Sunday, January 11, 2015

Prayer: Simplicity and Power

Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."   In short, prayer is essential.  However, it seems to be one of the hardest to master.  The sad thing is, there really is nothing to master.  It is the simplest most worshipful thing we do.  And pouring out of that simplicity is an abundance of power.  Yet, believers and unbelievers struggle.

From time to time you will see a TV show or a movie and a character has to pray for the first time.  You see them squirm, speak in Kings James English and use large words.  It is awkward.   There just seems to be this perception that for one to pray you have eloquent, well versed in scripture, and in good standing with God the Father.

However, none of that is true. Mother Theresa, "It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself.  Souls of prayer are souls of great silence."  In a nutshell, we can come to him with nothing, maybe even feeling as if we are nothing, and merely listen.  Psalm 139:23 opens with, "Search me O God, and know my heart."  There are moments of deep distress when words are simply hard to come by and God in his deep love and mercy he hears us.

The myth of being in solid standing with God before we approach Him, is debunked in Psalm 51:17 "a broken spirit and contrite heart, He will not despise."  Maybe you haven't stepped into church in years.  Or maybe, you have even declared that God does not exist.  God in a sense, has left the light on for you to come home regardless of your condition.

We need to abandon all of our hang ups and come to God.  Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Yell at Him if you are frustrated.  On the other side of that prayer is a God who is ready to answer.  A God who is ready to speak at just the right time.  There are tons of scriptures that speak to the power of prayer.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously" James 1:5a

"And my God will meet all your needs..." Philippians 5:19a

"...all things are possible with God."  Mark 10:27b

The list goes on.

To me the rules for prayer are simple

1.  Come
2.  Pray anywhere
3.  Pray anytime
4.  Wait
5.  Listen

May this year find you trusting God more with your worries regardless of size.  And even if you fail to believe He exists.  Take a risk. Trust Him with something.  What do you have to loose?  May you always feel free to come to God in silence or in words.

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