January 29th – Praying

We all pray – everyone prays – we can’t help it. Prayer is natural to us. It’s as natural as breathing, eating and learning to walk. Why then do we have to learn to pray? Because although we all breathe, we have to learn how to breathe deeply and well: the same with walking. We all had to learn how to walk and we also need to learn to walk with a good posture. So it is with prayer. The gift of prayer may come from natural roots, but it needs to be refined, trained, worked on. But people don’t or won’t do the training. ‘It doesn’t work – I asked for this and that but didn’t get it, so I stopped’, as if prayer were something like tasting a mouthful of food we didn’t like, and concluding that eating was a waste of time; or just stuffing our stomachs when we are hungry, and not learning to develop the sheer joy of sharing a meal together; or learning what is healthy for us to eat, and what is unhealthy. Muslims are taught to pray five times a day. Christians were given the model prayer by Jesus which set out in the areas of basic prayer and notice it is all about God:His nature: His name: His rule: His kingdom: His will. All that comes first. Then we are bidden to ask for enough for ourselves (not too much, not too little – enough to satisfy).We are to seek forgiveness from God and convey such mercy to others. Seek strength to resist temptation and avoid the evil one, and give glory to God. Now to pray like this takes some self-discipline, some practice, and not a little patience, but as in everything, the more we do it, the more we learn how to do it. Imagine the elation Paul experienced as he prayed:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1: 3-6
Please don’t stop reading there …..Paul’s Prayer of Praise:To Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1: 3-6; 7-12; 13-14)
Now read I Corinthians 29: 6-20

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