Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prayer: Scary or Doable?

I listened to a pastor giving a sermon on the radio the other day ( and really liked what he was saying. I scrambled to grab a pen and paper (and this happens so often I really should keep some supplies by the radio, but keep deluding myself into thinking I'll just remember what I hear). Here's a quote I managed to get down before I had to remove the muffins from the oven, along with the gist of what he was recommending:

"Prayer is as easy as picking up the phone and as terrifying as finding out
God is on the other end."

Well. No pressure, right? I mean, no worries about whether I'm doing it "right" or not quite getting the whole prayer-thing. Heh-heh. Nope, I'm not at all concerned ... heh-heh. Not. At. All.
Fortunately, he went on to clarify a bit. He gave this acronym for using with the Lord's Prayer. I liked it, so I thought I would share:
C - Concentrate. (Our Father, Who art in Heaven,) Emphasis on Father. Abba. Not "master" or "friend", although God is certainly that as well. Father is to be used only when addressing God in one of His trinitarial forms, not when addressing men here on earth (save your own actual father, whom most people call Daddy or Papa {or Pa, if you're last name happens to be Ingalls}).
H - Hallowed. (Hallowed be Thy name.) Hallowed = Holy, separate from all other names.
R - Ruler. (Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.) God rules. Period.
I - "I need". (Give us this day our daily bread,) Pray only for what you need today. Food, shelter, clothes, healing, forgiveness, etc. Remember the Israelites and how they were provided for for FORTY years? Their clothes and shoes didn't wear out through decades of walking. They were provided adequate food and water and everything essential for life. Praying for what you need today--not tomorrow--shows faith and trust in God's providence for you.
S - Sin. (Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.) Sin--That word. That Christian word. The word no one wants to mention or hear. Sigh. Well, there it is. No one is sinless. Not you, not me. For "Kingdom Kids"--God's children, saved Christians--God forgives sin. For those who have rejected God, forgiveness isn't possible and neither is Heaven. It's pretty simple, but so many of us fight that, like a child fighting a parent. Forgive us as we forgive others--does that sound reasonable to you? Once I learned that I would be forgiven as I have forgiven others, it made it a whole lot easier to forgive others! I surely wouldn't want God to forgive me in the pathetically inadequate way I forgive my offenders. You reap what you sow, in other words. You want to be forgiven? Turn your life, heart and soul over right now for Christ to manage. He'll know what to do with you ;)
T - Temptation. ("Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.") Lord, protect me from the "traps" of this world. Keep me away from the wrong crowd, and lead me not into worldly things that will mean nothing to me .5 seconds after I die. Guide my feet away from situations You know I won't be able to handle.
There you have it. A nice little acronym, spelling the precious name of CHRIST. Hope it helps you the next time you talk to God. Be blessed!
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."  Matthew 6:7-8

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