes it stronger. I hope today that you and I are at least a little bit connected as that would add to both our lives.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Rolly we are blessed to lift our hearts in prayer. What a wonderful world it is that we can pray and give thanks. Then it is our behavior that gives that honor. I fall short but thank God I can try.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 17 months ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric... great words and I always search my heart in prayer. "Is it love I speak the words I do in." If not then it means little or nothing...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ChitrangadaSharan Thank you for coming by reading and sharing your thoughts. It works as you say for me.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 18 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you for sharing another wonderful and inspirational Sermon and your precious family photos as well. Your family looks lovely.

      The power of love through prayer is amazing. I agree with your views about love and prayer. Both are connected.

      I always believe that the love through prayers gives us emotional and mental strength. This makes us strong and positive in all circumstances and we are able to be good to others too.

      Most of my prayers are to thank Him, to seek his blessings and to ask for forgiveness , if I have done something wrong in words or deed.

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful and engaging hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That sure is true for me truthfornow. Thank you for coming by it is good to hear from you.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 18 months ago from New Orleans, LA

      Love and prayer are always connected.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Denise, there is like a synergism where those we pray for also receive benefit just as we are for praying. Sounds like love to me. The more you give the more you get. A mystery of sorts.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Shaloo, there must be something where the two originate that interconnects them so much. For me they just cannot be separated.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene I wrote this up trying to show a distinction in order to look at just how much they intertwine. I realized that for me I really could not separate the two in my life. Thank you for coming by and adding to this sermon.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 18 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Prayer is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to changing our feelings toward others. When I am upset with my spouse, I pray for him, and my heart is softened. I begin to see the good that he does, and I grow in my love for him. I pray for my boss when he does things that upset me. As I pray for him, I grow in my ability to deal with the stresses and strains of my work, and I am able to see him as a better person. I believe that through prayer, our love grows because we become more like God.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 18 months ago

      I look forward to your Sunday Sermons. Love and prayer are deeply inter-connected. A complex topic dealt so beautifully!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 18 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I don't think we can separate love from prayer. I think when we pray we are showing love and when we love someone (unconditionally) we pray for them. For me, that unconditional love that I am required by God to show toward my enemies is the only way I can pray for them.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, It was a bit of fun trying to separate the two as for me they are so intertwined. I was just praying and the love welled up inside me. I am sure one blessed guy.

      Thank you for your uplifting constant support.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 18 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, it is an interesting thought about the non-believer loving but not praying. Believers can also attempt to pray, and not love. Yet, it seems that one creates the need for the other. So many things only you can make us think about!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Me too Devika, thanks for saying it so plainly.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, thank you for sharing that. I have never heard of praying and lifting someone up in love not working. But I am such an ornery guy sometimes I won't do it for a while. OK I admit it I have a relative I need to pray for. ---- Well that was not so hard. Thank you for reminding me.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Theresa,

      Tears just come naturally to me. Not something I can even control. I just get filled up inside and it has to come out. I used to get all embarrassed about it, but I got over that. We do share a special bond through our life's experiences and sharing them here. I know I am blessed by it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, brief prayers are cool. One of my favorite prayers is "Thank you". I am with you, I just love blessings, coming and going.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive thank you for your comment, I am glad you come on over and read these.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Theresa,

      Someone complained to me just the other day that all I preach about is the lovely loving side of the Bible and life. They have a good point. And I think that I will keep it up ;-) There is enough of the negative -- I will leave that to someone else.

      Your kind support is always appreciated.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Prayer makes me feel good.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 18 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Your Sunday sermons are something I always look forward to. Thank you for never disappointing. It's funny I ran into a lady today who made a comment on how a relative of hers had suddenly gone from treating her bad to treating her nice. And, I asked her "have you lifted her up in Prayer?' She said she prayed for her relative and her family every night. I guess I said all that to say, I found that love and prayer always works.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 18 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Eric - We are more than a little connected...and the tears are coursing down my face...in my life tears are almost always either a response to beauty or a result of my heart being made tender. Love and prayer, so often one and the same. Thank you. Blessings. Theresa

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 18 months ago from San Diego California

      There is nothing better than a blessing and it always warms my heart when someone I don't even know drops a blessing on me. Blessings are the out flowing of love. I send all my blessings your way in your medical condition, and you will be included in my too brief prayers.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 18 months ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric,

      I do feel connected to you through the love in your heart that you share with all. Thank you for sharing your precious family with us too.

      The power of love through prayer is miraculous. I agree with you 100 percent on your perspective of love and prayer. I’ve felt the love through prayers that were for me and God’s love healing me through those very prayers, and I am so thrilled your health is proof of the power of love through prayer too.

      Most of my prayers are just praising God and thanking Him and blessing Him.

      Another lovely Sunday Sermon.

      Hugs and much love to you and your family always,

      Theresa

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 18 months ago from Nibiru

      trust me, it LOVE eric

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Chris it is good to hear from you, I assume all is well in the Mills family.

      Yea I had to wrestle with the idea of a prayer here. I just concluded that it is different for everybody, just like love. Specifics are just examples.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 18 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      There it is, the Good News that love and prayer can be utilized by everyone for the good of everyone. I remember being surrounded at one point in my life by people who said that a good Christian will pray for several hours a day.....on his/her knees....in private. Yes, they were serious and it turned the good news of prayer into bad news for me and I rejected it and still do. Your good news today is enlightening and encouraging. I can love today, and I suppose it can be seen as a type of prayer for that one I am loving. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just love my Sundays Bill. I hope you have a great one. Back to "chores".

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm feeling the connection, my friend, and I thank you for sharing your love with me. Blessings on this sunny Sunday.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you again Frank. You know as you mention it, these do take a lot of emotion to write. I hope my caring does show through as I do care deeply.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is good to see you Patricia and you know that my prayers are with you and your family. Love and prayer surely do lift us up and over many hurdles in life. And they keep that hope alive which is so important when facing battles.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 18 months ago from Shelton

      Eric, again thank you so much for keeping the sermons going.. I'll get to them all and know that I'll enjoy the message.. the sacrifice and love you put into words.. bless you..:)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 18 months ago from sunny Florida

      Eric I so get it....praying and love do help so much when combating the scourge of cancer....we in our family have experienced the reality of such.

      God is good...and no matter how anyone sees these two, on the surface, entities...love and prayer....the fact remains...they are empowering and lift us to new places...do they not?

      blessings to you and continued recovery to you, Eric.

      Love and Angels and many prayers are headed your way ps

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My younger son asked me if we are employees. And I told him no. He asked so why are we servants. I told him because that is what we are to do, serve others. Then who serves us? God. We are blessed that all we have to do is try to act right, and blessings flow. I ask you to revisit your hate and banish it completely from you. Just a check up and kick out.

      I love you Linda

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 18 months ago from Washington State, USA

      I do feel very connected to you and, by extension, your beautiful family. God did not place us on this planet to live separate from one another. Yes we can (and I believe should) love those we do not know. We can pray for the welfare of those who, by their words and actions and chosen professions love us--first responders, our military, medical staff. How selfless is their love.

      The hard part is loving the people who are "unlovable." Loving the people who hurt us. Years ago I worked in a horrible environment. I won't go into detail, but I eventually quit--quit a job I had had for almost 30 years. For months, maybe even more than a year I was so full of anger and absolute hatred for the people who had hurt me, who were responsible for my having to leave. I finally recognized that my hatred was doing nothing to them. But it was eating away at me. Hate doesn't heal. Love heals.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      This was a tough one and my son said it could not be done. So it got done. My life is so filled with good sometimes I need to break it down into pieces so I get it. Peace to you Ruby, keep on being you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I connected through your words and spirit. I felt your love through your message. Thank you Eric. You are so very much appreciated...