Thursday, February 4, 2010

ExCePt FoR tHeSe

I have people contact me and ask for prayer in sickness and in bad times. I am grateful for the opportunity. I'm grateful they see something of God in me that they find me worthy to share in their prayers for their family and friends. Sometimes it's those requests that remind me to talk to God each day, so for that I am grateful.

The Bible admonishes us Christians to "pray without ceasing." However, some of us want to put restrictions and conditions on God. We only pray when we want something to go our way and we want God to bless what we want. "Oh, God! Let this scratch-off ticket bring me one million bucks! Just ONE million is all I ask!" Dude, God knows you're a jerk with $100 and that you'll just be a bigger jerk with a million bucks!

More seriously, though, folks put limits on their prayers as if they really belong to themselves and are to be doled out only for certain causes and for certain people. I actually saw someone who didn't know better, thinking it was fine to pray for something bad to happen to someone they didn't like. Can you say "Way off base!" Boys and girls?

Prayer is simply talking to God. It's not always about asking for what you want. It's also about praise, worship and thanks. In the model prayer, which some folks call The Lord's Prayer, Christ is teaching how to pray using praise, request, thanks.

I am mentioning it here because as we do Kairos Prison Ministry, we always have a prayer chain for the 42 prison residents who will participate in the 3 1/2-day spiritually uplifting workshop and for the team of gentlemen and ladies who will serve on the team. There are actually babes in Christ who feel such ownership of their prayers that, though they consider themselves to be devout, they will limit how they dole out their prayers and say, "No, I will not pray for those people."

With that said, I have combined a TOP TEN list of reasons that Christians do not pray--which are not really reasons at all!

1. They don't like us and they are not praying for us! (Heard a lot after 911)
2. I don't have a "podium"/ don't know how to make the words sound right in the group.
3. They are not in our church.
4. They don't look like us.
5. They don't deserve my/our prayers.
6. It's useless/ fruitless. What's the point?.
7. I don't have someone to pray with me.
8. I just don't like her/him/them.
9. They're too young/old/insignificant
10. I have not forgiven her/him or someone they bring to mind.

Now with my fussing done, prayerfully consider joining our prayer vigil for February 18-21. We know that everyone is not called to go inside the prison with us so we give you an opportunity for your blessings from the outside. Click the link in the title or copy and paste this link into your browser area:
The system will ask for your email but it will only be used to remind you of the 10minutes you chose to pray. It will not print out on the physical prayer chain.

What will happen is that during the workshop a physical prayer chain will made from colored paper and strung across the classroom during the weekend. It is a physical reminder and encouragement for the 42 particiapnats that people who don't even know them are praying 24/7. It really amazes them to see a representation of people from all over the world in prayer for them throughout the workshop.

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