Thursday, October 20, 2005

Prayer Habits

The last couple of nights I have been reading the book of Luke. I always read Luke and Acts as one book. From what I understand it is thought that Luke and Acts are written by the same author.

I like these books because they are historical in nature. The author researched and went to first hand sources. He compiled and produced something that just feels strong to me.

I just read Luke 11:1-4:
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

I have heard that Luther called the Lord's Prayer "a precious martyr." I have also heard this story, it very well may be apocryphal:

Two men are arguing about prayer. The first man challenges the second man to pray the Lords Prayer, and mean it. THe first man says "if you can get all the way through the Lord's Prayer without thinking about anything else I will give you a horse." The second man took the bet, he was a pious man who prayed regularly. So he began... "Our father, who art in Heaven..." and suddenly he stopped, sighed, and said "You win. I started to wonder what kind of horse you would give me."

I have often be guilty of that. I'll find myself in church praying and my mind starts to wander, or I'll be mouthing the words, but my brain is disengaged and before I realize it, I've missed it and I have martryed the Lord's Prayer,yet again.

I have often wished I could be like Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof his style of prayer is wonderful. He has conversations with God. He knows who his god is and isn't afraid to go to him with problems, or praise. Why is it that I can't do that, aside from the fact that people might look at me like I'm crazy...

But then there is those times when I feel a connection to God in a silent way. I can almost feel the Spirit working in me, it becomes almost a meditation for me and peace descends on me in ways I cannot explain.

I pray often, usually in the evening when I go to sleep, but I do pray thanksgiving for the new day in the mornings. But my usual "scheduled prayer time" is in the evening before bed. I pray laying down with my arms crossed over my chest. I often pray myself to sleep. It is comforting.

Prayer is something that certainly strengthens my faithlife and for that, I am most thankful.

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