I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
For those of you who don’t know what Brookshires is – it is a grocery chain here in Texas, like a Publix, Winn Dixie, or Food Lion would be. The Blog You Rang, God? reminded me about this story that has yet to be told. I used to believe that God only showed up on Sundays. I thought you could only touch God through being in church. Boy, was I mistaken.
One evening I went to Brookshires to pick up three simple items: Pepsi, Advil, Little Debbie snack cakes. My trip inside wasn’t going to take that long, so I didnt even bother getting a cart. I picked up item #1, gathered item #2, but when I got to isle 10 to pick up item #3… my knees buckled. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and he laughed at me as my legs wiggled beneath me and said I must’ve been so blown away by him my knees buckled. I laughed, and said “No buddy, but I know what this feeling is and I must get out of this store!” I grabbed my item, rushed to the check out, and went straight to the car. There I felt the wind of the spirit come over me and I began to shake uncontrollably.
Now in retrospect this part of the story is funny, but then it was just wild… He walks out to the car and sees me shaking like a leaf and almost convulsing in the driver seat (I was parked..btw, you can’t drive while in a full on holy ghost fit). Anyways, he was ready to call 911 and hospitalize me. Poor thing, he didn’t understand. To be honest, I can’t say that I did either. I just told him to go away, that God and I had some business to tend to. Needless to say he didn’t leave so what ended up happening was this….
I got the holy ghost, touched his hand, then he got the holy ghost. So here we both are, in the middle of Brookshires parking lot, fully lit, cars driving by, security camera fixed on us.. and I am convulsing inside the car, he is shaking outside the drivers side door, and we are both looking mighty silly looking like clucking chickens.
He ended up falling out on the concrete before God let go of him. Once that happened, I got the spirit of laughter, and couldn’t quit. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed..Oh, It was quite a sight to see. When I die, I’m gonna ask for God to replay that for me. I think I will get a kick out of that.
What I didn’t know, was he had never experienced the holy ghost before. He also never spoke in tongues. Well, those two things changed that night. God is definitely real. Tongues is real. Holy laughter is real. God will show up on Sunday in church, and on a Monday in a grocery store.
Oh what a life!
Whether it is written or verbal, God’s word never lies.
I was thinking about something that was told to me in a church service a few months back. I visited a church that had a so-called “prophet” visit. This prophet had a word for me during that service. Granted, I am initially leery about these types of people, I sensed a sincerity in this one. (Mainly because she wasn’t a FOR PROFIT PROPHET, and you don’t find many of those.) Anyways, I had been seeing visions for several months prior to actually coming in contact with her at that service. She walked right up to me and said these words:
“These things you are seeing, they are just the smoke compared to a burning fire that is behind it. You will be used to preach to nations.”
I took her words at face value, said thank you, and went on my merry way. I immediately got back into my car, wrote her words in my journal I had been keeping and went on. I thought about how silly that woman was! Thinking I would preach to nations..Ha! Does she even know she was telling that to a girl who has been to a total of 4 states?! (none of which are above the Mason Dixon line by the way). Plus I don’t even own a passport to go anywhere! ME?! I AM GOING TO PREACH TO NATIONS??! Ha.. Maybe she was a little off her rocker. Maybe her wires got crossed that day…….
This weekend it hit me like a ton of bricks..
OMG! I AM PREACHING TO NATIONS!
Three months after I met that prophet, I got a word to “write”. Not sure what I was supposed to write about, I just started blabbering away, and thought I would try my hand at blogging. Needless to say, here I am now and I seem to have developed a small following. However small, my blog has allowed me to reach nations. NATIONS! Hear that? It’s God saying I TOLD YOU SO. Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Yes…All things ARE possible. This blog has followers from Asia, Saudi, Iran, China, Cuba…Just to name a few. I am humbled as I sit here in amazement looking at what God did. He gave me a message, and delivered the truth after my obedience of following through.
Looking back……..Has God ever asked me to do anything that was status quo? He never called me to act sanctimoniously. No, he asks the incredible, the unheard of, the unimaginable, and often times insane. What my earth-bound body perceives as crazy, God deems achievable, attainable, and conquerable.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Anyone else out there an incessant check-list checker off-er? You know what I mean.. We make a list and can’t wait to check that task off as done. It gives us a sense of pride and purpose once we see how todays list is checked off and tomorrows is halfway done already. Anyone else? C’mon…..admit it!
How about the new thing now-a-days where churches give out sermon notes with that bullet list of the songs they will sing, the message of the day, guest speakers- Et cetera… Dang those things, I have to check those off too to make sure everyone is in line with the pamphlet. It’s a problem, I know, its my crazy- I will deal with it. Good or bad, it’s who I am, and some others will brave forward and say “omg, me too!” (or not… )
MOVING ON TO WHY I AM BLOGGING THIS…….
Can you imagine God’s checklist?! I can’t even fathom his to do list. I do however know that I am on that list – luckily I’m not checked off yet. I do sit and ponder all my family members in heaven that have been God’s finished project and checked off to go home. I was thinking how they got called to heaven once they are completed by God. A project that was beautifully created, and wonderfully made, and the beauty God must see in the incomplete works he has. Could a checkbox that’s not complete be a beautiful thing??
Knowing that we are the miry clay and he is the potter that cannot wait to shape that ‘mess-o’-mud’ into a beautiful piece of art with our fathers name engraved on it. How nice is it when you complete a project and you can’t wait to sign your name to it?Something that you can be proud of and have pride in…
God has a few of my family members in heaven that have been checked off. A work in progress, that finally completed the task, the growth, the mission if you will. I can only imagine how one checkmark can lead to several other ‘to do’ tasks for God. Go with me here for a moment. If it werent for my grandparents checkmark – my parents wouldn’t be to-do’s. And if it weren’t for my parents – I wouldnt be a to-do..and so on down the line….IMAGINE..
New International Version (NIV)
God isn’t finished with me yet.