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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning The Power of Simple Prayer



This Summer, the past couple of months, we have been attending prayer at my church on Monday and Friday mornings. Just a handful of watchmen on the tower, praying for our church, the members, our region, the nation.

Yesterday, we prayed for rain.

Overnight, it finally rained. Coincidence? Could be, but I think not. It wasn’t in the forecast. But as I sit on my deck this morning, my upper body shielded from the drops by the roof, my legs tingling with sprinkles, I believe our simple plea for rain reached the heart of God.

God hears, He sees, He’s merciful.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been listening as my pastor prays his heart out during these times. A busy man, pastoring a church of almost 1000 members. Longing to enlarge the borders of his tent, knowing with somber expectancy, the task set before him. Being faithful in the small, where there were only a handful of church-goers meeting in his mother’s home just fifteen years ago. God has blessed him. In a town and surrounding area of twenty-thousand or so people where there’s a struggling church on every corner, he knows his calling is great.

But in most ways, he’s not a likely candidate for the greatness set before him. A simple guy who likes sports, loves his family, likes Olive Garden and baked sushi. Can down a bag of chips like an Olympic event. He’s everyman.

And this is what God has taught me this summer, the last two weeks in particular and yesterday, most specifically: There is great power in simple faith, simple prayer, living everyday simply knowing that God hears and sees.

Listening to him pray is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two friends. That’s what it is, a simple conversation, no fanfare, no deep groanings—usually—just effectual, fervent prayer of a man who is righteous and faithful. His simple trust that God is listening, brings in a heavy presence of God, the kind I have only experienced through worship in the past.

I don’t post this to lift him up or glorify him, but to say this: leading by example, my pastor has taught me to pray. Simply converse on a level I’ve never known, with more simplicity than I’ve ever done.

Many Christians struggle with daily prayer, but I've discovered this summer, that prayer is easy. Just start talking to God. In much the same way the disciples asked Jesus: Teach us to pray. My heart was asking Jesus: Teach me to pray. After forty years of knowing Jesus, I’m learning to get on my knees or sit on my deck and just say, “My Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” Only I say it in everyman language. A conversation. Simple and honest and from my heart.

It’s making the difference…

3 comments:

Kristine McGuire said...

That's what it's all about. Thank you for sharing this very encouraging post, my friend.

Bekah said...

I've been asking God this week to teach me to pray, because it's never come easily for me. I feel like I got some answers from reading this. Thank you so much for posting.

J M Gallagher said...

Amen.
Beautiful post.

 
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