August 07, 2004

Learning to Pray

This week I am concentrating on how to pray. That almost seems too ignorant to put in my blog, because we all assume that everyone can pray....and we can. I am talking about REALLY praying. I have found myself thinking many times that I really do not know how to pray. Since I began feeling this way, I have heard others state the same thing. The disciples even said, "Lord, teach us to pray."

I grew up influenced by Christian people, taught to believe in God, and went to church much of my life. I knew a lot of Bible scriptures, the books of the Bible, the ten commandments, the favorite children's stories, and most of the basics. I heard a lot of stories of miracles and answered prayers and how good God was and witnessed much of it myself. I was thrown little peices of advice like, "Always pray for God's will because His will is what is best." However, I don't think anyone told me how to really pray other than to talk to God like I would talk to my mom or dad.

When the disciples asked the Lord how to pray, he gave them the Lord's Prayer. According to Kay Arthur's book "Lord Teach Me To Pray," He did not give this to them to mindlessly repeat over and over, He gave it to them (and us) as an example of what should be included in our prayers. She breaks down the prayer and shows how it teaches us to worship, show allegience to God's sovereignty, show submission to His will, ask for His provision, confess and ask forgiveness of our sins, and to ask Him to watch us and deliver us from evil. She also points out other scriptural references to prayer such as 2 Timothy 2:15. John 14:13, John 16:23, Matthew 21:22, James 4:1-3,Isaiah 31:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Isaiah 59:1-2, Psalm 66:18, 1 John 1:9, James 5:16, and more. The Bible is ultimately our guide to effective prayer.

Throughout my post I have dreaded clicking the 'post' button because I know the comments from "you-know-who" will begin so I decided to end this post with a quote. :o)

"If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully-the life you save may be your own-and Jesus says, Whoever would save his lifewill lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The world says, Law and order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get, and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world's sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under the cross than under a delusion. "We are fools for Christ's sake," Paul says, faith says-the faith that ultimately the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men, the lunacy of Jesus saner than the grim sanity of the world.
Frederick Buechner

Posted by Barbara at August 7, 2004 09:17 AM

I am right there with ya on this one. I feel so inadequate in my prayer life. I have decided that I will just let the Holy Spirit teach me what I need to know. After all He is the best teacher.

Posted by: Patty at August 23, 2004 12:27 PM