You know I am totally bogus when I say I don't pray. I do. I ask Him for stuff.
I asked Him to fix my dryer this morning. (Does it count if I don't care if He does it or not?)
I would like to not pay for a new one. But I am fine with a new one if that is what He has in mind. It would be better if He just sent one. Or if He just fixed the one I have. That is wayyy easier.
So I prayed. I guess it is just that it is "dude...dryer..." quick shoulder shrug. done.
Pretty much so simple that it feels illegitimate. And I find that my "wants" just take such a backseat to His desires for me.
I would rather He have His way than give me my own.
There is this great scene at the end of Pollyanna, Where the townspeople are gathered to pray for her on her sickbed and the preacher (I think?) says something to the effect of "Lord we ask you to leave her here with us but if you decide to take her then you had better help us understand why."
I love that scene.
I love it because the guy is being so very real about what he wants. And he is trusting that God is in control whichever way it goes. And he is unafraid to tell God his heart. It seems like resignation. And I guess it is. But it feels so trusting. The two can be one in the same I guess.
So when reading all these scriptures listed for "prayer" it seems that they speak of different activities. Wishes, asking, drawing near, to name a few.
Some prayers seem to draw another person near to God. To raise them up, so to speak.
Some seem to be spoken like you would say "my wish...or desire...for you".
Some seems to be listening and waiting.
Sometimes for ones self, often times for others.
There are some (and they are few) like Col 4:3 that make me think spiritual warfare. At least when you look at this scripture alone...and in this version.
And making prayer for us, that God may give us an open door for the preaching of the word, the secret of Christ, for which I am now in chains; (BBE)
It seems that you are praying to make a way. To back off the forces of the enemy? Making a way for God to be able to open a door.
But if you look at a different version...NIV
"...And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message,..."
This seems to be asking the reader to ask God for something for him. A petition on his behalf. And why is that necessary?
If they are spreading the Word won't God make that way for them?
Are they addressing something in the Hebrew mindset that existed on certain traditions and regulations in regard to how they approached God?
Could we say it really is all this simple... Prayer is talking to God.
All these scriptures are references from one Christian brother to another asking to be remembered. "Oh and when you are in prayer (assuming that Christian brothers do have an active talking and listening time with Father) would you talk some about me?"
Because you don't want to say "Oh, wish me luck as I go out and preach tomorrow".
So you say pray for me. Is that it?
Why does the church have to make it so complicated?
Is it like when you get a new bookcase and you can see plain as day that the long pieces stand up and the short pieces go across and the little metal things stick in the holes to hold the shelves up.
But you get a six page booklet in three languages telling you to put peg A into hole B at intervals of no less that three inches (cuz that is where the holes are placed) and make sure that plank C and plank D have their holes facing in (because otherwise...duh...you couldn't put the shelves on).
Is that it?
Because that makes me sound so stinkin arrogant like I have it all figured out and the bible is for beginners. And I SO don't mean that.
It just seems that prayer is taught so complicated.
And it is so simple.
And the great and funny thing about it is that you can do it so many ways it would make your head spin. (and sometimes it does...heheheh)
You can shout and jump up and down and mumble and sing and sit and stand on your head and hula and cry and all those things that I have taught my kids countless times.
You don't have to bow your head or close your eyes or even say amen. Gasp!
So I do believe in prayer.
Makes me chuckle tho. I wonder if God was addressing this issue when He instructed to go into the closet.
"Quit talking so much about how you do it. Just doesn't matter. Get er done. "
I have heard people talk ad nauseam about having a "rich prayer life" and all it ever did was make me neurotic.
The words of Jesus say (and I know there is tons of teaching on this already but here is my take)
Father in heaven
may your name be kept holy
my wish is for your will to be done here
and your kingdom to reign here
like it does up there (I like how you do things)
thank you in advance for the bread and stuff you give me today
for today is all you have promised (as it is the day where you dwell)
and thank you in advance for forgiving me.
i am going to make a point to forgive the ones that wrong me today and be really glad that you are doing the same
and again, thank you for keeping out of the bad stuff I tend to want to get into.
I am saying this in advance knowing that you are on top of it.
oh, and if I am to believe some of the translations...It's all about you dude! Thanks again.
(I hope lightning don't hit me.)