February 19, 2017: Just when I thought I couldn’t pray,

Posted on : Feb 16th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Many of us in Christianity think we can’t pray. Some will say they don’t know how to pray. Others think their prayers are inferior to clergy or others’ ability to pray. This questioning of ability to pray is nothing new. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus had just finished preaching the ten greatest sermons they ever heard – today we call them the Beatitudes, those teachings that begin with the words “blessed are you when…” – and the next thing Jesus’ followers ask is for Jesus to teach them how to pray.

If we prayed like Jesus taught us, we’d have a lot less of the feeling of inadequacy than we do. Here’s Jesus’ teaching on prayer:

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production. There are many people who pray in public simply to make a show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God is impressed? God’s not!

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to be a drama queen before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense God’s grace.

“The world is full of so-called evangelists who proclaim to be prayer warriors. In truth, they are prayer-ignorant. They love to “sell” techniques that make you think you can get what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is God you are dealing with, and God knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our loving God who art in heaven, Holy is Your Being (Essence).

Your kindom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kindom, the power and the glory forever! Amen.

[From The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible,

with additional updates by Dan!]

Now that’s powerful praying!

Some time ago I read an article on prayer that offered this wonderful insight: “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.”

Part of our spiritual awakening is to know that “Just when I thought couldn’t pray, I discovered I can.”

More on Sunday.

Blessings,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Matthew 6: 5-19

From The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible,

with additional updates by Dan!

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production. There are many people who pray in public simply to make a show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God is impressed? God’s not!

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to be a drama queen before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense God’s grace.

“The world is full of so-called evangelists who proclaim to be prayer warriors. In truth, they are prayer-ignorant. They love to “sell” techniques that make you think you can get what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is God you are dealing with, and God knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our loving God who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name.

Your kindom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kindom, the power and the glory forever! Amen.

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”

 

Romans 8: 26 -30

The apostle Paul teaches about prayer

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose. For those whom God foreknew God also predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, in order that Christ might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom God predestined God also called; and those whom God called God also justified; and those whom God justified God also glorified.

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