Lord, teach us to pray.
Whether it is openly expressed or inwardly digested, all of us have needs of one kind or another, many of which cannot be found in any of the aisles of supermarkets or ordered from international mail order houses. These needs can only be satisfied through the awesome power of prayer, and to look elsewhere would indeed prove to be futile.
There are many prayers to many gods, but as Christians we speak of prayer as textually recorded by Luke: "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
I would dare to say that it is only here in our country that congregants outside of the 'established church' are always looked down upon as those who are not on the cutting edge of the social and educational order. Leaders and followers are subjects of ridicule and negative comments so as to label all and sundry as 'unlearnt'.
Although as a child, during prayer meeting, I would hear a deacon say "let us prayer" or listen with rapt attention as the late Margaret Bullard in sing tone 'trouble the throne' for such a long time that often you would waft off to sleep. I have lived long enough to see things asked for on Monday night's prayer meeting come through!
Not only that, these same simple and uneducated people - God bless their memories - were able to keep their family together, educate their children, and today their heirs and assigns are making valuable contributions to God and country. Further, many a prayer from the lips of the unlearned were able to touch the heart of God so as to advance the cause of liberty, justice and choice blessings for the enjoyment and benefit of all and sundry.
Do you know of the power prayer holds for the restoration of health, the overturning of high level judgments, the binding of families, the change of heart for lost sons and daughters and the upward mobility of the oppressed? Indeed, "more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."
The disciples were in a quandary - they were not able to use their authority as Jesus had commanded them to. No miracles were being done and situations remained the same. "Teach us to pray," they begged of Jesus and He gave them the model prayer - when you pray do so after this manner - hence the Lord's Prayer.
Lord, teach me how to come to you for myself - Lord I need results. When you are down and out and see no way, when all the financial systems are against you and there is no hope left, when friends fail, comfort dies and your heart is left in pain, you do not need a commercial break, you need to pray! It is time to shed robes of ecclesiastical prejudice, garments of pride and arrogance, false barriers of social class, unloose boots that boast of financial success at the trampling on the limitedness of minds and thoughts of the poor, and do away with songs that only sing of the educational mobility of the chosen.
Victoria Boyson writes from "In Every Trial There is a Blessing" that: "Prayers that are prayed outside of God's will and in accordance with the selfish desires of our own hearts are called 'soulish prayers.' And when we pray against others, we cause the powers of darkness to be released on them. This can cause horrific warfare for them. This is witchcraft, and if we dabble in it, we open up our own lives for these destructive spirits to come back on us and wreak havoc in our own lives."
Indeed those who pray amiss will not be at all pleased with their answers. These are not times to use prayer as a torpedo on one's enemy! In these perilous times in which we live, we need to hang out with persons who know the virtue of prayer. This is no time for bitterness but a time for blessings. There is forgiveness in prayer. There is healing in prayer. There is reconciliation in prayer. There is unity in prayer. There is power in prayer and there is joy, understanding and wisdom in prayer. Lord, from your teaching, may we become learners.
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