Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Essence of Prayer

The subject of prayer keeps showing itself and calling me to attend to it.
There are many aspects to prayer; many parts that make up the whole.
Years ago I was taught an anagram to use when I prayed. 

A for adoration
C for confession
T for thanksgiving
S for supplication

It is good to keep this in mind when we are learning to communicate with the Living God.  Yet, beware of using it as a list to check off.  If we do that we will limit what prayer can be.

Yes, God is worthy of and should be adored.  All praise to Him!
Confession is important and I find it best to do so as the LORD brings something to my attention.  If I do business with Him right on the spot I am not weighed down.
There is so much to thank Him for...For the very air we breath is a good place to start!
Of course, there is no end to needs and concerns that we can and often need to bring before Him.

So what is missing?  Each and every moment of every day.  I love to share all of it with Him.  Often we have a good laugh together and we have shed quite a few tears too.
That's how it works when it is a relationship and not a religion.

Jesus teaches that we should pray according to God's will.  Once a speaker that I heard said he pictures God listening to our prayers and helping us to continue to  re-work them until they are just right.
I came across a comment yesterday by Soren Kierkegaard regarding prayer. 
"The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays."

As we pray, as we spend time conscious of His Presence; enjoying Him and the relationship we have with Him we become more like Him.  Our thinking lines up more and more with His.

We find out how He thinks by reading the Bible.  I often us the Words I find there to pray for someone or a situation.  Many times what I read resonants in my heart.  Often His Words stir me deeply.

When we learn to think more like Him and as we get to know Papa better, the challenges that come our way will not shake us.

Today Ray had a extensive exam by a neurological opthamologist.  The news was not good.  There is nothing that can be done for his vision.  Disappointing.
I asked the doctor whether his impairment would affect his ability to drive.  He said that my honey could drive on clear days with caution, but to avoid rain, etc., along with dusk and dark.  Of course, driving is not an option until he regains the use of his left arm.

Had we and many others prayed for my husband's vision?  Yes.
Does this mean God did not answer?  No, just not in the way we had hoped.
However, more than hoping for healing, our hope is in Him.  Our God is good.  He is trustworthy and He is seeing the whole picture.  No matter how difficult life can be I choose to keep in mind that this is a very temporary place.  A life awaits us beyond our imagination. 
With that in mind everything else is seen in a different light.

I find it amazing that I can bring everything to Him.  In the third chapter of Ephesians we read that "we have boldness and confident access throught faith in Him" (Jesus).  I can come with assurance that He will not only receive me into His Presence, but give attention to my words.  Then He answers in wisdom and grace!

Oh what a glorious life it is!

"May my prayer be counted as incense before You!
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering!"

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