Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Prayer: Sharing God's Joys and Concerns

What is prayer?  A couple of weekends ago I was part of an Emmaus team that was previewing talks for an upcoming walk.  The speaker for the Means of Grace talk was spending some time talking about prayer as a means of grace.

He explained that Lord's Prayer can be a model for our own prayer, and then he talked about the ACTS model of prayer.  If you take a look at that model, then you can see one definition of what prayer is about - adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.  It's not a bad start.

I remember once, years ago, Chuck Echols, an associate pastor at the church where I am a member, was teaching our class about prayer.  He said, "I can tell you a way to create a prayer to pray for a group that will make it easy to do."  He said that, but he never did tell us a way to do that.  He was making a different point, and just passed by this tantalizing secret.  To this day, even though I am now comfortable praying in front of a group, I still wonder what his method would have been.

Reaching a point where I don't have to worry about praying in front of a group, with no planning, in some ways wasn't easy.  I worried about it for a long time, and then I decided if God needed me to do it, he would equip me to do it.  Since that time, it's been joy (I think I've shared that story before).

So what is prayer?  I think I would define it as a time to connect with God - to share praise and gratitude, worry and joys.

During the same Emmaus talk, the speaker said, "Prayer is the time when you learn what God's joys and concerns are."  I really like that.



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