Thinking about Prayer, there is lots of things that puzzle me. Let me ask you some questions. Why is it that Prayer through the night, all night is better than prayer through the day all day?
Why is it that some people have to shout loud when they pray, Perhaps God is a little deaf, that happens when you get older, though it would surprise me if that has happened to God. Though I have to say that I doubt that he is frightened either so shouting probably doesn’t bother Him.
Why is it that when some people pray they pray so quietly in a whisper, maybe its because someone told them that if you whisper people believe you even if its not true and they hope to catch God out.
Why is it that we close our eyes and bow our heads when we pray, again as you get older that’s a recipe for dropping off.
Why is it that when some people pray they have to scrunch up their face, which they don’t do when they are talking to other people, is there something spiritual about scrunched up faces?
Why is it that when people talk about prayer, and of course fasting they make a big announcement about it, and what is that about anyway are we trying to twist Gods arm and persuade Him to agree with us. Strange that when Jesus talked about fasting in that odd instant he said “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”
I have thought a lot about prayer, when I was a youngster around my late teens I got it into my head that praying was very good, it is, but I went along to our regular weekly church prayer meeting, every Tuesday evening, bit strange really as I was the only one under about 50 years old there. Most times it was very boring, let me be honest, and the strange thing was there was one man who always prayed at 8.40pm every Tuesday evening. It was long, long prayer, and actually I don’t really know what he prayed about, I just remember that there were lots of Fathers, Jesus, God, Lord, Our Lord, Our God, in it and it did seem as though the sentences where joined up by those words rather than and, or but or anyway, and things like that. The thing I notice was that when he stopped the leader of the meeting would say Amen and the meeting would be over.
Now I am older I often wonder why I went there every Tuesday, I guess I thought it was the right thing to do. Perhaps it was. Taught me other things even if it was not about prayer, things like patience, stick ability and consistence to name a few.
So anyway there are some of my questions about prayer for you to think about, maybe you could email me your questions or tell me of you puzzling things about prayer.
Oh and another thing, why does God need us to pray, he knows what we will say anyway. Let me tell you a story, I think a strange story that happened to one of my prayers.
I was in a guest house in Wales, when I was woken up, I cant explain quite what I mean by that but it was a bit like God shook me and said to me “get up and pray for your friend and he said his name” Now I was only in touch with this friend spasmodically, I met him some years previously in Italy, but he was Finnish. So I got out of bed and prayed for him, praying I no not what because I didn’t really know why I was praying. I suppose I could have stayed in bed and prayed, but it seemed it was serious so I didn’t. I even kneeled down, bit unusual for me I must confess. I kept talking to God about my friend and finally felt, O.K. God I reckon you have heard my prayer and answered it whatever the answer is!
By the way this is before emails, mobile phones and text messages, but I did write a letter to my friend and ask him where was he at 3.00am on such and such a date, and what was he doing? A few weeks later he wrote back and told me, he said “ I was out late at night talking with people about Jesus, finally I was by myself and a man came up to me with a knife and pushed me down a dark ally, I thought it was the end, he was obviously trying to rob me, I was up against a wall with the knife to my throat, when suddenly he dropped the knife and ran away, and I don’t know why there was no one there and now one came to my rescue, why do you ask”.
Well what I really want to ask is God obviously new what the situation was, and he obviously did something about it, but why should I be involved, I guess I was encouraged by the timing and the answered prayer even though I didn’t know what I was praying for or about, but it’s still strange isn’t it. Maybe it’s because God just loves to involve us in what he is doing.
Prayer 1 for UCB
Editor A Brooks