Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some Thoughts On Prayer by Margaret Swan

We read books on prayer to help us grow as Christians and to learn from others, and so we should.* But the simplest form of prayer is to remember that God is our Father and we can go to Him as children, bringing ourselves and our concerns, knowing that He hears.
As long as we live we shall never exhaust the possibilities of prayer, it is, after all, communion between the human and the Divine. Communication is two-way. It would be a strange telephone conversation if only one person talked. Yet that is often how our prayer times are – we do all the talking.

Robert C. Savage says prayer is “practising the presence of Jesus” (echoes of Brother Lawrence). So I imagined Jesus standing right in front of me. What would I say to Him if I could actually see Him – what would I ask? Then I realized I would not want to talk at all but just listen. Like Mary I would want to drink in His every word. Wouldn’t you? Then after a while I might ask, “What do You want for so and so?” rather than asking that He give certain blessings to that person. The things that the Lord would bring to mind would probably not be material at all but some of His spiritual gifts of inner peace and assurance. Or perhaps He would want that person to be bolder in taking a stand for Him or to step out into a new sphere of service.

Psalm 46:10 NIV says, “Be still and know that I am God” and Jesus warns against “babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (or “much speaking” KJV). He reminds us in the same passage (Matthew 6:7, 8) “...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Perhaps when we come before the Lord to pray we ought to be silent, realize the God of glory is there with us and wait for Him to speak. Perhaps I should remember to be quieter in my Quiet Times.

*Books on Prayer:
Approaching God by Steve Brown
Talking With My Father by Ray C Stedman
Pocket Prayers by Robert C Savage
Can You Hear Me? By Brad Jersak


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