Dashing Deals

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Are Your Prayers Awkward?

Hello! Today is Simple Sincere Seeking Sunday! Have you taken any time to sing praises to Our Heavenly Father today? Perhaps you don't even realize He enjoys such devotion.  I never really thought of it as devotion when I was younger. God was my best friend. I would chat it up with Him like a girl would chat it up with her best friend. Today, often this is how I turn and pray to God. When I'm in a desperate place however, I find myself on my knees. Yes, literally on my knees. Praying one on one with God is one thing. Praying out loud for others to hear, well, that's another!

Somewhere along in life, I developed a fear of  speaking in front of others. As I began hanging out in groups where people asked for others to pray out loud, my fear expanded to prayers. I began silently praying that no one would ask me to pray out loud. I felt my prayers would be juvenile. I began searching for a good prayer book. For a moment I had one. 31 days of prayer. I only got to read 4 of those 31 days before my book vanished into thin air. Unlike my study bible, it has never been found. Mike thinks a drink got spilled on it and it was thrown away. He's not positive about this, but I'm thinking it was the case. I love Goodwill and one Sunday, while searching their book shelves, I found another great prayer book, entitled Intercessory Prayer by Doug Sheets. AWESOME book! I was reading it and I am telling you this book had me laughing and crying all in the same day! This book has too vanished. I was about half way through it when I realized I had not seen it for three days. I at least know it is available via E-Book format. I must get a kindle. The old kind. I need to consolidate. When I carry more than one devotional and my study bible, things have a way of disappearing.

Regardless, I recognized my fear of praying was an indicator that Satan sees me as someone he does not want praying. For he is the source of fear. When you are full of trepidation over something, I encourage you to turn that fear into awe and ask God, what is your plan for me where this pertains? How can I best serve you in this way. For if the Devil is frightened by what you are capable of doing through me, then I want some of that action!

Honestly, I was afraid of praying out loud enough so that I confessed it to my life coach. I knew she would push me. It's why I go to see her. She loves me and she wants to help me reach beyond my wildest dreams. Never in a million years did I expect her to have me pray for her right then and right there. I confessed to her that I had committed to fill in for another woman I admire at our monthly meeting. When I hung up after saying I would be honored to fill her shoes, I panicked realizing I would be in charge of at least one prayer. I confessed this to Cathy. She laughed and said, "Oh Wendy, that fear is not from God, you know where it comes from." I laughed with her for I do know where that comes from. Knowing and overcoming are two VERY different beings!

I was so nervous but Cathy calmed me down. By listening to her gentle direction, I soon found myself praying for her from my heart. Asking God to fill her with more boldness and give her clarity in how to best direct those she serves. I honestly don't remember what all I prayed for for her but I do know when I got done praying it was not viewed as a childish prayer. I know if I can do it once, then with God I can do it again and again.

I knew I was going to be blogging on prayers soon. It has flashed across my mind too many times to not be a repeating topic. I have heard this one song that I heard recently 3 times today and it is so perfect when it comes to the topic of prayers. I am going to find it and place it here. Before I do that though, as part of my "Renew Your Mind Challenge", I read a devotional every day. Yesterday's topic covered prayer a little bit. The gist in the closing made me grin so big I can't even tell you. It said something along the lines that while your prayers may be awkward, it is not the person praying or how they phrase the prayer that matters. The power of prayer is in the One who hears it. Not the one who says it. I love that because it takes so much weight off my shoulders. The only thing I have to do when it comes to prayer is speak from my heart and listen to the voice that reminds me of my righteousness.

I recently read in the book of James in the Bible, Chapter 5, verse 13 says this about prayers and their power:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Anytime you see a word like "Therefore" it means some details of what is about to be said and why it is about to be said can be found prior to this verse. Chapter 5 is full of wisdom. As I often do, I am going to share it here in it's entirety using my study bible, beginning at verse 1:

verse 1:    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.

verse 2:    Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.

verse 3:    Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

verse 4:    Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your field, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

verse 5:    You have lived luxuriously on earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

verse 6:    You have condemned and put to death the righteous man, he does not resist you. 

verse 7:    Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it unit it gets the early and late rains.

verse 8:    You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

verse 9:    Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

verse 10:  As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

verse 11:  We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. 

verse 12:  But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you many not fall under judgment.

verse 13:  Is anyone among you suffering Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

verse 14:  Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

verse 15:  and prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven.

verse 16:  Therefore, confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 

verse 17:  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

verse 18:  Then he prayed again and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

verse 19:  My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back,

verse 20:  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

 Because all of our prayers for healing are not answered the way we long for, many doubt the power of prayer. I would like to encourage you to search your heart when you pray and to always pray for others before your self. When praying for yourself seek the fruits of the spirit. There is no magical formula for getting your prayers answered.

I leave you with this song I was telling you about. Enjoy. I love when he sings, "Father, I'm in a desperate place." Been there. Talk about  belting out a song with heart felt emotion! Without further delay, I introduce to you "Pray" by Sanctos Real:

Father, today I come before you asking for more courage. Let me not be kept silent by fear of speaking out loud. Fill me with your wisdom and your strength. Fill my heart with love for others. Strip me of impatience, fill me with a peace so deeply that the angry cannot penetrate causing me to stumble from talking through love. Father, lift those in dark places into the light and fill their hearts with your love. No matter how fleeting their minds may turn toward you for an answer, answer them father. Let them feel your presence in such a way they cannot deny you Love them right where they are. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Mom of Many

© Wendy Glidden 2013
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