Remedial Lesson Prompted by Facebook and Lent

The other day I posted a little verse I wrote years ago which was about how not to pray. It appears that almost no one looked at it, but I do hope that the couple of people who said that they liked it – actually got the point. My little verse was about good people who cared about others but who really didn’t believe that prayer could radically change anything. They seemed to think that really, everything good that happens has to happen because good people step up to the plate and help out in times of need and take casserole dishes and offer rides– rather than pray that God would HEAL our friend, Raise the dead, etc.

I wasn’t saying that we shouldn’t step up to the plate & help others – I’m only saying that we are NOT God and there are things that God can do which we cannot. When we pray – we are talking to God and we need to be straightforward and truthful.

If you want to reread it, you can find it here: When the River Won’t Flow: Prayer

As to Facebook, I can’t tell you how many people with whom I am friends ask for prayers. People that are religious and people who are just in a bad place or know someone in a bad place often ask for prayers. But what I find interesting are their friends’ reactions to their requests. Many people write back and say that they are “sending prayers your way” or similar words.

What is wrong with that? What are prayers? Prayers are when we talk to God. Scripture tells us that we may talk to God, we may actually ask for things. Prayers aren’t just warm fuzzy feelings like “I care about my friend & I want her to get well.” That isn’t bad. That is something you can write or send to your friend. But in scripture when we are taught about prayer – we are taught some specific lessons about prayer.

Look at the prayer that Jesus gives to his disciples as a lesson in how you pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

Quick notes:
We are told to address our prayers to God Our Father. So it makes no sense to send our prayers to our little friends. We need to pray to God Our Father for our friends. So rather than tell our friends we send them our prayers – it is more appropriate to say that our prayers are ascending i.e. they are going UP to God (who is in Heaven)!

The Lord’s Prayer – asks for specific things:
• Thy will be done, on earth, As it is in heaven. (i.e. God’s will and purpose – not ours!)
• Give us this day our daily bread.
• And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. (We ask for God to forgive us – but He reminds us we also need to forgive others!)
• Lead us not into temptation,
• But deliver us from evil.

What’s more, we can have the courage to ask because God is Lord of all and King of Creation:

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

Now there are many other kinds of prayers. Some we pray at different times of the day. My Nana Miley taught me these two:

Martin Luther’s Morning Prayer:
I give thanks unto Thee, Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ Thy dear Son, that Thou hast protected me through the night from all danger and harm; and I beseech Thee to preserve and keep me this day also, from all sin and evil; that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please Thee.

Into Thy hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine.

Let Thy holy angel have charge concerning me, that the wicked one have no power over me. Amen.

Martin Luther’s Evening Prayer:

I give thanks unto Thee, Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ Thy dear Son, that Thou hast this day so graciously protected me, and I beseech Thee to forgive me all my sins, and the wrong which I have done, and by Thy great mercy defend me from all the perils and dangers of this night.

Into Thy hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine.

Let Thy holy angel have charge concerning me, that the wicked one have no power over me. Amen.

Now, I am going to ask my readers to please say a prayer for my husband and me.  He needs healing.  We have been working with excellent doctors — but my husband is hurting badly and needs healing.  Please say a prayer and ask Our Father in Heaven to Heal my dear husband, Ron.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

This entry was posted in Education, Family, Friendship, Heaven, Life in these times, Marriage and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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