Help Us Lord

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Jesus,

It seems like every day we have demands put upon us that are necessary but sometimes harsh and unnecessary. Help us to discern what is important, to prioritize the demands upon us and to reply to others with love, patience, and kindness. We also ask you to help remind us to give you a portion of our day to sit in your presence and feel your strength around us.

We ask in our name, Amen

Prayer

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This past week in church, our pastor reminded us to pray. Not just a quickie kind of thing, a real, honest-to-goodness type prayer.

With busy lives, it is so easy to pass on the prayer and gloss over the importance of a chat with God. I’m not going to do that. I’m going to work on talking one-on-one a little more often.

It’s good for the soul.

Prayer – What does it look like?

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There seems to be an on-going debate about what constitutes prayer.

Can prayer be defined by speaking out loud to God, bowing our heads, talking to Jesus while driving a car, or being silent on our hands and knees?

Prayer doesn’t come with a clear form of protocol and no one should tell you so. Prayer is prayer.

It is an active and voluntary communication with God. You can plead, beg, thank, or just be still, but prayer is an individual endeavor with guaranteed results.

A favorite author, Anne Lamott once said, “Here are the two best prayers I know: ‘Help me, help me, help me’ and ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.” If this is all you can squeak out…it is enough.

The only thing that is asked of you is to pray.

Lord, hear our prayers.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6

Praying with the faithful at a little country church…

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Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. Daniel 9:17-18

My parents were faithful members of a country Baptist church. They believed in the power of prayer.

Every Wednesday night they attended a service with Bible study followed by the prayers and petitions of the faithful and sometimes not so faith-filled. There were no time limits. If you needed prayer, they stayed and prayed.

Some nights I sat there astonished at the requests. Yes, they prayed for someone’s boils and another’s warts, but they also prayed for life and death situations and believe me when I tell you…they prayed in earnest. Whether it was what we might consider trivial or life threatening, each prayer was met with sincerity and seriousness.

My Dad used to say, “Not all prayer requests are the same, but all requests are to be considered and lifted to the Lord.”

I like that way of thinking. Too often we believe that the trivial isn’t worth bringing to the Lord but in fact, everything is worth asking God’s help to resolve.

Bring your petitions to God and sit back and watch what happens. It might not be what you expected, but it will be more than you can imagine. I have seen the power of prayer at work.

A little country Baptist church remains faithful to God’s call and someone is comforted.

God is good…

Amen.

My Soul Will Wait for the Lord…the Watch

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Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38

Loneliness is a terrible thing. The fear that grows from the despair of loneliness can be difficult to bear.

I have experienced a deep sense of loss and loneliness. But, I have never experienced or could even fathom what Jesus felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus counts on His beloved disciples to watch with Him as He prays. They can’t do it.

As sweat turns to blood and Jesus cries out in prayer to the Father, the disciples sleep.

Preparing to drink from the cup filled with the sins of mankind would be beyond human comprehension. It is unimaginable. But Christians believe in the unimaginable. We believe in a Savior who died for us. We could not drink a cup containing just our own personal sins. So, imagine the sins of the world…it is too much to ask of anyone.

But Jesus went on that lonely journey to death for me and for you. He carried the cross, endured the humiliation, the beatings, and the pain for our sins.

Tonight, I watch for one hour. One hour of my time for a lifetime of grace.

I sit and I watch and I am grateful. I sit and I know I am unworthy but I sit and I am glad. I sit remembering His sacrifice and I mourn until I can rejoice again.

I sit…

The Lord’s Prayer

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It is in the sweet, simple moments of life that we often get a glimpse of God’s glory. That happened for me last night.

As we prepared to eat our evening meal, my four year old granddaughter began to lead us in prayer. But, instead of the regular singsong pre-kindergarten based melody typically spoken, Lily recited the Lord’s Prayer. She did this without prompting and without any of the adults assembled around our table being forewarned. I am assuming that they have been working on this at school.

Lily spoke the Lord’s Prayer from memory and I was astounded.

Life comes full circle. From grandparents, to parents to children of the next generations, we lead our loved ones to a closer walk with Jesus. Today, I was reminded of that fact. What started long before my own beloved grandparents continues today with their great-great Granddaughter. I am a living witness to the power of a Savior who continues to love my family through Lily’s blessing of our meal.

The sweet prayers of a child reached deep into the heart of an aging grandparent and reminded me of God’s tender mercies.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.