Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Time To Pray Is Now

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

<Journal Entry 31 July 2011> Went to a church today. When I arrived the people were praying- how did I know? They were all praying out loud. I imagine that is what God hears from Heaven – so many voices – it was beautiful – no faking it – just closing your eyes and thinking about lunch – if you are not speaking then you are not praying – pretty simple – not charismatic – biblical! A woman stood up and shared for about 15 minutes – everyone showed respect – next a man stood up and thanked the church for praying while he was in jail – next they sang songs – then the pastor preached on being willing to die for Jesus – not about physical death but dying to self. Then we had communion – with “real” wine. Another missionary responded the same way our granddaughter did when we were in visiting a church in Northern California when they used wine for communion. She thought that it was not right. I was reminded of Jesus speaking about the cup, it is not what man puts into his body that makes him unclean. (Matthew 15:10-11)<End of Entry>

I preached at Pastor Bichotte’s church one Sunday a month. Just a small church within walking distance of the people who attended.  Pastor Bichotte would tell the people – “Priye – Priye – Priye” which is to say “Pray – Pray – Pray” when the church would enter into corporate pray. It was not like being in a classroom when the teacher would step out of the room.  Everybody talking at once – the word that comes to mind is cacophony – (caw – cough – oh – knee). An unpleasant mixture of loud sounds. Instead it was something that was warming to my spirit. 

I was in a meeting the other day and someone spoke about their spouse having COVID and the ensuing physical problems they were having. I could see they were troubled. Someone said that they would pray. I suggested that we pray then and not later. I said “Don’t walk past an opportunity to pray. Don’t tell someone that you will be praying for them – pray for them, then and there, and then pray again later.”  All to often our promise to pray is an empty promise.  The most we do is have a well intentioned thought and then our minds refocus on the next thing.  I won’t enumerate the verses in the Bible that tell us to pray – there are many.  What I will tell you is that if it is in the Bible so many times, it must be a significant part of our relationship with one another and the Father.  Prayer in most churches is a relatively minor part of the service.  When I taught Sunday school in Alabama, I made a point to go around the room before the teaching and ask for prayer requests.  When one was given – I would ask for someone to pray right then and there. Sometimes we did not get to the teaching – but actually – I was teaching – well discipling is probably more correct.

I am sure you  have heard the term “Prayer warriors”. Praying is not a spiritual gift – it is a spiritual mandate.  One that applies to all of us. But, like living the sanctified life – some of us do it better than others. One last thought – praying is not about eloquence – you don’t have to speak in King James English to communicate with the Father. And if you still find it hard to pray – I will share this verse in closing.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27

Shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life. And priye, priye, priye!!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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