In the prewar days of my childhood it was the custom for many ladies to have a ‘Daily Help’ and my mother had one for years. Although the woman was an excellent worker, she had some very funny sayings.
Although our house was identical to others in the row she would not accept that they were all the same, and would constantly comment on another in the row as “earns bigger than yawn”. (hers is bigger than yours). If a funeral came into the conversation she would say “There’ll be another two, you mark my words, funerals always come in threes, funerals do”.
If something bad came into the conversation she would say “there’s more bad things to come, You mark my words, bad luck always comes in threes”.
I found myself thinking of her when three times I was brought to see a problems about “Prayer”. For the third time someone said to me “My prayers are always so repetitious “Well I have had this problem too, have you? Did it start at our mother’s bed time goodnight ? Like Christopher Robin-“God Bless mummy and daddy, God Bless…” and we never got out of the habit, we just changed the names? Did it come from some prayer book where we read or learnt what to say ? Was it The Lord’s Prayer that taught us to repeat without thinking what we were saying ? Surely God does not want to hear how well we can recite. Or a list of names, He wants us to share the things of the day, our concerns and apprehensions, our hopes and our happiness.
Another problem we have in our prayer-time. Have you every thought “I talk too much”. Sometimes Our Lord never gets a chance to get a word in edge-ways. Prayer should be a two way communication. (Study the prayers of Jesus, and saints in the Bible if you doubt it.) It is conversation, We share with Him our realities and wait upon The Lord, giving Him an opportunity of some come back. If you do not know the voice of God, you need to practice this. Which means giving prayer TIME, rather than forcing prayer into the time space you have available.
I have learned much over the years of about worship. both private and public, why are we afraid to be completely silence and to wait upon God? Why in church do we sometimes fail to give the congregation a space in prayer to make their own requests, confessions, or thanks for things that are part of our life at that moment. Why do we not teach our people silence and the still small voice? Worship can be like love, there are times when it needs no words between us.
Like the Daily Woman in my childhood, she was too set in her wrong ideas for us to bother, we made fun of her behind her back, and as a family we called her “Mrs ‘earnsbigger”.
But that attitude will not do for the fellowship of Christ’s believers. If people do not know how to pray it is not their fault, Can You remember being taught how to pray ? We just presume that everyone knows how, but I know that the prayer-life of one Christian will differ from another.
The Disciples were surprised that the prayers of Jesus were answered so wonderfully, whether it was cursing the fig tree, or bring the dead back to life. The Master’s answer was that the result of our communication with The Father should be in such faith that mountains would be moved.. Sadly, I know that many pray in doubt and so receive nothing.
Prayer is a believer sharing his/her spirit with God, who is Spirit. We wait upon Him and share His wisdom and knowledge on what we have brought before Him We then Know , by Faith, the outcome, at one in His will.
I have heard prayer considered as like a Mobile Phone to heaven, It is far, far more than that. As a Minister, I cannot remember ever visiting anyone without asking if I might pray with them, and only once in all those years was that request refused. Time after time The Holy Spirit would take over and I would find myself praying in words that were not mine, sometimes about things I had no knowledge about, but were very meaningful to those listening..
Prayer is not burning a candle, writing out a prayer to God, nor just attending a prayer meeting. It is bringing the deep concern that is on our spirit, before The Almighty, All Loving God and waiting and watching for His thoughts to become our thoughts, and seeing God working His purpose out. How The Father loves us, His children
Love from Gerald Gossage.