Perhaps they are afraid that God will reach down and smack them if they get it wrong. Or that their prayer will simply be ignored due to their gross ineptitude.
Let's pause for a moment. If someone came up to you, right now, and said, I need someone to pray with/for me.....would you fumble for the words, or could you respond with absolute faith, bow your head and let it flow? Or does the prospect completely frighten you out of your wits? Of course, I am assuming that you believe in the power of prayer in the first place. But if you've never tried it -- how do you know?
That's right folks, we're not just about fun, sun, fairs and tropical drinks by tiki torches 'round here. Sometimes you gotta take time out to feed your soul too.
For those who believe, we know that Jesus taught us how to pray in Luke 11:1-13 (NIV)
This is the chapter where you find the Lord's Prayer. We used to recite it after the National Anthem in school, but apparently that offended too many people so we stopped praying. I guess the more rational approach of simply having a moment of silence for each person to pray in their own manner -- or stare out the window patiently -- was just too diffcult to implement. Thus, a whole generation has grown up without learning how to talk to God. To me, this is the cornerstone of any relationship with God (notice I did not say Religion?). It is what He most desires with us. No, not that you win the lottery because you prayed for that. Fellowship.
How could you maintain a friendship, if you never talked with that person?
How could your maintain your blog.....if you never posted?
Perhaps some just see prayer as a way of getting what they want. Or when they truly have a pressing need. The bargaining that we can do, to get what we want. However, would you remain friends with someone who only called on you when they needed/wanted something? But of course, God doesn't abandon us despite our human failings. He's always there, waiting patiently, lovingly, mercifully, for us to come to Him with all our needs, fears, desires, sorrows, and joys. All we have to do is lay our fears and apprehensions aside and obey. Prayer is not just requesting, it is also thanking, praising, worship, or just drawing close and Listening. Oh, that's a tough one still for me too.
If you listen to the words of the Lords' Prayer, I think you can see that God, in His wisdom, had a pretty good handle on the human condition. And yet, still....He desires us to call out to Him.
If you are not familar how Jesus taught us to pray, or if it has been a long time since you said the words....or perhaps, you just need some inspiration into your daily prayer life, the video link below illustrates how easy it truly is, in a comical, yet altogether realistic manner.
(special thanks to our resident Bible Student who shared this during his sermon today.)
(click here to see video)
The Skinny on Prayer
I know how to pray. I've known most of my life. I've prayed at restaurants, hospital ER's, the playground, camp....I even prayed a blessing in the middle of a crowded MacDonald's once. I've prayed at the voting booths. At our supper table, as I tuck my children into their beds, and sometimes, even over their sleeping heads. And I pray for Left Brain a lot. Not just his safety, but for guidance when dealing with those he encounters on patrol. That he would somehow be a beacon, God's light shining through the badge and uniform, to reach those who need God's love and mercy the most.
But I too have gotten lazy. Mumbling my prayers throughout the day instead of finding quiet time to actually engage and draw near. Perhaps I felt God wasn't that concerned with the daily doings of a SAHM. But no....this is where He has placed me. This is my calling. It is every bit as important to Him, as the missionairies in Africa, or the Preacher on TV leading thousands of lost souls home to God (okay, yeah, that might be a bad example in some cases.) He desires me to succeed at this calling, and He is always there to lead me on this journey. Even on those days when the kids are fighting, the cleaning and laundry are piling up, the bank account is empty, and mama is on her last nerve. He cares about my struggles even then. He will raise me up, even then.
But I gotta call on Him. I need to pray. Some days I may not have the words, may not even know where to start. But as demonstrated in the video above.....it really is so very easy:
Our Father, who art in Heaven.....
And I believe, by stepping out in faith, the words will come.
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