The following article was in a prayer letter that I receive. I am copying it because it is a published article. I believe this is safe to present to you for your thoughts. It reminds me of times past and gives me hope for the future. as long as there is anyone on this green Earth who will pursue after the heart of the one true living God; there is hope for mankind.
"Whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report; think on these things"....Philippians.
SPIRITUAL IMAGINATION – LATVIAN NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST 2008
By Christian Jensen
Imagine walking into the largest ballroom in the largest hotel in the country. Then imagine looking around at tables all neatly laid out in preparation for a meal and meeting with linen, silver and china; enough to seat almost 500 people. Now imagine that the last time this same meeting took place, there were no more than 260 people in attendance, and that just two days ago you were only aware of about 260 people planning to attend this same meeting. And at the same time, imagine that to book this room with all the trimmings cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars that you would have to pay out of your own pocket if more people did not sign up. When, in the course of your imagining this scenario, do you think your mind would have said, “Hey, hold on there partner; I think you are letting your imagination run away with you!”
Once upon a time, in the little Baltic nation of Latvia, a small core group of leaders from many walks of life had a huge imagination. Their dream was to bring together leaders that represented almost every segment of Latvian life, from the President all the way down the line. They had some experience from two previous gatherings like this, but they were not heavily attended and had not lived up to the complete vision this little band of brothers and sisters had. They dreamed of a national forum where they could bring together both leaders with and without faith and encourage the one while witnessing to the other, all in a manner that honored Jesus and His Kingdom, built bridges where before there had not even been fords, but also appealed to the practical side of the guests because the Gospel was presented in a non-confrontational, very practical and living way.
Does all this sound to you like an imagination gone out of control, so longing for the Kingdom of Heaven that it has lost the ability to know what is reasonable and practical in today’s world? Well, if you thought that, I am pleased to tell you that you would be wrong. Rather, what seemed like flights of imagination to some reasonable and practical people, seemed instead to a little group of believers as exactly what God was calling them to do in their home of Latvia.
On November 7, 2008, at the largest venue in Riga, the Hotel Latvia’s Omega Room, almost 500 people came together to experience what can happen when a small group of properly motivated people who put Jesus before everything else (including what passes today as common wisdom), ask God to do a miracle. In the process, it became apparent that God not only heard the prayers, but that He, too, embraced the impossible nature of what was being imagined; and being the God of miracles and impossible imaginings, He answered in a way that made it clear to all who participated that once again, God had done what is impossible with man and only possible with Him.
This year’s theme was “God, Fatherland and Freedom”, and managed to put clearly in the light the fact that Latvia’s freedom; indeed, its very existence, is because of God’s faithfulness to this nation whose forefathers placed such a great emphasis on following God’s precepts. Latvian President Valdis Zatlers set the tone at the beginning of the morning by saying things like: “We have a special gift from God – 90 years of independence. It is only in a free country that we can have a free life…We have now returned to the values we held centuries ago…Faith begets faith; Love begets love…Family values are appreciated in Latvia. We are each unique to God…We must be…understanding of others. God bless Latvia is our prayer together.” (NB: the Latvian National Anthem is called “God Bless Latvia”.)
There were greetings brought from like-minded people and groups in the U.S., Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, the European Union and many others. There were Bible readings from members of the Latvian Parliament, as well as participation from all major faith groups in Latvia. There was the testimony of 83 year old Lidija Doronina-Lasmane, who experienced the Soviet deportations to Siberia and murder of thousands of her countrymen; was sent to prison by the Soviets three times herself; and finally was able to reach Sweden, where she found a group of people praying for prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union, and met a woman who was actually assigned the task of praying specifically for her during her incarceration. She testified that prayer made the difference in her life, and that it was only through prayer that she is here today. “May God help us to stay in prayer for one another; to pray for the government and its leaders; and to be thankful for peace”, she said. In concluding, she admonished the gathering this way: “Sometimes we grumble, but that is not good. Be thankful to God for everything. Many have it much worse than we do. When we finish praying in the small group I meet and pray with, we always close by singing ‘God Bless Latvia’”.
One of the keynote challenges came from Juris Rubenis. In recognizing Latvia’s 90 years of independence, he said, “Great anniversaries are usually connected with gifts. But finding the right present is not always easy. What can we give Latvia as a gift? I can give her a more truthful and loving person – me. If we all committed to do this, it would change our society.” He continued by saying that this kind of change does not come overnight; it is a journey. “If you open the door when Jesus knocks, then you must spend the time to fellowship with Him.” Rubenis concluded with this: “Latvia doesn’t expect long speeches as a present. She wants one person who is on the journey to truth and faith. By embarking on this journey, even in Latvia there could be a holy politician.”
When was the last time you allowed your imagination to conceive of the impossible things that God could do where you live, in and through you?