Prayer can be many things, but it is not a magic wand. If it was no one would be sick, there would be no murders, no wars, and none of us would be mourning the death of a loved one. But all these things, and more are happening all around the world.
So what is prayer?
Well, that depends on what you believe, I can only share what I, as a Christian, believe prayer to be, and that is, prayer is communicating with God. It is not all asking for your needs… or wants. Prayer is also listening, and studying the Bible.
After all, the Bible is the word of God.
Types of prayer
Well, there is the kind that, in desperation, someone cries for help.
That person might not even know God personally, but in a critical emergency cries out to God. Sometimes that urgent request is answered.
There is also the model prayer that Jesus gave the disciples as an outline. This is the daily prayer we said in school (that’s a long time ago) in Scotland. A couple of years ago I wrote a post about the model prayer… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/a-look-at-the-lords-prayer/
Some sites say there are four types of prayer, others say seven types, or six types… instead of me ‘reinventing the wheel’ as they say, if you are curious, this site lists some and what they are. https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/faith/2015/09/11/learning-pray-seven-types-prayer/72100692/
Ever heard of imprecatory prayer?
It is actually praying for bad things to happen to enemies and was prayed by King David, as recorded in Psalms. There is an article on it here…. https://www.gotquestions.org/imprecatory-prayer.html
Kind of contradicts ‘forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,’ though. The article goes on to cover that aspect.
In our day and age
With the Corona virus (Covid-19), the plagues of locusts, the fires, floods, not to mention the riots, the looting, the demonstrations, the anger and the rage where does prayer fit?
Well it doesn’t. At least not with those who respond from a self-centred base line. Guess that now I have angered you. That is not my intention.
When I was much younger there was a song, ‘Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” There are several versions of this on YouTube. Here is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGoEJyV7Snw
For some reason this song is associated with the Christmas season. Why? I don’t know. Every time we feel anger or hopelessness overwhelm us… is a time to stop, breathe, and pray for peace on earth to begin with me.
When to pray
In an apparently impossible situation
When sad, broken-hearted, lost, alone
If anger washes over us
After the death of a child, a spouse or other significant person
What about when we are happy, joyful, grateful…
Every emotion is an opportunity to communicate with God – our Father in heaven.
Jesus taught that we are to pray to the Father in His (Jesus’) name.
And of course, when we are joyful, happy, and grateful.
(The sentence above is a repeat from the previous paragraph. It is important, but often overlooked so I put it in twice <smile>)
From experience, I have learned that a good time to ‘count my blessings’ is when nothing seems to be going well.
Try it next time you feel the world weigh on your shoulders.
May you be blessed with good,
PS My apologies for the ‘missing post’ last Sunday. Health was bad, and the week went on being bad… Internet down, computer freezing, a dental emergency – but I am still here and still typing away.
I am grateful for the life I have and the opportunities given to me.