Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How Do You Pray It?

In our continuing quest to find a new church home, this past Sunday we visited a church that we had visited one time before but it had been a while since we visited this particular church.

The pastor is starting a series on prayer. To start the sermon, he had us think about five questions regarding prayer.

On a very personal level answer these questions. Don't provide the text book answer but the answer based on where you are in your personal journey. Here they are:

  1. Why do you pray?
  2. When do you pray?
  3. Where do you pray?
  4. What do you pray?
  5. How do you pray?

Did you answer them?

Since I open myself up so often when I write, why stop now? My answers were:

  1. I need to! I can't imagine surviving without having prayer available to me.
  2. Anytime at all...especially while driving alone.
  3. Anywhere...like my friend Debbie Thomas I love to pray in the shower because I know no one will interrupt me there.
  4. For absolutely anything and everything...thanksgiving, prays for healing, praise, prayers for my family, prayers for job situations, admiration of Him, finances, marriages, future, salvation of friends...
  5. Conversationally and expectantly
This preacher made a very good point before he started this series. He said that we often take "The Lord's Prayer" for granted. We rush through it, which makes it appear that we think Jesus just rattled this prayer off without so much as a thought...just like we often pray it. He reminded us that Jesus did not pull this out of his pocket on a printed and laminated card. He implied that perhaps Jesus paused as He started "Our Father" pause "who art in Heaven"...

This got me thinking about this. Thinking about the fact that it was not a prepared prayer or prepared sermon like we often use in our churches. It got me thinking about what He might have been thinking as He taught us how to model our prayers.

I'm thinking that it could have went something like this...
He needed to teach us to pray...
so He thought first, then spoke:

(How should they start) "Our Father..."
(Now put there focus on where He is) "Who art in Heaven..."
(Pause. Think. Remind them that He is holy) "Hallowed be Your name.."
(It's not about those down here it's about our Home and getting these people there.) "Thy kingdom come, ... Thy will ... be done.."
(Make the connection for them between these two worlds) "On earth...as...as... On earth as IT IS in Heaven."
(Let them know that it's cool to trust Him with their needs.) "Give us this day our daily bread"
(Forgiveness. That's why I'm even here, here and able to provide them this teaching.) "Forgive us our debts.."
(They need to forgive each other as well.) "Forgive us as we have also forgiven those we need to forgive..."
(They need to live pure lives and avoid sin.) "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us ... from evil."

Why will you pray today? When? Where? What? and How? Will you get personal with our Loving Lord? Will you avoid scripted prayer and simply communicate with our Loving Lord as a friend? Will you share with Him everything that is on your heart?

Acts 2:42 (The Message) They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and prayers.


Rachel Starr Thomson said...

I enjoyed your thoughts on the Lord's Prayer :). I've given the Prayer a lot of thought, as I wrote a whole book about it. It really struck me that Jesus prayed as He did because He knew His Father. He taught us to pray on the basis of God's character. "Our Father..." Our Forgiver, Provider, King, Protector, Holy One.

author of Heart to Heart: Meeting With God in the Lord's Prayer

Connie Barris said...

One of the most beautiful songs we sang in Choir is this prayer...

a beautiful reminder isn't it!!

I Agree with Rachel too..


Patty said...

Why Do I pray, Prayer is such a BIG part of my life. I pray because it is my intimate time with God. I used to do it because I had to, I now do it because I want to and I miss God when I don't take the time to pray.

I pray in the mornings. I don't set my alarm, I ask God to wake me up when he wants me to get up. The times vary but it works for me before anyone gets up. I love my private time with God.

I pray on my deck off of my bedroom. I have a special place in my den and I have a recliner in my bedroom. It depends on where I am going to get the most privacy.

What do I pray, First, I thank God for how he blesses my family and I praise him for who he is. I then talk to him about family and friends and lastly, I pray for my needs. I ask the Holy Spirit to lay on my heart who he wants me to pray for.

I then ask for God to order my steps in His Word and I pray the verses he gives me for that day.

Prayer is a two conversation and I am asking God to make me a better listener. God is such an amazing God and I love that we can go to him with anything on our hearts and we can trust him with our hearts. I truly believe that praylerless lives are powerless lives. Prayer should be the 1st thing we do, not the last resort.

Good Post!!!