When You Pray…Not If You Pray

child praying
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Words are like buckets. Photograph by Wolfgang Sauber
Photograph by Wolfgang Sauber

Words are buckets, carrying meaning, purpose. Proverbs says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21 KJV  That’s a scary and wonderful thought. Your words matter, big time, especially when you turn them into prayer.

Yes, it’s true, words ARE important. They can create

  • Hope.
  • Joy.
  • Peacefulness.
  • Laughter.

Or words can destroy.

The carnage is strewn in every segment of our society.

So be careful! Words have the power to connect or separate us.

Sometimes, even some of your most powerful words can loose their effectiveness…

when they are repeated routinely, habitually; when they are spoken without tying them to your heart.

Powerful words like “I Love You” loose their power when spoken mindlessly and glibly. These words are meant to flow from a place of sincerity and depth. They are words that need to be illustrated with actions.   And prayer is one of those cases where words can be powerful or empty.

That’s right! I said it! And it’s true!

child prayingFolks are confused about prayer

Prayer can be a recitation that we parrot off to God, to check off our religious responsibility. It can be perfunctory. Careless. Quick. Obligatory. One-sided. The woman Jesus talked with at the well, thought prayer was all about attending the right place. Some people think it’s about the right position.

  • Folded hands. Closed eyes. Bent knees.

And then there are the multitudes that think it’s a 911 number to only use in emergencies. And religious people still seem to stream elaborate, public words intended to impress the people listening, not God.  

There’s no doubt prayer can be an empty ritual.

It doesn’t have to be. And it shouldn’t be.

Once when Jesus had been out praying, one of his disciples came to him as he finished and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. Luke 11:1

I’m not sure what drove a  disciple to ask the question, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

  • the feeling of inadequacy?
  • curiosity?
  • that sense that something was missing when He prayed?
  • the desire to learn more…to be more…to experience more?
  • Jealousy? John’s disciples were doing it. (Sorry. Not being disrespectful. Just thinking?)

There’s no doubt Jesus prayed. His prayer was more than moments sprinkled sparingly and sporadically through His week. They were more than a mechanical blessing over the food.

Jesus modeled a life of prayer.

For Him it was:

His vital link with heaven.

Communication with HIS Father.

Sweet fellowship.

His  source of strength.

Not if…When

That’s why Jesus didn’t say if you pray. He said, “when you pray…” Luke 11:2

He knew that everyone needs the fellowship, love, wisdom and strength that comes from prayer.  So Jesus said, “when you pray…”

It must be a discipline, but not a ritual.

Prayer is communicating, not superficial platitudes to ease your conscience.

Prayer is life giving, not time consuming.

When you pray…

You are connecting with Almighty God.

Prayer plugs you into God’s rich reservoir of love, peace and joy!

You are coming into God’s Presence where you can experience God, yet it’s much, much more than a fabulous feeling.

Oh, there’s so much I want to share with you.

I want to tell you about my personal prayer journey.

  • passion for His presence.
  • my lifeline.
  • the fountain head of everything I do.
  • So in my next few blog posts I’m going to chat with you about this critical part of your spiritual lifestyle.

I wish I could sit with you on the porch, yes, with a steaming cup of good, hot coffee and just hear about your prayer journey too (that’s why I have a comment section). There’s so much I want to tell you, but before I end this post I want to give you the most important key I ever learned about prayer!

My Most Important Prayer Key

Yes, I wish I had that heavenly Ahhhh! music playing in the background, because it is so important and the music would prepare you for the moment of reveal. It really is important! But it won’t do you any good unless you pick up that key and use it! It’s so important, but so simple you might miss it.

PRAY! Just do it!

That’s it. Talk to God. Out of your heart. Sincerely. Talk to Him, like you would your best friend. He’s not interested in fancy words. You don’t have to sugar coat your words or pretend your all perfect. He loves you and He wants your fellowship. Just get real with God.

It won’t just happen. It must become a discipline.

  • That’s right. It won’t happen unless you do. Life will pile in and you’ll forget. You’ll get busy.
  • So schedule time with Him.
  • Get up early. Or turn off the TV early.
  • Whatever works for you, but just do it!
  • Start today!
  • Or add more 5 minutes talking with God today.

I love you! Thank you for stopping by. Maybe it’s cold where you are! Or maybe it’s lonely where you are. I’m praying for you! And ohhh how He loves you and longs to spend time with you and touch you right where you are! Don’t miss what He has for you. You can you know! But don’t! Please don’t.

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