Why we pray…

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I lead a prayer group that meets every Tuesday. I love to hear these women pray. When we break into groups, the incense of prayer ascends all over the room. Sometimes I hear laughter, sometimes I hear weeping, but most times I hear honest-to-goodness requests before the God of the universe who I think must be smiling down on these women.

One woman weeps every time she prays. She has asked God to stop her from crying, but He has not answered that prayer. A part of me is jealous of her. When people pray like that you know that are praying out of a wound the Healer has healed in part but left scarred. I think He leaves the scars so one remembers and prays from the brokenness of one’s life into the hurts of another.

No one in the group uses big churchy words or King James version language. Rather, they pray out of a sincere, long-time relationship with the God Almighty. It took me a long time to understand that prayer is spending time in conversation with the Lord.

Growing up my prayers were said by rote. I recited the Lord’s Prayer in church and repeated the same meal time prayer for years.

Come Lord Jesus be our guest. Let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.

There is something powerful and beautiful when a body of believers prays in unison or around a table in a more intimate setting. But neither of these should replace the one-on-one time with the Lord. If the Queen of England invited you to chat and have tea would you not drop everything and focus all your attention on her?

The King of kings desires to spend time with you, and prayer is the channel. He wants us to close the door to the noise of the world (Matt. 6:6) and have an genuine conversation with Him. That means leaving the cell phone, computer, or Apple watch in the other room.

It’s about being honest before God, “I’ve done this bad thing. I’ve messed up big time.” Then sitting there and allowing the Healer to invade your soul, stitch you up, and send you out again until the next time you mess up.

It means carving out time. The women in my prayer group travel 30 minutes and many days more to get to prayer time. Susannah Wesley, mother of  19 children (two were Charles and John Wesley), did not let her crowded home or unlimited responsibilities deter her from praying. She simply flipped her apron over her head. A signal for everyone to leave her alone.

 

After reading my last post (Click here), a woman at my church shared a story that captures this intimate relationship through prayer.

Many years ago, this lady heard Jamie Buckingham (former author and founder of the Tabernacle Church in Melbourne, Australia) speak. While attending a retreat, he pulled away to spend time with the Lord. Sitting on a log, he conversed with his Father until he heard the sounds of nature waking up. He said his “Amen” and got up to leave but stopped when He heard God speak to Him in his spirit.

“Please don’t go, just five more minutes.”

God longs to spend time with you. The Creator of the heavens and the earth desires to talk to you. Will you give Him five minutes today?

 

 

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