Archive for category #prayer, #prayerpractice, #persistence

Day 18 God Listened to Me

Read: Deuteronomy 10.10 (NRSA)

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God does hear our prayers. Sometimes it is hard to imagine or conceive of God’s omnipresence in dealing with all the intentional and random prayers, requests, petitions, and cries for help that we offer in our collective prayers. The image of post-it notes that Jim Carrey’s character pictures in the movie “Bruce Almighty” captures God’s perspective on having a personal relationship with each and all of us. What Good News: God listens to every one of us. A famous country song tells us that we can be thankful for “unanswered prayers:” as we need to be cautious not to misuse the connection. Likewise, for all God’s listening how much listening to God are we doing? How much talking are we do with God? We have faith that God knows our hearts and is always ready to guide us in our prayers. Prayer is more than shouting in the thunderstorm or begging at the bottom of the well. Prayer is a consistent conversation.

Our task is to not give up sharing all things of our life and journey with God, God’s people, and the world. As often as we breathe, we have an opportunity and reminder to pray. One of the milestones of spiritual growth is coming to the awareness and assurance that God is listening right now and will be listening in our best and worst moments. Our challenge today is to be growing as a person of prayer.

Start right now, begin a persistent sharer of praise, offering thanks in our joys and directions in our questions, hope in fears, and grace with our sin and brokenness. Take the time to truly listen; take time to talk: God does.

Action Plan: Be diligent in listening to others today. If you are talking, do more listening and less talking. If you are usually quieter, lead more of the conversation today. Model God’s active communication with one another.

Prayer: Let me be silent and listen to your word and for your presence. Amen.

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3rd Sunday Sabbath Rest – Prayer Posture

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READ Deuteronomy 9.18 (NRSV)   Listen to this podcast on Anchor here

When you pray this week, pay attention to your posture. Do you sit, stand, kneel, or lay down? If you do not have a pattern, it can be good to pick one to be your cue and reminder to pray each day. Part of the Lenten journey is developing good spiritual habits. With small daily choices to make prayer a priority, you will easily get into a routine. For others, their prayer routine, which is usually helpful, has become too mechanical. And likely, if we cannot keep the routine, we might develop an excuse to not pray. Bottom line, we will not grow if we omit our conversation time with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the faith community, that is the church.

I have been working on a prayer chapel in the back of our property. Part of the challenge for me was to use as many discarded resources, to not make it too close to the house, and to make it small enough to be manageable. I am about 80% finished and it is at a functional level. It is a separate place, set apart from daily routines, to be present and undistracted with God. It is small so it necessitates my being alone. It is basic, filled with natural light, and surrounded by God’s creation. This type of space is holy, where is your sanctuary, how do you feel when you visit holy places. Today is a great time to choose a space that is your place and time to be set-apart, with God.

Prayer is our conversation with God; let it be different from the noise of all other conversations. Typically, we would be having this Lenten journey in a classroom setting at the church, this year or the context is virtual. This difference is a gift when we all it to be used for our Spiritual Growth.  The Old Testament is filled with the custom of prayer taking on the posture of lying face down, prostrate, on the ground as a sign of humility and reverence. We more commonly fold our hands, bow our heads; all these help us to be respectful. Mix it up and try a different posture. Experiment with praying aloud. Write down your prayers on paper. Make time and space to be held for God each day.

Restful Prayer: Try praying with a different posture or location starting today. If you are not praying consistently each day, start right now. No matter your method, prayer is the conversation of speaking AND listening to God. Let’s go.  

Prayer: Lord, get my attention that I might really listen and hear all you have to say to my heart today. Amen. 

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Luke 11:1-13 Prayer Practice

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” [NRSV]

Prayer example

1. Father, hallowed be your name. (YOU ARE HOLY)

2. Your kingdom come. (YOU ARE WORTHY)

3. Give us each day our daily bread. (We Trust you)

4. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. (love as you want to be loved)

5. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” ( SAVE US )

Persistence of Prayer: a Parable

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

Practice of praying

“So I say to you,

Ask, and it will be given you;

search, and you will find;

knock, and the door will be opened for you.

  • Verbal, affirm was I need or want
  • Enquire/ Study, see how God has answered, learn from past,
  • Knock on Doors, ask others and see persistence and promise of prayer:

Promise of Prayer

For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Participation inPrayer

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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