Sunday, August 26, 2012
We Christ Followers come to our prayer experiences from so many different backgrounds. I am blessed to have wonderful prayer models. Some of my first memories are of my parents on bended knees every night before they went to sleep.
I call my mom a "Prayer Angel." She lives in a constant attitude of prayer. She starts each day with prayer using devotional books that are marked with prayer requests and notes of answered prayer. She prays for each family member by name and with specificity every day. What a beautiful comfort to know that every day of my life I have been lifted up to God.
I call my dad a "Prayer Warrior." He is perhaps the best public prayer I've ever heard. I remember Dad always had a prayer list taped to his mirror. Each day as he shaved, he prayed for his list, mostly the men in his Sunday School class. He kept men on his list who had never made a profession of faith and prayed for them until he could place a check by their name - saved.
My parents taught me to pray. From the time I could speak, I learned to pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."
Before every meal whether at home or away, we said the blessing. I first learned, "God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food." We had the "Bread of Life" cards in a bread-shaped container on our table and we would read a scripture and then a prayer on the back.
Yes, my models of prayer helped me to develop my own prayer patterns. I now begin my daily season of prayer by saying, "Lord, help me to be open to the giving and receiving of your blessings today and do all things pleasing in your sight." That prayer opens my running dialogue with God for the day and helps me to focus on all the good things he sends my way. By being blessing focused, I find I'm a little better equipped to face the challenges that inevitably come.
Not everyone has prayer models like mine or learned at an early age to talk to our Heavenly Father. But no matter where we are on our spiritual journey, we can go to God and pour out our hearts, whisper a prayer, or just utter our groanings to him. He hears us whether we've practiced and prayed all our lives or just begun to pray.
Have a little talk with Jesus today!