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Cell Phones in 1955? How about cell phones of prayer?

These days, cell phones, texting, and Skype (online video calls) increasingly help build the global friendships that draw us all closer together. The following excerpt from Glenn Clark’s 1955 Fellowship Messanger article seems to predict the invention of Skype and cell phones, which allow us to connect with each other without effort. This concept soon leads us into a discussion of how to pray for “world friendship,” making it doubly relevant to Spirit in Action’s worldwide network of partners.


A Great Future Looms Ahead

Tereza with cell phone in Malawi

Tereza (Malawi) keeps her cell phone in a case around her neck as she runs her market shop.

At a meeting of Telephone and Telegraph executives recently it was secretly announced that within a few years every child at birth will be given a number and when he comes of age he will be given a “walkie-talkie” or a “trans-ceiver” in the form of a pocket instrument by which he can dial the number of anyone he wishes to communicate with and talk to him immediately. By looking into the instrument he can even see the one he is talking with, and can be shown whatever he is doing if the received wishes to show him.

At the Camps Farthest Out we have already been doing that in a spiritual way. The “trans-ceiver” we carry (not in our pockets, but in our hearts) is the Holy Comforter and is instantly available whenever we give obedience to the eleventh commandment: “This commandment I give unto you, that ye have love one for another.” Get on that wave length and we are in immediate communication with both God and anyone we love.

I propose that this year we all make use of this “trans-ceiver” that God has prepared for us; that we cease trying so hard to do things with our own wills, and let the will of God have full sway within us. When we receive a radio message from someone a thousand miles away it is through no power of our own. When this new invention is perfected we shall communicate with our friends who are far away through no virtue of our own. Paul besought us not to depend on ourselves in prayer, but to turn it over to this wonderful gift, the “Comforter,” bequeathed to us by Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit.

McDonald Kajan (Malawi) holds up his veg and new cell phone

McDonald Kajan (Malawi) holds up kale for sale and shows me the new cell phone he bought with his farm profits.

Don’t for a moment think that [we] have learned all that there is to know about prayer. Every year, every month, every week, every day we learn more. Let us this year make special use of this way of praying, letting the Holy Ghost make the intercession through us. Because the need of the world is great, and because the right pathways to world friendship and to world peace are so difficult for most nations to follow, one hardly knows how to pray. Now is the time when we an with great confidence get still and let the Spirit itself make “intercession for us with the groanings that cannot be uttered.”

– From the Fellowship Messenger, Volume 17, February-March 1955; Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Camps Farthest Out

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