February 13th – The Power of Prayer



I always cringe when Christian prayer is treated as if it were a magic spell; I always did, even before I became a Christian.
In Treasure Island cut-throat pirates bent on murder and mayhem were suddenly gripped by terror at what they thought was the voice of a dead man calling them. Their response was to start gabbling the Lord’s Prayer! Prayer was a counter-spell against ghosts: a superstitious rigmarole.
‘There are no atheists in a slit trench’ we used to say in the army, for men who previously had no thought of God, when suddenly cowering under heavy fire, have been known to start praying – something like: ‘If you get me out of this Lord, I’ll stop cursing and fornicating and I’ll start going to church.’ Then afterwards behaving like the child who said she prayed at night because there was nothing to be afraid of in the day time. All treating God as a genie in a lamp, with prayer as the magic rubbing which brought out the protector to grant you your wishes. No wonder Jesus spent such a lot of time teaching his followers to pray, and possibly his greatest lesson was the way he himself prayed.He addressed God as ‘dear Father’, and he made time to get away to pray: to talk with his Father, to breathe the air of perfect love and power, to submit, to praise, to rejoice – in fact we read that he jumped for joy in prayer. No wonder all Christian prayer is ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord’. If we pray at all – it is because He prayed. As a fully human being he was in constant touch with his Father by the Holy Spirit.
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10: 21-22
A Prayer: Breathe on us Lord that we teach us to pray in the Spirit, lest we rest content in merely saying our prayers as a ‘good luck’ charm.
Now read how well the followers of Jesus had learned to pray: Acts 4: 23-37 (underline v.31)

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Thought 4 The Day

Faith is not an achievement, it is a gift. Yet it comes only through the hearing and study of the Bible. (Martin Luther)

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