Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prayer Helps

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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    I pray a lot; but I'm not especially gifted at it.

    That was gloriously evident when led in prayer by Ginny Worrell and Karen McCoy.

    Both have gone home to Jesus; yet I often recall being ushered into the presence of God and connected with all of the saints in the deepest recesses of my spirit whenever they led prayer.

    Anyway, I often recall Tony saying two things about prayer.

    When assaulted by somebody who didn't like how he prayed, he said, "Listen, lady, I wasn't talking to you!'

    When someone said he didn't hear God speaking when he prayed, Tony noted, "That's probably because you don't shut up and listen!"

    Not long after May 8, 1977, I was about to lead the congregation in a prayer that I had written for worship and distinctly heard God say to me, "Bob, we went over this on Friday.  Don't you have anything new to talk about today?"

    I learned authentic prayer, really praying or talking to/with God, is not a pre-scripted and practiced performance but rather the privilege of a personal relationship with the Father as guided by the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.

    That prompted me to jettison the scripted stuff, get real, get current, and take only some notes into the pulpit to guide pastoral prayers.

    I'm not saying scripted prayers are always wrong. 

    The recorded prayers of Francis and Mother Teresa and Bonhoeffer and King and many other gifted prayers like Ginny and Karen will always usher us into the presence of God and connect us with the family of faith if the head, heart, and gut are engaged in the repetition.

    So with that in mind and people always asking for some prayer helps, here are some promptings for the morning, evening, and meals.

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Scratching the Surface

of

Prayer

(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Increasing Intimacy)

Morning


Lord, I begin this day in praise and thanks for You as my Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior…

I know I need Your love, forgiveness, mercy, and empowering to be Yours in all things at all times in all places with all people as exemplified in Jesus, explained in the Bible, and enlightened by Your welcomed presence in my life as Holy Spirit…

I want to honor You through behavior confirming my belief in You as my Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior…

As Your guide for our time together this morning, I read the Bible to increase our communion and discover Your will for my life.  I trust You will tell me when to pause and ponder, ingest, and digest; and how to enflesh this morning’s insights, inspirations, and instructions…

Reminded of my need to confess and repent or conform to Your will as exemplified in Jesus and explained in the Bible to be forgiven and restored to Your best intentions for my life, I admit how I have insulted You and injured others by…pledging to change bad behaviors for good behaviors…and expressing gratitude for Your forgiveness that allows me to forgive myself…

I know the fruit/proof/evidence of our relationship – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness/humility, and self-control – are supernatural by-products of our increasing intimacy…

What I say, what I do, and how I appear will honor You and help others increasingly as I am increasingly close to You…

I ask favors – intercessions for others and personal supplications - for…

I prepare for today’s opportunities, ups, downs, detours, distractions, temptations, joys, sorrows, victories, defeats, and challenges according to Ephesians 6:10-20…

I pray as taught by Jesus: “Our Father…”

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.



 Before Meals

Lord, this food is a gift from You; providing pleasure and fuel for life.  I thank You for this food along with everything and everyone that minister to my life; reserving highest praise and thanks for Jesus who inspires confident living and guarantees eternal life.  Thank You for sustaining my body and saving my soul through Jesus in whose name I pray.  Amen.

Evening Prayer


As this day draws to a close, I honor You as my Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior…

I am thankful for today’s experiences and expressions of Your favor…

I am sorry for today’s failures…confessing…repenting…receiving Your forgiveness…

I entrust the past, present, and future to You…

I open the Bible for You to have today’s last word…

I trust Your peace and healing as I end as I began the day…

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

This is only a brief and incomplete guide to prayer.

Intimacy with our Lord increases as we increase intimacy
with Him through worship, prayer, Bible study, fasting,
sacrament, silence, stewardship, and regular
fellowship with His family of faith
uncommonly called the
Church.

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Blessings and Love!

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Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!


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