“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
How often do you pray to God? How often do you ask God to help you solve a problem or heal a hurt? I do that very often – pray to God. Now before you think isn’t that wonderful of this pastor, I am not sure I ever pray in the correct manner. Too often, I pray out of desperation, praying more for what is happening to me rather than what is happening to others.
This last year, I can be snuggled in my bed (the room being very cold, just like I wish it to be, and grateful that Dale likes to sleep in a cold room as well) when suddenly I am awakened by a terrible cramp; what we call a “Charlie horse” in my foot or toes, or worst of all, a cramp that travels down the whole inside of my leg. It is so very painful. You can put ice or cold water on that strained muscle, and it still hurts. You can rub an ancient Amish vinegar solution to help, and it does not help; it only smells terrible. You can hop up and down, point your toes, all the time rubbing that place of that excruciating pain, eat a pickle and nothing. In spite of all these suggestions that people have made to you, nothing helps, NOTHING HELPS. In utter desperation you cry out, “ O please, O please, God, take away this horrible pain.
Eventually the pain goes away. You wonder if it is going to, but it does, it goes away. I am sure God has had pity on me, but He probably asked, “ Have you been doing your physical therapy; have you been drinking enough water, have you eaten a banana today? And by the way, Kenneth, (He uses my formal name as my mother did when she was upset with me), how long has it been since you have really prayed and opened your heart to Me? Have you ever prayed all night like Jesus did before He made important decisions?
I do not think my prayers are very good sometimes, and I do not think I speak to God at the best times or often enough. Sometimes when I think about it, I think my prayers can be pretty selfish, not out reaching enough to others. Often, I do not share some of my largest worries about our world and about God’s children and their fate. Sometimes I fail to speak to God opening my heart completely to Him.
When your heart is open to Him, amazing things happen – but I must tell you first about someone I know who is the best “pray person” I have ever known or met in my almost fifty-seven years of ministry. That person has a wonderful open heart with God. And that is what you have to have to be a good “prayer person.”
By the way, I am so pleased you are walking with me this day; my days without you would be very lonely. One of the reasons I entered into the Ministry was because I believe the best thing God made was you and, I hope, me– the reason for life is to share caring and love with the people who walk the earth. Without you here, my walk would not be a very special time.
That person I know who prays wonderful prayers said to me one time when I mentioned that I might walk with her one of these days, that her prayers
If they are special (and believe me they are) is because the Holy Spirit is with her at such a time. How do I know her prayers are so touching and that God listens to her? Let me tell you. – O here she comes right now to join us. Say hello to Mary’s sister.
A few years ago my brother had knee surgery, and unfortunately his knee became seriously infected. It was so serious that the surgeons felt they might have to take out his knee replacement and cleanse the infection before they could replace his knee again.
One day I mentioned my brother’s serious condition, and she offered a prayer for him. She often offers to say a prayer when most of us would be silent. What a prayer! As she is a nurse, she was able to name the parts of the knee that were inflamed and infected. God knows those places; He created them. She prayed to God to take that infection away with all her heart and sincerity. In humility, she takes no credit for her meaningful prayers; it is not her, she says, it is the living Spirit of Jesus that fills her heart and mouth with the correct words.
When I talked with my brother a few days later, he told me that his doctor was amazed that his infection was gone.
That is a truth for all of us to remember. God, when we are sincere and have an open heart, tells us we can move mountains. Sometimes when I was really praying to God while I was leading worship and offering the pastoral prayer, I found that God took over. There were times when after I finished praying, I wondered where those words came from for they were not from me.
This morning and every morning I hope you will take some time to pray to God. Ask Him to fill your heart with the Holy Spirit and “behold your God will come and save you,” He will speak to you, and prayerfully to your fellow walker, me, as well.
And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.
* This does not refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Do you know the name of the person that walked with us today? She is the best “pray person” I have known during my ministry.
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