Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

December 29, 2010

We’re having a wonderful Wednesday! Today is a good day to consider the ways we pray.

In Psalm 6, hear the angst in David’s voice as he appeals to the Lord for mercy:

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
Or discipline me in your wrath.
Be merciful to me, Lord for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in anguish.
How long O Lord, how long?
I am worn out from groaning;
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
And drench my couch with tears.

[Psalm 6:1-3, 6]

Reading along with David makes us sure understand his sorrow. I suspect we’ve all been there one time or another. As cock-eyed as it sounds, I somehow find a weird comfort in knowing David struggled as we do. Maybe in some strange way, I figure if he survived whatever he was going through, maybe we can too.

Here at the threshold of a new year, maybe it’s a good time to consider that it’s OK to pray in all sorts of ways that we may never have thought of before. How about praying with our hands and feet? We do this every time we put some action behind our prayers.

We pray with body gestures too. We do this when we give our undivided attention to someone in need. We can pray with silence. We do this when we are all prayed out and we then give the reins over to the Holy Spirit to handle things for us.

Today is a good day to consider that perhaps prayer is not always a means to an end but a way of shaping our thinking. How?

There are days when we are just plain angry for one reason or another. Maybe we feel alone. Maybe we feel there is no end to our situation in sight or perhaps we are on a dead end road so we just are angry. Maybe if we just go through the motions when we are angry, the grace revealed to us will be a new point of view.

Maybe prayer can never change a particular circumstance but instead help us to live with our upset in some healthier way. I’m not sure that’s exactly answered prayer or not but it sure moves us one more step into positive territory.

OK, let me now state the obvious, because of my human depravity, I have never in my life been in a real relationship with another person that at some time, I did not get angry with them! Yes, this does include God.

There are dark moments of the soul that I am too embarrassed to speak of in public. But, I get over them and I suspect you do too. What kind of relationship with God can we have if we feel we can hide our true feelings? The deal is that we do move on, we do get over things, we do get healed and this is growth!

Yes, we pray in lots of ways. I have even gotten to the point that if God never answered another prayer the way I want it answered, I would still pray. Why? Because there’s no sense chasing our tails only to return to the place we started, which is being in God’s presence and by default, we continue to pray….because we realize there is no escaping God. God is omnipresent.

You hem me in, behind and before;
You have laid your hand upon me.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.

[Psalm 139:5,7]

Yes, today is a good day to consider the ways we pray. I am betting you can come up with an endless list. All of it leads us back to Christ and this is where we long to be.



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