My combination of influences, inspirations, and thoughts to ponder this morning:
October 28, 2014
“I’m exhausted from Cope. He has been a sneaky, stealthy four letter word. Cope only left a bad aftertaste and made me sick to my stomach. The promise on the package lied. I’m tired of substitutions. I want Hope.” – Stephanie Bryant, S Bryant Social Marketing
Devotion from Max Lucado:
When I pray, I think of a thousand things I need to do. I forget the one thing I set out to do: pray.
Can you relate? It’s not that we don’t pray at all. We all pray some. But wouldn’t we all like to pray … More? Better? Deeper? Stronger? With more fire, faith, or fervency?
We aren’t the first to struggle. The sign-up sheet for Prayer 101 contains some familiar names: the apostles John, James, Andrew, and Peter. When one of Jesus’ disciples requested, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1 NIV), none of the others objected. No one walked away saying, “Hey, I have prayer figured out” The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance.
In fact, the only tutorial they ever requested was on prayer. They could have asked for instructions on many topics: bread multiplying, speech making, storm stilling. Jesus raised people from the dead. But a “How to Vacate the Cemetery” seminar? His followers never called for one. But they did want him to do this: “Lord, teach us to pray.”
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer (Luke 11:1–4).
Could you use the same? It seems to me that the prayers of the Bible can be distilled into one. The result is a simple, easy-to-remember, pocket-size prayer:
Father, you are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let this prayer punctuate your day. As you begin your morning, Father, you are good. As you commute to work or walk the hallways at school, I need help. As you wait in the grocery line, They need help.
Keep this prayer in your pocket as you pass through the day. Don’t think for a minute that he is glaring at you from a distance with crossed arms and a scowl, waiting for you to get your prayer life together. Just the opposite. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me” (Rev. 3:20NCV).
Jesus waits on the porch. He stands on the threshold. He taps … and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is to open it. Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart. The willing pull. The happy welcome to Jesus: “Come in, O King. Come in.” “The kitchen is messy, but come in.” “I didn’t clean up, but come in.” “I’m not much of a conversationalist, but come in.” We speak. He listens. He speaks. We listen. This is prayer in its purest form. God changes his people through such moments.
“It’s disco day.”…ah ah ah ah Staying Alive…Staying Alive
“What was John’s Travolta’s last line in that movie?…ah, yes, ‘Do you know what I want to do? Strut!.’”
Thought for the day:
Praying to Cope and Strutting in Hope
Praising in the Storm
Blessings in Raindrops
Humbled and Thankful