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.
I rolled out of bed this morning a little on the late side. I woke up thinking.. Gee, I haven’t posted a blog in awhile. Funny how things happen in a day. I was overcome with the need to pray this morning. I had a very thankful heart that had this insane desire to speak to God and thank him personally for everything he has done and is doing in my life.
When I first met my “soon to be husband” we went on a very extreme spiritual walk together. We felt God moving in everything around us, and we knew that God himself had put us together. He told me early on that ” you need to get a passport, because God said you need one.” Well I will admit I scoffed it off a little because I hadn’t exactly been an avid traveler. (matter of fact I had never ventured passed 4 states.)
At any rate this morning I had a fire lit under me to go get a passport.
So I went to get one….
From there interesting things began to happen….
I walked in to the post office and sat waiting for awhile. A little while later a man and his family came walking in, and this man was humming non-stop. You could tell he was joyful and happy inside. The kind of happiness that only peace and comfort through God can give you. I minded my own business as they sat across the room.
Within 10 minutes this man walked over to me and said he had been praying for me since he walked in. He asked if he could share a scripture with me that God had given him – and immediately I said yes.
He read that scripture to me and had a little more to say. He explained that God has his eyes on me and that I have something special to do. He called me royalty. I never thought about myself as royalty, but I guess we all are since we are descendants of a king. It reminded me of Shelly Wilson’s song: Did you know. If you don’t know Shelly, here is the link to her ministry.
I smiled, using him, God showed me that I was on the right track. Apparently it was long overdue to get a passport. I was next in line, so with that word – I got up and started the process. As I reached in my wallet to pay the fee – someone came up from behind me and placed a 100 dollar bill on the table.
It was that same kind gentleman that had given me a word from God earlier. I was perplexed. No one had ever given me money, especially of that magnitude before- and more so from a perfect stranger. You will recall from my earlier blog my trouble with finances lately ULTIMATE SACTRIFICE. GOD IS GOOD! The gentleman told me that God told him I needed it.
As I left, I went over to that gentleman one more time and thanked him and asked him about the 100.00 bill. He explained that GOD had given him word earlier that his passport would be paid for him. He said when God told him to give me that 100.00 he did it. Immediately following his act of obedience, his wife called and said she just received a 200.00 check that was unexpected. In gambling I would say he made out pretty well by doubling his investment through Gods request.
I inquired more about him. He said he was a missionary from this area, and he had been trusting God 100% in his finances. He explained that for a family of 5 it can be tough at times, but also he had a joy in his face telling me that God has provided. Then he began to recite Matthew 5:26-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches (I know he watches)
(I know he watches me)
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me (He watches me)
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me (He watches me)
He watches me (I know he watches me)
I left that post office and thanked God for that blessing. The last words that fellow said to me was “I’m investing in your ministry”. I never even thought of myself having a ministry. I guess if we look up the definition it is SERVING. So I guess I do have a ministry. Thank you to the gentleman, (I didnt even get your name) and Thank you to a God that meets real needs.
I was driving today and started thinking about all the things I am grateful for. What better way to start off the day than to make a list and show gratitude on Grati-Tuesday!
I am grateful for my 2nd chance in Christ. I was saved at 18 years old in my grandmothers church. Though I had heard Gods call on my life- I ignored it for years. I am grateful that he grabbed me on the collar and made me walk a straighter line. With that, I am grateful for the newness within me and the love of Christ that I never truly experienced before.
I want to show gratitude for my sweetie also. To the man that wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and a song on his lips for me. The man who makes the worlds best cup of coffee and hands it to me with a hug and a kiss and a simple “I love you”. Coffee will never taste the same if it’s not prepared by that man.
I am grateful for family. Thankful that they will stand by you and beside you when need be. Extremely grateful to still have my family still with me on this Earth. I can still call mom and dad, my sisters and niece, and hear their voices and laughter on the other line.
I am grateful for the heart of flesh within me. I had been so hardened for so many years, I now understand the difference. I cry when I see things wrong, I have empathy and compassion where there was none. I feel extremely, uncontrollably, human again – and that is a dying breed here.
I am grateful for work. Just to have a job in this downed economy would be enough, but God gave me a job that I love, where I can really make a difference and feel fulfilled.
I am grateful for friends. Not just the many acquaintances I have come to know through work, but true friends. The friends that I would trust my life with. Im thankful to the friends I get to share my walk with God with. Those friends that knew me before and after, and who understand and appreciate who I am today.
I am thankful and grateful that my priority list was assigned and designated by God. That I have marching orders and if I obey, I have the promise of Gods blessing on my life. I am so grateful to be where I am at this point in my life. I feel as though I am a rocketship on a landing pad just waiting for blastoff!
I am grateful for every breathe I take. I pray I never forget how precious the breathe of life really is.
What difference did you make in someone’s life today?
So many Christians believe that they have to do something groundbreaking, enormous, and vastly substantial to make a difference. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God uses each of us together to make the big things happen. Have you ever watched a group tug of war competition? Picture watching the two teams battle, but only half of the first teams group is doing the work. Guess who won? It’s easy to see that every little bit that is done helps. Do not discount your “little bit”.
I remember when I was a child, I was working outside with my dad. We were digging a ditch to put in a swimming pool. Gosh, I remember that hole having to be extremely deep and wide, and no matter how much dirt I shoveled, it never seemed to get any deeper. When I was looking drained and exhausted from ditch digging, I remember dad looking at me and saying “every little bit you do, is a little less that I have to do”. I guess my “little bit” meant a little more to him than it did to me.
Another story I am reminded of as I write this. I was given 3 large print bibles by a friend of mine. (their “little bit”). I kept them in my car, just in case the opportunity to minister to someone might arise. One afternoon I was sitting at a Wendy’s eating lunch. I saw an elderly woman with a palm sized bible and what seemed like bottle cap glasses, trying to examine that book in front of her. At first, I laughed at its hilarity, but then I was immediately reprimanded and reminded that I had the solution to her problem not 5 feet away. I put down my hamburger, walked to my car, and pulled out a large print bible I had been saving. I walked in, handed it to her, and said” I think this is yours.” (“my little bit”) She was elated. She smiled, had me put my name and her name in that bible together, and said she would put it on her bedside table and read it every night.
See how small that was? It was a “little bit” of effort, a “little bit” of caring, and a “little bit” of compassion.
Are you ready to start sharing your little bit?
I want to hear your stories like this.
I have been working a blog post out in my mind for several weeks now. I got the title “success in a box” by my random thought processes that occur in a day. Basically the principles of the success in a box is what we wish we had. We wish that God would just plant us in business, an overflowing money-tree orchard, or a partnership that we could just reap the benefits of the success instantaniously. Yeah…. Wouldnt that be great?
I have been praying a lot about my vocation. I want to do something greater than what I feel like I am doing now. We all go through those times in our lives where we just feel like there is more out there. Well, I am in that place. I asked God if he would set me up for success. Set it up to where he would put all the supplies and talents I need in a box, and opening the box is the hardest thing I would have to endure. lol…yeah right. Ridiculous thoughts!
Then a funny thing came over me. Thinking of work and sucess, I began to ponder qualifications for this new position I was asking God to put me in. How would I apply? What about a spiritual resume? Am I qualified for the gifts I am asking God for? hmmm….not sure yet. I want to work with God, but would I just work for grace? Un-ending un-failing grace sounds good –BUT.
Hmm….. What are the qualifications I possess? What level am I on in Gods eyes? My heart? My spirit? I have been told once or twice that I “looked good on paper” in interviews. I wonder what I look like to God. If I were in line next to – lets say Mother Teresa – how far away from landing that gig am I?
R-E-A-L-L-Y FAR! REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FAR!
I wish I could turn in my spiritual resume and have it red-inked by God himself. Blot over my mistakes. Make the necessary improvements. What else do I need to learn to be amazing at Gods works? All these things I just sit and think about. What would your spiritual resume look like? I think mine would appear like this:
I’ll leave you with that.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Take my life and give it meaning
fill me up with love and care
I feel the best is yet to come
and with it I’ll see you there
my hope comes daily now
I get that fresh renewal
instantly my hands flew up
and then my wings they grew
I’ve never felt better
at times, more sane
yet it doesnt matter
it’s the new life I gained
I may stumble each turn I take
I know lifes changing fast
you will guide each step I make
I know you are leading me back
I never thought you would lead this way
but I am thankful you withstood
for all you have done for me
you have always been good.
I will serve you with all my heart
rip me up and lay my-self down
teach me your lesson, if it tears me apart
I will work on my eternal crown
I wish I knew the “how” lord
I know its better this way
my soul is safe with you
my need in you grows each day
keep guiding lord,
and speaking to me each day
without you I will fail
I don’t want to stray
You have the reins now
Im just following you
hard to see it sometimes
when alone- you can’t push through
Im being selfless now
listening for something too
no more filling empty time
I heard the call, Im coming to you