Thursday, May 5, 2011

a day to pray

I remember for the last 18 or so years that the first Thursday of May is a special day set aside to pray.  People across the United States are asked to take time out of their busy schedules to seek God for our nation on the National Day of Prayer.  At times there has been more emphasis on this day and the event, but the fact is pray is something that God blessed us with.  It is our connection to God.

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.

Prayer is more than just talking to God.  Make sure not to miss the aspect of listening.  Lets take a few minutes to deal with the things that keep us from having effective prayer lives.

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.

point 1.  Is prayer just something you do or do you really connect with God?  Literally, when we pray, we are talking and listening to the creator of the universe.  God can do anything, He knows everything and His ways are always right.  Prayer is meant to be taking seriously.

point 2.  How often do we pray for something and never look for the answer?  Maybe we don't think God cares or He can't answer.  Keep track of what you pray for and look for the answers God will give.  You might like His answer, but God knows your need and your heart.

point 3.  Do we use prayer as a last resort and just offer grace when we eat?  Both are wrong.  Pray is a constant and must be.  God wants to connect with us. He sent His son to die for us, and while Jesus was alive He often went away to pray, to spend time with God.  We can do the same.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Spend time praying.  It is between you and God (which is the most important part of prayer, although I love to pray with others).  That time that I spend with my God will impact what God does in and through my life in the future.  I leave you with a story Jesus told, and I encourage you to take a day to pray!

9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don't cheat, I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery. I'm certainly not like that tax collector!12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

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happy birthday, Julie

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