Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pray without ceasing!

Last week I participated in a poll that asked "Do you pray at meals?" There were several choices, although I can't remember exactly how each was worded:

1. Yes, always and always say the same thing.
2. Yes, always but don't say the same thing.
3. Sometimes.
4. Never.

I checked the "Yes, always but don't say the same thing" box. I do always ask a blessing over my meals, no matter where I am. If it's just me and my husband, Brian says the blessing. If we're eating as a family, one of the boys will say it. If we're with friends at a restaurant, we'll elect someone to pray, usually by using the age-old "thumb in the air" method: Whoever is the last to put their thumb in the air has to pray. Ha! But to me, I'd be ungrateful to the Father if I didn't at least say thank you for the food I'm about to eat. He provided it, after all.

Yet before meals is certainly not the only time I talk to God. In fact, I sort of have a running dialog with Him all day long. He's with me every moment of the day, so why wouldn't I talk to Him? I do have a "formal" time of prayer each morning after I read my Bible. I have pictures of my family and other loved ones tucked in the back of my Bible, along with handwritten lists of people I'm praying for for various things including Salvation, healing, God's favor. I use them as visuals and reminders of who and what to pray for. Lots of times I go outside to the deck and talk to the Lord there. Sometimes I just sit in the quiet of my bedroom. Almost always I'm struck with tears of gratitude for the amazing love and faithfulness of our God.

This morning I read about King Asa in 2 Chronicles 14. Asa is King David's great-grandson. He, like his father and grandfather's, "did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God." He removed all the idol worship paraphernalia from the land and was blessed with peace while he built up the towns under his care. When the Cushites decided to invade Judah, Asa gathered his army. But before even one arrow was shot or one sword swung, Asa did what everyone should do when in battle with the Enemy:

He prayed!

"Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you." v. 11

It should come as no surprise that God struck down the Cushites. (v. 12)

Prayer is powerful! Prayer is our connection with God! Jesus himself prayed and taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9. If you have a concordance I encourage you to look up the many, many verses about prayer. Then, as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says:

"Pray without ceasing!"

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