Martin Zender's Guide to
2004 by Martin Zender
Paperback. 80 pages. Illustrated.
Intelligent Prayer Ad
Published by Starke & Hartmann
P.O. Box 6473
Canton, OH 44706
Could you bear the pressure
or the consequence of God enacting your whims? Here is
comforting news: Whenever a human will goes up against
the divine will and clashes with it, the human will
mercifully loses. Or should I say it wins. God knows
best what all of us need. This is because He is a tad
smarter than we are. Is this a revelation? It is to some
I had this friend one time with
political bumper stickers all over his car. The amazing thing was that every
candidate this guy ever slapped on his car bumper, won. His track record was so
amazing that I thought he was either into tarot cards or had just waxed his
Ouija board. I finally asked him how he did it and he said: "I put the bumper
stickers on after the elections."
The longer people walk with God, the
more they shut up and listen to those who are smarter than they are. Shutting
up, they hear better. Hearing better, they learn. Learning, they buy the right
bumper stickers. Buying the right bumper stickers, they pray and appear as
geniuses. Or at least very spiritual. Because when one prays for what God wants,
it always happens.
of people who think: We moved God, or: We
broke through to the blessed life; proud, small
people who embrace the relative and ignore the absolute;
who drool at the knothole and never become mature enough
to look over the fence. I challenge these people: Wake
up to your creaturehood and expand your view. You do not
move God, He moves you. Prayer doesnít move God, God
moves prayer. See the big picture. You are not driving
the car, you are participating in the journey. Snap out
of it; youíre merely touching the steering wheel of
Pray wildly if
you have to. If your heart is breaking, donít try to
fashion your words or pray intelligently. Just pour out
your heart to God. This is my recommendation even if you
do have specific and selfish requests. In Philippians
4:6, the apostle Paul says: "In everything, by prayer
and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be
made known to God." How can you be thankful for trouble?
You canít, at least not while youíre going through it.
In this context, however, I believe the thing youíre
supposed to be thankful for is the opportunity to lay
your worry on God. Because look at the very next thing
Paul says: "Do not worry about anything."
The National Day of Prayer falls on the first Thursday of every May. This is
a special day when every Christian in the United States of America is supposed
to seek Godís guidance and blessing on the good olí U.S.A. Can you imagine how
many prayers Shirley has to captain that day? As I said, I fear for her health.
Shirley must feel on the first Friday in May like Santa Claus feels on December
Jesus says not to rattle off long prayers like pagans. Apparently, pagans
think that words are like points that rack up digitally on a pinball machine.
Yet this is exactly what the Catholic church told me to do: Pray this many
prayers and youíll rack up points, which to the Catholics meant having your sins
forgiven. It was words that counted. More words, longer words, better words. I
had to say so many of this prayer, so many of that. So many prayers and Iíd get
an extra ball, or a bonus round. Saying the rosary was like getting your metal
ball stuck in a metal hole, when the machine just goes wild. Bells ring, lights
flash, and youíre sitting there going, "Oh, God, Iím racking up the points now!"
Godís eyes light up and He must be saying to the angels, "Holy Moses, this guyís
headed for a single-game record."