Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Prayer Revisited

I was reading Ann Voskamp's blog today. I wanted to share some of her thoughts (as well as add a few of my own thoughts) about prayer.

Martin Luther prayed about 2 hours on average per day and said, "The fewer the words, the better the prayer."

Short Prayers of the Bible

* The publican’s prayer: “God be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13)

* The Syrophoenician woman’s (a personal favorite): “Lord help me!” (Mt. 15:25)

* The prayer of the thief on the cross: “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom!”

* Peter’s prayer: “Lord, save me!” (Mt. 14:30)

* Mary’s prayer: “I am the Lord’s servant… May it be to me as you have said.” (Lk. 1:38)

* Jesus’ prayer: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Lk. 22:42)

*Stephen’s prayer: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:60)

* David’s prayer: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight” (Ps. 19:14)

*Praise prayers like Eve’s, who prayed after she delivered Cain: “With the help of the LORD, I have brought forth a man.”

From this previous post:

~Specific time in prayer is as vital to the Christian as breath to any living being! We of course, can pray anytime, anywhere, but when we get into a habit of "praying on the go", we convey the message that "I just don't have the time to get alone with you, God." Someone recently challenged me to even posture myself in prayer (kneeling). This again is something that I already knew, but did not always do. I can tell you it makes a big difference to posture yourself in prayer and leave the distractions behind. Ephesians 3:14 says that "I bow my knees before The Father." Philippians 2:10 says that "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow," so why not do it here on earth in our daily routine? I confess, there are days when prayer-time at the kitchen sink, in the car & in the shower is what happens, but I do cherish those days when daily distractions are stripped away, and it's just me and God, no dirty dishes or otherwise.
Something that we often pray is, "God, we want to know you more..." and that is good, because we do, but is very humbling and vulnerable to pray, "God, I want you to know me." Allowing God to shine His search light into the hidden crevices of our minds and hearts is as freeing as it is humbling. None of us, if honest with ourselves, would want the tape of our every thought played over a screen for all the world to see, but that will happen one day, and it would be much better to have an audience of One see it all now than everyone on judgment day. Pray daily for God to show you what you cannot see. You don't know what you don't know.
A tip to keep ourselves in healthy prayer is this acronym I came across: ACTS(S)
A-Adoration- Start prayer time with adoring God for WHO He is, not what He has done. In this time, we can pray to each person of the Trinity and adore Him for His holiness, love, justice, kindness, faithfulness, mercy & grace...
C-Confession- Be honest before God...He knows it all anyway. "God, I confess, I have not been consistent with my children, I have not shared your love with anyone this week...." etc.
T- Thanksgiving- Thanking God for all that He has done and will do. (this is different than adoration!)
S- Supplication- needs, requests
S-Silence- allowing the Holy Spirit to speak, guide, reveal etc.
I have found that this helps me to look past myself and my own little world to what is truly important in prayer.

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