PRAYER IN A BOMB THREAT

SEVERAL YEARS AGO when I was still singing professionally, I was about to premier a onewoman opera about a holocaust survivor. About three weeks before the premiere, a co-sponsoring organization of the premiere, which teaches and advocates tolerance, received some bomb threats intended to stop the performance. The danger to my own safety and that of others could not be taken lightly. The FBI and the city police got involved.

I find it helpful and effective to pray every day, and these threats certainly seemed like a good reason to start praying. I'd been learning that prayer is a desire to understand and feel the presence of God. And that requires a humble willingness to let go of any thought unlike God. I began my praying with the First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). I asked myself: Am I praying with the understanding that there is only one God, or am I believing or fearing there is another power besides God — meaning, in this case, hate?

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PRAYERS FOR PEACE
September 11, 2006
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