F. A. Q.         Frequently A sked Questions

"Cuir do lamh sa chliabh, 's thoir do rogha leabaig as."

("Put your hand into the creel, and take your choice of flounders." -Old Gaelic Saying)     

 

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We'd like to answer your Questions!  

 monks@prayerfoundation.org 


List of Questions:


(1.) Q. I was raised a Roman Catholic. Can I become a Knights of Prayer Monk?

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(2.) Q. Can you help me to find my way back to God and Truth, and know what the reason for my being here is; what part I am to fulfill?  What steps do I take?  I am full of hatred and see no way out.  Not even Christ, unless he is defined as Love.

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(3.) Q. What do Monks wear under their "Habits" (monk robes)?

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(4.) Q. What does the Bible say about when everything seems to be  going wrong in your life?

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(5.) Q. What about Depression?  I've suffered this constantly for two years. 

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(6.) Q. I would like to become more involved in helping out with the work of The Prayer Foundation™.  What is the best way to get involved and help out?

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(7.) Q. I understand that the Monks living on Skellig Michael caught rainwater to drink, and could have relied on fish and birds and scurvy grass for food -- but how did they manage to build fire?  And if they did not build fire, how did they get by eating raw birds and fish?

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(8.) Q. I was wondering if you make your green Monk Habits available for a donation?

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(9.) Q. Would you please tell me what I need to do to become a Monk of your Knights of Prayer™  Lay Monastic Order?  (I have been a "monk in my heart" for many years!  I would love to become one now!)

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(10.) Q. What is your advice concerning a Christian marrying a Non-Christian?  (I am a born-again Christian woman.  I have finally found a man who I love, and who loves me, but he is not a Christian.  I want him to become a Christian before we marry.) 

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(11.) Q. How do I explain, to a friend, a "personal relationship with Jesus?"  I don't know how to put it into words.  How do you tell others about Christ?  How do you "witness" about Jesus?

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(12.) Q. Why don't you post "prayers" on your Prayer Requests page?  Others might need their help and guidance.

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(13.) Q. Can you fill me in a little more on the mechanics of being a Prayer Warrior?

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(14.) Q. Why does your Prayer Request Submission Policy say that you "...do not post prayer requests seeking only "more money," "extra" financial or material benefits, or for personal business growth or prosperity?"

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(15.) Q. Could you please explain the significance of the three knots tied in a monk's rope belt?

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Answers To Questions:


(1.) Q. I was raised a Roman Catholic.  Can I become a Knights of Prayer Monk?

       A. Yes.  We are an Interdenominational Christian ministry, not a Church.  No matter what your Denominational affiliation (Southern Baptist, Orthodox, Nazarene, Assemblies of God, Lutheran, etc.), you remain a member of that Denomination.  The Knights of Prayer  monks are Christians of many different Denominations who are supporters of the ministries of the The Prayer Foundation™.  

       Our use of the term "Protestant" does not refer to our individual monks, some of whom were raised Roman Catholic; but to let people know that we have no affiliation with the Orthodox (Greek, Eastern, Russian, Coptic) or Roman Catholic Churches; and that our doctrinal beliefs are those of the New Testament Church and the early historical Church (Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed); rediscovered in the light of the Protestant Reformation.  

        We prefer the term, "Born-again Christian," as being more accurately descriptive of our beliefs (we can also be described by using the term: "Evangelicals").  Exactly what we believe is set forth in our: Statement of Faith including the Plan of Salvation (read these five pages and see if you are comfortable with what they say).  They contain the same doctrines that are found in the Apostle's Creed and Nicene Creed (see: Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed).  

        The only particularly "Protestant" portions of our Statement of Fatith would be our absolute belief in "salvation by faith alone," and the "Bible alone as our sole guide and authority for faith and practice."  We also believe in "the priesthood of all believers" (that is, direct access to God the Father through Christ our only intermediary; by his shed blood; through the agency and work of the Holy Spirit). 

        Our question therefore to you would be the same we would ask of anyone; whether Catholic, Baptist, Orthodox, or Lutheran: "Are you a Born-again Christian?  Have you repented of your sins and given your life to Christ?  Do you know him as your personal saviour?" A more complete explanation of our views on this can be found on the fifth page of our Statement of Faith: The Plan of Salvation. 

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(2.) Q. Can you help me to find my way back to God and Truth, and know what the reason for my being here is; what part I am to fulfill?  What steps do I take? I am full of hatred and see no way out.  Not even Christ, unless he is defined as Love.  

        A. God's revealed Word  tells us that God is love (I John 4:8), and Christ is God (John 1:1,14), so Christ is defined as love.  There is an entire chapter of the Bible that is often called "the Love Chapter" (I Corinthians 13).  Some think that when the Apostle Paul wrote it he was thinking of and describing Jesus.  Also: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, and relies on) him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16).  We recommend that you read our page: The Plan of Salvation, then: Statement of Faith, and then the rest of our web site (see: Key Pages), especially the pages about the Monks and their stories (personal testimonies).  Many of us used to be where you are now.

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(3.) Q.  What do Monks wear under their Habits (monk robes)?

       A. The short answer is: whatever they want! (Generally regular street clothes).  But that's a modern answer.  For a more traditional one: Geoffrey Moorhouse in his excellent book, Sun Dancing, talks about the Irish monks from 300-600 A.D. as probably wearing a loincloth (because they raised and tied the bottom of the tunic around their waist when they worked in water).  

       From the Middle ages (1100's) to Vatican II (1960's), European monks wore breeches (knee-length pants) under the tunic.  I suspect they were copying the clothing of the Jewish priests as described in the Old Testament.  Since the 1960's regular trousers and shirt or                 t-shirt (street clothes, work clothes) are usually worn.  

       Nowadays sometimes the tunic is made with hand slits on the seam so you can get into your pants pockets; or the tunic itself can be made with pockets.  In the Middle ages they didn't have pockets and carried a "scrip" (a leather pouch) when they needed one (for instance, when traveling).  As for Monk Linda, well, the information doesn't seem to be available.

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(4.) Q. What does the Bible say about when everything seems to be  going wrong in your life?

       A. Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  This New Testament teaching is illustrated in the Old Testament in the life of Joseph. Read his story in Genesis: Chapters 37, 39-50.  Everything seemed always to go wrong for Joseph but God turned it all to good.  Joseph was always faithful to God.  He is also a "type" of Christ, with more similarities in his life to Christ's life than anyone else in the Old Testament.  Unlike most people in the Old Testament, it is not recorded of Joseph (or Daniel) that he committed any great sin against God.  You will find some more comments about Joseph on our page: Joseph: King of Dreams.

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(5.) Q. What about Depression?  I've suffered this constantly for two years.

       A. You do not say if you are a born-again Christian.  If you are not, you need to repent of your sins and ask Jesus in your heart, giving your life to Christ.  How to do this is explained in detail on our page: The Plan of Salvation There is also a Summary of the most important Christian Doctrines (Teaching) on our pages: Statement of Faith.

 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.  -II Timothy 1:7

"...Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water of the word..." -Ephesians 5:25,26

       We know a person who suffered horrible depression for years.  They failed out of College and lost their job.  They became a Christian (repented of their sins and asked Jesus in their heart) and they were much better and able to function, but still had a permanent depression.  About a year later they decided to memorize 120 Bible verses.  They carried them around at all times and went over them every spare minute.  Often during the day they would have a space of two or three minutes and they would use that time to memorize Bible verses.  They did it every waking moment when they could.  After 2-4 months they realized that there was no trace of depression whatsoever.  They are not sure how many months because that was over thirty years ago, and the Depression has never come back.  If you do not know which Scriptures  to memorize, many important ones may be found on the two pages mentioned above.

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(6.) Q. I would like to become more involved in helping out with the work of your ministry.  What is the best way to get involved and help out?
 
       A. We thank you for your offer, and your interest in our ministry. To sign up as one of our Prayer Warriors to pray for a certain amount of time each week for the Prayer Requests that we receive, fill out the FORM located on either of the following two pages of ours: 24-Hour Prayerchain, Prayer Warrior Map: World! and Prayer Warrior Map: U.S.A.!.  If you feel led to help in any other way: some ways in which you may do so are listed on our page: How You Can Help/Survey. Should you desire to be registered as a Lay Monk of the Knights of Prayer Monastic Order, there is information about this on our pages: Monk Certificate & Card, and Become A Monk!

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(7.) Q. I understand that the Monks living on Skellig Michael caught rainwater to drink, and could have relied on fish and birds and scurvy grass for food -- but how did they manage to build fire?  And if they did not build fire, how did they get by eating raw birds and fish?

        A. Skellig Michael was inhabited probably never by more than thirteen monks at a time.  No doubt there was an extensive "waithing list" in mainland monasteries for when a vacancy occurred through death.  You are correct that the cliff face was scored with channels into small collection pools to collect rainwater.  The monks did not use fire because there was no fuel for it.  In Spring they could have eaten the raw bird's eggs, no doubt a seasonal treat (variety) much looked forward to all year. Without cooking ability they would not have been able to eat the birds and seals around the skellig.  We don't know anything about scurvy grass.  Vegetables were probably grown in a small garden.  Fish caught in "set" nets would most likely have been hanged up to be dried by sun and wind before being eaten (although the Japanese people have certainly not found this to be necessary!).

 
     We have been to Western Ireland, and to various monastic sites there, but not to the Skellig.  While we look forward to some day visiting Skellig (or Skeilic) Michael if the Lord is willing, we certainly do not consider ourselves experts on it.  Geoffrey Moorhead's fine book Sun Dancing which we have reviewed contains much information.  The first half of the book is fictional, but the second half of the book is a purely historical investigation of the history of the Monks of Skellig Michael.
 
     We know that there is a tour of places where various Irish Saints lived in Western Ireland (St. Brendan would be one).  It finishes by going to the ruins on Skellig Michael, if the weather and seas permit.  We remember reading an article that one of those taking it was on her third time taking the tour, but that this was the first time she had actually gotten to the Skellig, because usually it is not safe for boats to go out there. Unfortunately, we do not know any of the details.  Perhaps the Irish Tourist Board could supply information on this (an enlarged photo of the island rock may be seen on our page: Skellig Michael Monastery, The Monastery built "Halfway to Heaven").

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(8.) Q. I was wondering if you make your green Monk Habits available for a donation? 

        A. Some of those who have registered to be monks of our Knights of Prayer monastic Order (see: Monk Certificate & Card, and Become A Monk!) have wanted to obtain our green Monk Habit (monk robes) for their own use during their own prayer times.  We feel that they should be able to obtain them.  At this time they are still much too expensive.  We hope to make them available for a much more reasonable contribution amount as soon as possible, and when they are available there will be an announcement posted on our page, Prayer Foundation News!

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(9.) Q. I  have been a monk in my heart for many years! I would love to become one now!  Would you please tell me what I need to do to become a Monk of your Knights of Prayer™  Lay Monastic Order?

           A. We too, were "monks in our hearts" for many years (in some cases, many decades) before this ministry existed.  The Prayer Foundation was formed in response to God's calling in the lives of Monk Preston and Monk Linda to serve in a Christian Ministry to "promote and encourage prayer among all Christians, and proclaim Jesus Christ to the world!"

     The Knights of Prayer Monastic Order is composed of those Supporters of The Prayer Foundation who desire some sort of recognition of the fact that they are already "monks in their hearts." As some have said, it is a way to recognize and legitimize what is already true, that you are a "monk in your heart."  

     To Supporters of The Prayer Foundation (men, women, married persons) who wish to be registered as a Monk of the Knights of Prayer™ Monastic Order, we make available both a Registration Certificate; suitable for framing and hanging on your wall; and also a wallet-sized Registration Card (to see what these Wall Certificates and Wallet-sized Cards look like, go to our page: Monk Certificate & Card).  For more detailed information on becoming a lay Monk, go to our pages: Become A Monk!, and Monk Cerificate & Card).  Some of you may also be interested in our page: Monk Linda, The First Lady Monk.

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(10.) Q. What is your advice concerning a Christian marrying a Non-Christian?  I am a born-again Christian woman.  I have finally found a man who I love, and who loves me, but he is not a Christian.  I want him to become a Christian before we marry.  

             A. You are very wise to want him to become a Christian before you marry.  It is a fact, that you will never have as much influence with him in this matter during marriage as you do now, before marriage.  This is not what you will want to hear, but God would have me say it to you: Of course you know God in the Bible has said that you shouldn't marry a non-Christian (II Corinthians 6:14, and on...).  God would spare you the pain, emptiness, and loneliness (I understand that the terrible loneliness of being single seems worse, now).  

     For thirty years I have seen prayer meetings in some churches, which are mostly women praying for their husbands to be saved.  They do not want them to be lost for all eternity.  They do not want to be separated from them for all eternity.  They want a husband who can take a spiritual leadership position in their marriage and in their families, with their children.  And they hunger and desire most of all for what a Christian husband and wife consider to be the most wonderful of blessings: that they have in common their love of, and relationship with, God and Christ; that they both love the Bible and the things of God. Having these things is such a wonderful blessing that Christian husbands and wives cannot imagine life without them.  It does not seem to those who have these things that (by comparison) there would even be any relationship or sharing at all without them.  Of course there would be, but what is most important to you would not be shared.  We are very familiar with a woman who was raised in a Christian home, who married a non-Christian.  Her life is unending pain and problems. 

      Also, something to watch out for: Mark Twain, the famous writer, pretended to be a Christian in order to marry a Christian girl, and after the marriage decided that he could no longer pretend.  He quit lying about it, quit attending Church, went back to  constant smoking, drinking, and cursing.  He had deprived his wife of all that she could have had in common with a Christian husband, and a wonderful relationship together in Christ.

God's Word: 

     "Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? 

     And what communion has light with darkness?  And what concord has Christ with Belial?  Or what part has he that believes with an infidel?  

     And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are the temples of the living God.  As God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and I shall be their people.  

     Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."                                                                                                          

                                       -II Corinthians 6:14-18

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(11.) Q. How do I explain, to a friend, a "personal relationship with Jesus?" I don't know how to put it into words?  How do you tell others about Christ?  How do you "witness" about Jesus?

            A.  Monk Preston spent several years "witnessing the Good News of Jesus" 4- 5 hrs. per day, six days a week.  He also preached in Churches and Prisons.  He says that he think that there was seldom a day where he did not learn something new.  So the place to start is with your own personal testimony.  You tell of your own experience, in your own words  (example: I asked Jesus for forgiveness of my sins, I told Him to come into, or take over my life, to live in my heart).  

     In John, Chapter Six, the man born blind knew nothing other than that Jesus had healed him.  "I was blind, but now I see."  One time, Monk Preston led a sixteen year-old young man to the Lord. The very next day the young man  began witnessing Christ and leading others to God.  He simply told them that they, too, could repent and give their lives to Jesus, and ask Him to come into their hearts.

 
     The next step is to start learning scripture.  Go to our page: Plan of Salvation.  This lays out, step by step, with scripture, how to accept the Lord, and even has a sample "sinner's prayer" to pray.  You could print this out and give it to the person, or go over it with them, or memorize some of the scriptures in it for use in that way. There are many more applicable scriptures on our Statement of Faith pages. 

     The pages on our Monks under the Category: THE MONKS, particularly the pages on Monk Bob: Street Preacher and About Monk Danny contain some of their own personal testimonies of how they accepted the Lord. Our pages are all copyrighted, but it is okay with us to print them out and give them away, or keep the print-outs for yourself; in fact, we encourage this type of use.  (They just may not be re-published without written permission; including electronically on another web site; or modified in any way; or  re-produced with the Copyright Information removed).

 
      We hope this helps you in some small way.  Another ministry that you may find helpful in the area of learning witnessing is The Christian Research Institute at www.equip.org (The Bible Answer Man).  There is a page on our website that reviews and recommends this radio program and web site (see our page: The Bible Answer Man).  Also, our page: Recommended Books lists several good books for understanding your Christian Faith.  Two of these are: "Know Why you Believe" by Paul E. Little, and "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis. 

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(12.) Q. Why don't you post "prayers" on your Prayer Requests page?  Others might need their help and guidance.

            A. We agree with you that some others may need help and guidance, and indeed, to offer these is the one of the purposes of our ministry, and of our web site.
 
     We have nothing against "prayers," it is merely a matter of the particular ministry that God has called us to.  No judgment is made as to the "worth" of the "prayers," (when we do not post them; which is always) but often the contrary, regret is felt because of their extreme worth, beauty, or excellence.
 
     Prayer Submission Policy: #(6.)  We regret that we no longer have room to post "prayers," (wonderful as they are), but can only post "prayer requests."
 
     Our Prayer Request Ministry (Prayerchain) is somewhat different from most others.  This does not make it better, just different.  Its entire focus is also somewhat different.  Ours is  a 24-Hour a day, Seven days a week, Prayerchain.  Our goal is to focus maximum prayer (as many prayer warriors as possible coming "online" in prayer, every hour on the hour for seven days straight.  

     We keep the number of prayer requests smaller through various limitations which other Prayerchains do not have (we do not post "prayers," or "forwarded" prayer requests, etc.).  This is so someone in dire need can E-mail us and receive a very personal attention and response. 

     Our Posting Policy is very unusual, many Prayerchains consist mainly of forwarded prayer requests.  We praise God that they perform this service, and praise Him that He has enabled us to provide the more intense, more concentrated, and more personal service that we feel He has called us to offer; that of focusing as many truly dedicated Prayer Warriors as possible in continuous 24-7 Prayer for fewer prayer requests (see: Prayer Requests, 24-Hr. Prayerchain).

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(13.) Q. Can you fill me in a little more on the mechanics of being a Prayer Warrior?

           A.  When it is time for the weekly prayer-time you signed up for, go to our Prayer Requests page to find the most current prayer requests of the past week (we up-date them daily).  As to how you pray: whether you pray individually for each request, or in general for all of them, we leave up to each individual Prayer Warrior).  The FORM on which you can sign up, and information about doing so, can be found on our pages: Prayer Warrior Map: U.S.A.!, Prayer Warrior Map: World!, and 24-Hr. Prayerchain.

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(14.) Q. Why does your Prayer Request Submission Policy say that you "...do not post prayer requests seeking only "more money," "extra" financial or material benefits, or for personal business growth or prosperity 

                                                                                                                                     A. There is nothing wrong with these kinds of prayer requests.  In fact, God wants us to go to Him in prayer about everything.  Yet it is our policy to not post these types of prayer requests.  On our Prayer Requests page are posted many requests concerning financial "needs."   Why then, do we not post requests for "extra" financial blessings?
 
We currently have Prayer Warriors in most States of the U.S. and in many other countries (see: Prayer Warrior Map: U.S.A.!, and Prayer Warrior Map: World!) who have volunteered to pray for the Prayer Requests posted on our site. Some have volunteered to pray once a week for fifteen minutes; others for longer periods of time, and/or more than once a week.  Some have told us that they pray for every request every single day.  We know of one person who prays three hours per day.
 
We receive prayer requests  of "need" every day: "my Aunt has just been diagnosed with cancer," "my eight-year old niece has been given 5 months to live."  "A mother with three little babies is dying and she is worried about her children; their Father has already died."  
 
We do not feel that we can or should ask our Prayer Warriors to spend half of their time praying for requests for "extra money" (if we posted all of them, they would be half of our posted requests) or, to put it another way; we do not feel that we should ask our Prayer Warriors to subtract half of the time they are now praying for the "need" prayer requests that we receive (and which we often see miraculous answers to...see our pages: Answers To Prayer.

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...If you feel led by the Lord to become one of our Prayer Warriors, you can find out more about it on our pages: 24-Hr. Prayerchain, Prayer Warrior Map U.S.A.!, and Prayer Warrior Map: World!

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(15.) Q. Could you please explain the significance of the three knots tied in a monk's rope belt?

       A. Historically and currently for most monks and friars, they stand for the three Vows the monks take.  These are: Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.  Benedictines do not take formal Vows in these areas, but they still practice them.  The use of the rope itself also symbolizes poverty.

(Note: the Benedictine Vows are Stability (staying in the same place), Obedience, and Conversion of Manners (gift of oneself to the monastic lifestyle; implying poverty and chastity).
 
In the case of our particular Knights of Prayer Monastic Order, which is Born-again, Protestant and Evangelical, and primarily Lay Persons, we also do not take formal Vows.  And, like the ancient Celtic Church, we allow married monks.  Our monks wear either a leather belt like the "Trappist" (Reformed Cistercian) Order, or a black cord with the three knots (Franciscans wear a white cord).  For us, the three knots in the one cord symbolize the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; three Persons, yet only One God.  We are unique in viewing it in this way.

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