< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Prayer grows your soul

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Prayer grows your soul

Philippians tells us to shape our worries into prayer (Phil. 4:6-7)

Prayer can help us wait when our impulses tempt us to act rashly. It gives us strength when something is hard. It helps us “keep on keeping on” in our daily routine of walking with Christ. It helps us love other people better. And it keeps up close to God.

God meant prayer to simplify life – can you see that? It’s like a kid who has a problem, going to their dad for either the answer or a solution or just a hug. The kid feels better just going to his dad. Humans have made it more complicated. We are the ones who have divided it into 5 classes, “Adoration, Confession, Petition, Thanksgiving and Intercession” We tend to stick thees and thous in when we would never say that in a normal conversation – and how often when we are asked to pray in a group do we say – “lets have a short prayer” – I’ve never heard anyone say lets have a long prayer now, but why do we feel like we have to promise people it will only take minute?

There are lots of questions people have about prayer – do we need all the answers before we pray? No – I don’t really understand how I can talk on the phone to someone half way around the world, but I do it! I am however not as bad as the joke John sent me about the man giving his blonde wife a cell phone: he called her when she was at the library and she answered saying, “How did you know I was at the library?”

As humans we tend to want to understand, we want concrete answers to our questions. I think we also want to get the most out of something we are putting effort into too – so if we’re going to take the time to pray for something we need – we want to do it in a way that will get an A+ from God – and the answer we want, right?

But, prayer really is just talking to God. Telling Him what we think, what we’re worried about, what our hopes are for this situation or for the future. Asking for His help – which could be anything from taking the problem away to giving you the strength to live with it!

The more time we spend in prayer and reading the Bible – the more we will begin to see where God is coming from in things. Sometimes just talking to God about a problem organizes it in your mind, calms you down enough to get perspective and helps you see what He might think of the whole thing, which then gives you an idea how to handle it.

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