'Pray without ceasing'
|By Teri Ditslear|
Joy in the Journey
Sometimes I hear people say that they are not good prayers. Admittedly, I have found myself thinking the same about my abilities. There are times when the "right" words are difficult to find. Ann Lamont wrote a book claiming that there are three types of prayers, Help, Thanks and WOW. While I believe this is true, there are still times when the right words have difficulty in appearing in my brain or on my tongue. Of course the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples is a good one to keep in your back pocket. Martin Luther said we should say this prayer everyday, first thing in the morning. It certainly would set the tone for the day. I believe that the more we pray the better off our lives would be. Prayer keeps us on our toes! If we are talking to God, it is more difficult to misbehave. A child would not be talking to her mom while her hand was sneaking a cookie out of the the cookie jar. Right? Same with talking to God while living our days. That is why Paul said, "Pray without ceasing" (Thessalonians 5:17). We are less likely to misbehave if we are talking with God.
One of my favorite times of prayer is when we do communal prayer in worship, in community. I love hearing all the people, young and old, liberals and conservatives, grey haired and pink haired, grouchy and joy-filled, all say the same words and mean them with great sincerity. Prayer is one of the ways we become united with our understanding that we are all equally loved, and all equally accountable for one another. The prayer below is a sample of what the Roots of Life people will offer during worship on Sunday.
Prayer of the Day, Sunday, July 9
We thank You, Lord, for all that You have done for us; for all that You have given us; and for all that You have been to us.
We remember and celebrate Your constant grace, care and provision; and our faith grows as we recognize the goodness that
But, Lord, You have also given us the gift of prayer, and You have invited us to bring our requests to You, for You love
us, and You listen to our needs and desires.
And so we pray
For ourselves and our loved ones, that we might find all we need in You.
For our community and our country, that none may be in want, and all may share the goodness of this place.
For our world and its peoples, that the riches of the earth may be enjoyed by all, and that we may all turn away from
Teach us, Bounteous God,
To make thanksgiving, sharing, giving and enjoying, the habits by which we live And the practices by which we build Your Kingdom among us.
May I be so bold to add that this prayer is suitable for cutting out and using at your table or posing on your refrigerator. Enjoy!
Noblesville's Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com
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