October 13 -That’s Why We Pray

Luke 11:1-3 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just 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.”

We watched a movie the other night about a little boy going through a serious trial.   Everyone told him to pray. He heard the word “pray” over and over, but it didn’t really make much sense to him. So, instead of trying to figure it out, he decided to write a letter to God. He began to write Him a letter almost every day. He talked to Him like He was a friend who cared and someone who could help. He then began to develop an amazing sense of peace to which others were drawn. He began to see answers to his “prayers.” His confidence grew and everyone around him was affected by his trusting demeanor. Lives were changed because this little guy decided to talk to God.

 

I think prayer is a perplexing thing for most of us. It is one of those very important things that nobody knows much about. Yet, we talk about it all the time. “Pray for me, I need to get a job.” “Oh, we really need to pray for so-and-so, their mother is in the nursing home.” It can almost be an overused catch-all word that translates “Help me!”

 

Jesus talked about prayer many times. The Bible has hundreds of references to it. When Jesus taught the disciples the answer to their question about how to pray, He basically says, “Talk to Me. Get by yourself. Listen part of the time or you’re monopolizing the conversation. Be thankful for the everyday things. Talk to Me like you would a trusted friend, a friend Who has the power to change the circumstances. Most of all, be ready for Me to change you!” The next time someone says “pray for me,” or you need some prayer yourself, try writing your thoughts in a letter to God. Put a date on it and refer back to it. Be real, but be respectful. Cry if you need to, He hears that too. Most of all, get that Bible off the shelf and read. He’s been talking to you all the time, it’s all there in black and white.

That’s why we pray. “The greatest tragedy in life isn’t unanswered prayer, its unoffered prayer.” (quote by Adam Clarke)

Jennifer

Biblical Meditation: Psalms 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.

 

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December 1 – A Little Goes a Long Way

Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not [indulge your angry resentments by undue chastisements and] set yourself to his ruin. Proverbs 19:18

Our first son is crafty and has been that way from his day one. If he sees it, he wants to touch it and examine its “components.” Early on, this meant stuff got broken and misplaced, often. Man, I would get sooo frustrated!

“How many times have I told this kid not to mess with other people’s stuff…my stuff?” This seemed to be a constant thought from age 4 to 14.

But when I saw these incidents as the teaching moments they were, he received guidance, for the time being, very well. Training was my job and learning and exploration and discovery was his.

Thank God for proverbial wisdom like today’s to keep me from harming his budding passion in an effort to establish boundaries of respect.

Now sixteen and very skilled in the attributes of hands-on craftsmanship, this young man has indeed made some marvelous discoveries that I couldn’t have found in a million years. And my whole household benefits from them daily.

Many of us read these words and agree with the biblical insights of Solomon, but our day of “discipline” is past. Our kiddos are grown and the effects of our chastisement or the lack thereof is forever etched.

Not so. That’s the beauty of Godly counsel. The moment you “get it” you can begin to apply it in the form of prayers delivered on behalf of the matter you face. And it can and will transform even the most hopeless of cases. Totally miraculous!

Your children are the letter you write to a time you will never see. So as long as you are breathing, don’t put down that pen. And even though it has no eraser, unforeseen adaptations are allowed and encouraged…they make the best kind of story!