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Say What?

If you hang around the church long enough, you’re going to get a chance to pray in a group or two.  If you talk about your faith at work or at play, sooner or later someone will ask you to say a prayer for something there, too (unless you work in a public school that is!).  I’ve surely had my opportunities to pray in public, and I’ve heard a lot of other people offer up public prayers as well.  Having said that, it’s interesting to me just how alike many prayers seem to be–there seems to be a whole lot of catch phrases and very little substance at times.  I’ve launched an attack on that type of prayer in my home, urging the children talk “to God” instead of “at God,” really trying to communicate their feelings to Him.  Occasionally I’ve noticed that even the “new and improved” communications turn into catch phrases before long if we’re not careful.  If you think young folks can slip into meaningless repetition, you should hear some adults!  I’m definitely guilty of this one.  On the surface a prayer like, “Dear heavenly Father, God you are awesome and Holy, I pray that you will show up here tonight in a powerful way” seems pious enough… and it could be if the words are truly spoken to God.  Unfortunately, I believe we all can fall into the trap where at least a portion of our prayers are a regurgitation of things heard or learned from others, and too frequently repeated.  “Dear heavenly Father” is a personal favorite.  I can get it out without even thinking of God at times.  And God doesn’t want to hear that He’s “awesome” unless you mean to say it.  As for, “showing up here in a powerful way,” he’s already there!  We should pray that we will notice Him and concentrate on doing His will.

Something to think about as you lift up your prayers in the coming days….

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  This, then, is how you should pray:  ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'”  Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 6:5-15)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

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