Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 days of thankfulness, Day 18: Thankful for prayer

On day 18, I am thankful for prayer. It is something too many of us, myself included, take for granted and don't use enough. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the King of Kings is eager to have us talk to Him.

  And that is what prayer is. Just talking to God. For too many years, I had the idea I had to say all of the right words, had to be in a certain position, had to "pray through" (whatever that means!), had to pray a certain amount of time.... And prayer became an exercise. Something a good Christian did every day so they'd "grow, grow, grow." It was something to mark off the checklist. One more thing to do to stay on God's good side, though if all of the preachers I heard thundering from the camp meeting and revival pulpits were right, I could never get on God's good side.

  So I prayed to appease this God who was just waiting for me to mess up, to not pray one day, then I'd suddenly not be a Christian.

  Imagine if we were that way with our friends and relatives. Imagine if we made sure to talk to them for a few minutes in stilted, formal language so they would still let us in their lives.

 But yet we do that with God.

Prayer should be so much more than that, My prayers are rambling, switching topics in the middle of a sentence, long pauses, and not at all like the well thought out prayers you hear in church. It is telling God my thoughts, and my thoughts can be pretty scrambled and a myriad of topics floating around up there.

  And He listens. The same God who has His eye on Israel, who watches Kings and rulers, who holds our planet in place so we don't go spinning off into destruction...... that same God listens to what I say. That should amaze us, humble us, and make us eager to go to Him in prayer.

 There are people I wish I could help, but I can pray.
 There are times I don't know what to say to someone, but I can tell them I'm praying for them.
 When things go wrong, I can pray.
 When all is well, I can pray.

    It shouldn't just be something we do before meals and before we go to bed or start our day.... our day should be filled with short prayers to God. "Thank-you God for that." "Please help me God with that."

  It is our greatest resource, and we need to use it. Not because we want something, but because God our Father is waiting for us to talk to Him. Something to be thankful for, indeed.

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