Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

God Talks Too IV

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Are there ways we can increase our likelihood of hearing God speak? I think so. In Nine Ways God Always Speaks, I offer the following:

What’s the difference between those who hear him and those who don’t? It’s as simple as how they listen. We know what you’re thinking. “I listen, but I never hear him.” Okay, we hear you. But frankly, how hard, how intentionally do you listen?

·         When you read the Bible, do you assume what you’re reading applies to you and try to figure out what God is saying to you personally?

·         When you have a stray thought, do you explore it to see if God somehow put it there for a reason?

·         When you wake up after a particularly vivid dream, do you pray asking God what he was trying to tell you?

·         When a friend says something more direct and personal than usual, do you wonder if God could be behind her words?

·         When an unlikely series of events happens, do you assume God arranged them for a reason and try to discover his purpose?

·         Do you examine your history, your environment, and your emotions to see what you can learn from them?

That is listening.

Listening is an active awareness of what is happening around you and an intentional pursuit of God’s voice. Many of us wrongly assume we haven’t heard God unless we’ve heard a James Earl Jones type voice amplified through the clouds. If you think that’s the only way you will hear him, it is the only way you will hear him. But here’s a hint–it’s not one of the ways he always speaks, likely it’s one of the ways he rarely speaks.

To hear God, we have to believe he wants to communicate with us. That doesn’t take a huge amount of faith, but it takes at least a drop. The people who hear from God all have a drop of that faith.

 What are some ways you increase your likelihood of hearing and understanding God?

 

Friends with God: Psalm 143:8-9

posted by Mark Herringshaw

King David banked everything on his friendship with God. God was everything to David.  Here’s how he describes that relationship in Psalm 143:8-9.

 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
      for I am trusting you.
   Show me where to walk,
      for I give myself to you.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
      I run to you to hide me.

David acknowledged this each morning. He knew he needed hear himself say again and again that God never fails. We too need this message reinforced in our daily lives. David asked God to show him where to walk. He needed counsel in decisions. Again, here is one friend asking another for wisdom. David admits he’s putting himself in God’s charge and that he needs to be rescued from enemies. God alone can help.

 

If you need to be rescued today, pray. Borrow David’s words. God wants to be your friend. He’s willing and able! If you don’t know what else to say, pray these simple words; then pause and wait while God responds. He will!

A Prayer of Augustine: “You are My Health”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

St. Augustine didn’t trust his physical body. Prior to his conversion to Christianity Augustine had lived to please and indulge his own appetites. For the rest of his life on earth he considered his “flesh” as the enemy of his soul. I believe Augustine overreacted a bit. After all, God created our bodies, and called them “very good.” One day we will be given new resurrected bodies. The idea can’t be all bad!

In this prayer Augustine recognizes that human life in the human body is something given and sustained by God. This prayer of praise recognizes that life and health are a gift. It’s something of a moderation for Augustine…

If you are struggling with health issues, lift this prayer to God and know that HE is your health, and all you’ll ever need!

Great are You, O God, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and Your wisdom infinite. We who are but a particle of Your creation, praise You. You awaken us to delight in Your praise; for You made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. What are You then, my God? Most high, most good, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; ever old, ever new; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, flourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. You, O God, are my life, my joy, my health.

A Prayer for the George Sodini’s Victims and Family

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday, George Sodini entered a Pittsburgh L.A. Fitness gym aerobic’s class, turned off the lights and opened fire. The 50 rounds of bullets killed three women and injured 10 other people. Sodini then turned the gun on himself and killed himself. Sources say that Sodini left behind a diary that documented his plans for yesterday’s event and detailed his desire for female companionship, his loneliness, and his discouragement with women.

It’s heartbreaking that one man’s inability to find love, led him to take lives instead. I beseech anyone who reads this to not only pray for the family of the victims and Sodini’s family, but pray for those people who you know–and even those you don’t–who are living alone and feeling lonely. Please join me in prayer and add your own.

Heavenly Father,

I am praying for the family and friends of the victims of last night’s L.A. Fitness Club shooting. These victims were innocent bystanders whose lives were taken too soon and I pray that your comfort would be with each family member, each friend, and the L.A. Fitness Club staff and members who had an opportunity to interact with these people. Healing will take time as they are confronting with the days to come without their loved ones. Help them to seek solace and understanding from you. For George Sodini’s family and friends, I pray Lord that you would comfort them and that you would allow them to have an opportunity to understand what was going on with him during the last days of his life. Protect his family and friends from the people who may try to lash out at them and seek vengeance upon them for what he did to their loved ones. I know that at this time it is hard for anyone to imagine interceding in prayer of behalf of a killer’s family, but Lord, help people to recognize that this is a moment for compassion to be extended to his family and friends. There are needs that I haven’t even addressed in this prayer, but you are a God who addresses the concerns of your people’s hearts. You know their concerns before they are even voiced, so Lord, attend to your children. Let each one of us turn our hearts toward prayer and when we run out of words to say, intercede for us.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen 

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