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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday Sermonette - How to Pray

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." Matthew 6:5-6, NKJV.

For some of you, you're going to be saying, "Ho-hum, old news. Everybody already knows this." But for those who have never prayed or at least never prayed out loud, you might want to read this. It will help.

Praying out loud, at least for some, is scary. Even if you're alone. Well--alone with God, that is. Here's good news--you don't have to pray out loud. You don't have to be on your knees with head bowed and eyes closed. I do a lot of my praying when I'm in the car on the freeway. So not a good time to bow the head and close the eyes!

I'm not disparaging praying out loud in a group. That allows others to agree with the prayer, which God likes for us to do.

Nor am I against kneeling to pray. There is something special that happens in that humble position. Don't ask me why it draws you closer to God--it just does. Try it and see.

Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How is that even possible? Well, this is how I try to do it (still am so very NOT perfect)--I try to take God along with me everywhere. I invite Him to see my thoughts and whatever I'm seeing. I ask Him to take charge of my dreams at night. I sing to Him with the radio or without. I tell Him thanks for whatever I eat and for the people who help me, serve me, or talk to me. I pray for people I pass on the street. When the fire whistle blows, I pray for the people whose home is affected and for the firefighters. Ditto for the ambulances and fire trucks and police cars rushing to an emergency. For people standing on corners holding up cardboard signs.

After a while, the practice becomes habit, but not perfunctory. It will tune you in to the Lord. And it will please Him no end.

Try it for a week. See what a difference it makes. Who knows--you might just want to keep talking to Him forever.

Lord, remind us of the joy it is to talk to You all day. I love You more than anything, and I want to show You that with all that I do, say, and think. Amen.

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