February 16th – More Prayer Letters

We were talking about prayer yesterday, and I referred to a simple four-letter word A.C.T.S.in which each letter stood for a way of praying. Well, if you can stand it, I’ve got another one for today. It is one we devised for children, or for Christians who are very young in the faith. We invented a word which is not in the dictionary. Well it is not really a word, it is a mnemonic. Each letter stands for another word. The word is ‘Stoal’, S.T.O.A.L. because when you pray try spending at least a minute on
S -Sorry prayers – saying sorry to God for wrong things done and said and wrong attitudes, and resolve to say sorry to any folk you hurt.
T -Then at least another minute on Thank you prayers – come on, think and give thanks – why even a bloodhound can wag his tail.
O -Next comes ‘O’ for Others – as you pray for others, be specific: when you say ‘God bless’, he says ‘What precisely are you asking me to do for them?. Pray for others.
A -Then spend at least one minute Asking – asking God for those things only God can give you. Go on, what do you need (not want) most of all? Have you asked God for it specifically?
L -Then finally the L stands for Listening. Let your mind be open to ‘the quiet thunder of the Lord of Hosts’, but remember, “Today, if you hear his voice … obey it”.
We would then say to people, ‘If you spend only one minute on each of these five letters of our made-up word, you will have prayed well for at least five minutes. Go on, write it down, keep it in your Bible, and pray it.
This is what James says. Is he talking to us? Surely not …!
You want something but don’t get it? You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4: 2-3
A Prayer: Lord, when we pray, deliver us from self-deception, lest having prayed to You, we rise unchanged, still proud and petulant and peevish.
Now read 2 Chronicles Chapter 6 (as much of it as you can It’s pretty well all prayer.)

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