Encouragement From The Word

Created to pray

Early in the pandemic, my friend, Adelle Lauchlan, shared with me some thoughts that she had shared with the congregation of which she is a part.  From time to time, with her permission, I have shared one with you, and this one in particular spoke to me today.  Enjoy! – Jeff+

I think a lot about prayer, maybe because I pray a lot. Praying is one of the perks and privileges of my work. 

But praying isn’t something I grew up doing. 

Although I grew up going to church, prayer wasn’t part of my response. Prayer was something someone else did for me, or more accurately, “over me”. I fell away from church for over a decade after high school, and when I found my way back to church, I asked my pastor for a book on how to pray. He handed me a book titled Teaching Conversational Prayer

I never read it. 

It sat beside my bed for months. But it was the most transformative book never to be read. The title taught me what I needed to grasp. Prayer is a conversation. Prayer is a response to God’s love. 

That book title was a revelation for me. Once I let faith rule in my heart, once I let Christ live in my heart, prayer became natural. Prayer didn’t need to be fancy, it didn’t need to be formatted, it just needed to be me talking to my God, my Creator, the One who loves me, the One who sent his only Son to save me; it just needed to be done. 

I didn’t need to know how to pray, I just needed to pray.

My prayers are a loving response to the One who loves us best, to the One who is love. He created us to pray. And when I forget this or my prayer life turns stale, I need only look to Scripture for encouragement, for a reminder of God’s love.

The Apostle Paul prayed a lot. I love his prayer for the Ephesians; here is just a small bit of it.  This is my prayer for you: “I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in” (Eph 3:16-17, The Message). 

Thanks, Adelle!

Biblical Messages

Formula One Praying

Do you ever find your mind wandering while you pray – or while someone else leads you in prayer?  One of the things that can help us pray well is structure.  One helpful structure uses the acronym ACTS – adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.  Today’s message is about that structure, that formula, which can help us become better people of prayer.  It’s based on Psalm 145, Psalm 51, Psalm 136 and Psalm 55.  You can listen to the message by clicking here.

Biblical Messages

The Do’s and Don’ts of Prayer

Preachers are always telling people they should pray.  Trouble is, unless we’ve been taught, most of us don’t know how to pray innately.  And we often gather unhelpful ideas about what constitutes prayer, or who can pray.  We’re looking at the value of prayer in this series, and today, specifically some do’s and don’ts.  Based on Matthew 6.5-8, you can listen to the message by clicking here.