HOW DO YOU PRAY

SEPTEMBER 3

            “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.”  1 Timothy 2:1-3  The Message Bible

            I believe that one of the most important lessons that we need to learn as a Believer in Jesus Christ is that there are as many different ways to pray as there are Believers.  I have a good friend, former evangelist that loved to pray while heaped up on a bean bag chair.  I know quite a few people who pray while driving their car (hope they keep their eyes open). 

            There are the “HELP ME GOD!” emergency prayers.  And there are the slow deliberate prayers that take the believer through a series of steps, like Larry Lea’s, praying the Lord’s Prayer.

            Some like to pray in the King’s Old English, “Thee” and “Thine”. While others pray in the current colloquialisms of the day.  Many just pray like God was their best friend and they can talk freely to Him about anything and everything.

            Recently I hear Pastor Larry Jackson speak on Intercession.  He has written a book on the subject called, “Numbered with the Transgressors”.  It is a life changing view of praying from the perspective of those for whom we pray.  In his approach, we literally take on the quilt and blame of the sins of those we are praying for.  For example, if we are praying for a person who is in absolute rebellion to God, we begin to ask God to examine us, expose our own rebellion to God’s Will and from there we can repent and intercede more effectively.

            God is faithful.  He has revealed so many of the sins in my own life, root sins of those for whom I am interceding.  I guess the old Indian proverb, “Don’t judge someone else until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins” is applicable here. And of course the scripture that tells us not to find fault with the person who has a splinter in his eye, while we have a two-by-four in our own, is the formula for prayer.  “Lord remove my two-by-four, so I can pray more effectively for the one with the splinter.

            So whether you pray three hours a day.  Or you pray three second prayers.  God want you to pray without ceasing.  In other words, Never stop praying.  Prayer changes You and it changes things.  What great things will God do through your prayer today.

            Pastor Don

 

A new missionary recruit went to Venezuela for the first time. He was struggling with the language and didn’t understand a whole lot of what was going on.  Intending to visit one of the local churches, he got lost, but eventually got back on track and found the place.  Having arrived late, the church was already packed. The only pew left was the one on the front row.

So as not to make a fool of himself, he decided to pick someone out of the crowd to imitate.  He chose to follow the man sitting next to him on the front pew.  As they sang, the man clapped his hands, so the missionary recruit clapped too.  When the man stood up to pray, the missionary recruit stood up too.  When the man sat down, he sat down.  When the man held the cup and bread for the Lord’s Supper, he held the cup and bread. During the preaching, the recruit didn’t understand a thing.  He just sat there and tried to look just like that man in the front pew.

Then he perceived that the preacher was giving announcements.  People clapped, so he looked to see if the man was clapping.  He was, and so the recruit clapped too.  Then the preacher said some words that he didn’t understand and he saw the man next to him stand up.  So he stood up too. 

Suddenly a hush fell over the entire congregation.  A few people gasped.  He looked around and saw that nobody else was standing. So he sat down.

After the service ended, the preacher stood at the door shaking the hands of those who were leaving.  When the missionary recruit stretched out his hand to greet the preacher, the preacher said, in English: “I take it you don’t speak Spanish.”

The missionary recruit replied: “No I don’t.  It’s that obvious?”

“Well yes,” said the preacher, “I announced that the Acosta family had a newborn baby boy and would the proud father please stand up.”   Marie Soward Green – Hutchinson, KS

 

Two boy scouts went on a nature hike in the hills picking hickory nuts. Along the way, they filled their small pails and then started to fill their pockets and shirts. 

When they could hold no more nuts, they started down the country road until they came across a cemetery.  The boys decided that would be a good place to stop and rest and divide out the nuts. 

The two boys sat in the shade of a large oak tree and unloaded their pockets and buckets by dumping all of the nuts in a large pile. 

In the process, two of them rolled away and rested near the road.  The boys then proceeded to divide out the nuts.  “One for you.  One for me.  One for you.  One for me.”

As they were doing this, another boy was passing by and Happened to hear them.  He looked into the cemetery, but could not see the boys, because they were obscured by the tree.  He hesitated a moment and then ran back to town. 

“Father! Father!” he yelled as he entered his house.   “The cemetery.  Come quick!”

“What’s the matter?” his father asked.   “No time to explain,” the boy frantically panted.  “Follow me!”

The boy and his father ran up the country road and stopped when they reached the cemetery.  They stopped at the side of the road and all fell silent for a few moments.  Then the father asked his son what was wrong.

“Do you hear that?” he whispered.  Both people listened intently and heard the Scouts.  “One for me.  One for you.  One for me.  One for you…”

The boy then blurted out, “The devil and the Lord are dividing the souls!”

The father was skeptical but silent — until a few moments later as the Scouts completed dividing out the nuts and one Scout said to the other, “Now, as soon as we get those two nuts down by the road, we’ll have them all.”    Marie Soward Green – Hutchinson, KS