Let’s talk about how we PRAY

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Our world has been hit with a tsunami that brings sickness, death, loneliness, financial stress, and disruption of relationships. Who among us does not deal with waves of anxiety?  This flood of difficulties threatens to flatten the life we once knew and what will come is all but impossible to discern.

I have said it many times. Fear and anger are next-door neighbors in our emotions. As fear grows, we are tempted to adopt an angry defensive posture, without even realizing what is happening to us.  We may find ourselves blowing up at our spouse, having a hard time remaining focused on a task, looking for somebody to blame for the problems, attacking an institution, even questioning the goodness of God! Though we do not realize it in the moment, our defensiveness is cutting off from the source of comfort, denying us access to the peace of God and the wisdom of the Spirit.

So, we must PRAY, not as an emotional overflow, but with our mind. Even if we ‘feel’ as though our words are bouncing off the ceiling we need to open up to God, the Spirit in prayer! We are taught to “Pray without ceasing!”  (1 Thess. 5:17)  We must not only pray when we feel like it, or when ‘there is nothing left to do but pray.’

We must choose to keep the lines of communication open with God all of the time.  God does not ask us just to pray nice prayers, or short prayers, or long prayers, or eloquent prayers;  but He does want us to keep listening and talking to Him.  When two persons stop talking, when they fall into silence, it is never good. IF we let fear and anger keep us from prayer, we are hurting ourselves.

As Christians, faith takes the lead and causes us to “pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” (Philippians 4:6-7, CEV)

How can we pray all of the time?

Use the words of another!
When words fail me, I turn to the Psalms or a borrow a song. I cannot tell you how many times I have used Jesus’ model prayer recently, murmuring “Our Father who is in heaven, holy is Your name … Your kingdom come.”  In the evening, I often sit quietly with songs of worship playing that become my prayer.

Let others pray with you and for you!
A friend texts me a prayer on my behalf and it releases peace in me. I join with others who pray and my faith is made stronger. James teaches us “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” (James 5:16, The Message)

Pray simply!
Prayer need not be complex to be effective. Forget striving for eloquence. Talk with the Lord. Even the name of Jesus, whispered to Him reverently, again and again, is a prayer.

Let the Spirit lead!
If you do not know what to say, listen. Prayer includes hearing and speaking. How I love this promise – “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:26-27, NLT)

Prayer is our lifeblood as Believers. The enemy of God and good desires nothing more than to get us so wrapped in angst or anger that we forget to pray.

So, “Pray without ceasing!”

Here’s the word from the Word.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were.”
(Psalm 39:12, NIV)

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8, NLT)

 “I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.” (Psalm 56:12-13, NLT)

_____________

Sweet Hour Of Prayer

Sweet hour of prayer sweet hour of prayer
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return sweet hour of prayer

Sweet hour of prayer sweet hour of prayer
The joys I feel the bliss I share
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face
And gladly take my station there
And wait for thee sweet hour of prayer

Sweet hour of prayer sweet hour of prayer
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless
And since He bids me seek His face
Believe His Word and trust His grace
I’ll cast on Him my ev’ry care
And wait for thee sweet hour of prayer

William Batchelder Bradbury | William W. Walford © Words: Public Domain

Published by Jerry Scott

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Dad to Jay, Sean, Christine, and Maribel. I am a Pastor at Faith Discovery Church. Jerry D. Scott

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