What Prayer Is All About
Do you pray? Why do you pray? What do you expect from prayer? What value does prayer have in your life? Do you believe prayer is necessary for you? These questions and more arise as we are encouraged to pray.
It appears to me that prayer now seems sort of out of date, perhaps even unnecessary. More and more people find solutions to life’s issues through a whole army of methods that were unknown to us not too many years ago.
How about bio-feedback? That may already be losing its value much like prayer. There is yoga to get rid of the kinks in life. Meditation of more than one kind is available to all of us. Talk therapy, counseling, psychological and psychiatric sessions are with us and now a whole medicine cabinet to change or mask our moods.
All of those plus the drugs which are bought by millions to make life easier, remove the stress or simply to give a buzz not found anywhere else. Those drugs come in bottles at liquor stores, at street corners in all cities, and the local supplier that we perhaps knew from high school to this day. Especially, we know that we can takethe right pill and wind up living happily ever after in separate but equal bathtubs.
What place does praying have in all of this?
Well, prayer for a person known by Jesus and loved by him which you all are is nothing more or less than talking to your Father. Now doesn’t that bring up a storm of memories? What kind of dad was your father?
Fathers range all the way from seemingly almost perfect to persons we are sorry contributed to our DNA. Of course, there are lots of fathers in between those two poles.
In many families today the father is absent, gone, so distant that he seems unapproachable. In other cases, father might just as well have been absent or it would even have been better if they were gone, then at least we wouldn’t have to see ourselves as worthless or worse because of lack of attention.
When we hear then that prayer is talking to your Father, we have to clear a lot of experiences, garbage or lack of good vibes to understand what kind of a Father we are talking to and with. Yes, prayer is talking to and with our Father.
You can believe that human beings oozed out of a batch of chemicals that come together by sheer chance which reduces us to the same value as road kill or we can believe (and I want to stress that it is to “believe”) that God the Creator wanted you and me here and in marvelous ways got us here through people who maybe wanted us or didn’t want us, but as God’s Word says, “he works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.”
It is to this Father to whom we direct our thoughts, our desires, our dreams, our hurts, our longings, our fantasies, our expectations, our worries, our anxieties, our troubles, our woes and everything else.
He listens, he hears and he answers. In such better ways than our biological father or on-site father could ever hear and answer. This Father has no hang-ups about money or limitations of value, doesn’t have to evaluate whether our requests as to what might be good for us, and certainly has a longer view of all of the processes of life than any human father would ever have.
And if you believe he is your Father, then you are his child. They don’t always but children, at least the little children, do not hesitate to tell, ask, seek comfort from and demand from their earthly fathers. Isn’t that a picture of us? Isn’t that what we are to act with our heavenly Father?
Of course, being what we are and fathers being what they are, a lot of stuff can interfere with a solidly good relationship with the heavenly Father.
“Don’t talk to daddy. He’s in a bad mood.”
“After what’s you’ve done, don’t even think about asking him.”
“What do you expect him to do, after hearing what you’ve done?”
“I’ve never measured up to what he wants, like the other siblings, so I’m out of it”.
“He’s busy with his buddies, with sports, with his hobbies. It’s easy to see he doesn’t have time for me.”
Ah, the disappointments we have experienced from our earthly Fathers who are to represent our heavenly Father. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why our prayers are a small part of life. We don’t expect very much from our heavenly Father either.
Part of the problem we face is that as adults (which is really no different from what small and growing children think), we believe we know what is good for us.
On our own we would never eat spinach or broccoli. We would never brush our teeth, wash our hands before meals, take a bath or look at anything but the TV, as children. As adults we haven’t changed that much. We want what we want and we want it right now!
In the movie, Bruce Almighty we got a peek at what God has to deal with. I am always amazed that God has the capacity to work everything out. It really staggers the imagination, but often we don’t think God is really working everything out because he is not working things out our way.
So there you have it. Like pouting children, our grumpy faces reflect that we aren’t getting what we want. Our fears, worries, consternations, and shocking discoveries seem to indicate more than anything else that God doesn’t care or things would be different. Right?
Really? Really? God our Father does care. The whole Jesus thing is nothing more or less than God cares for us who mess our nests, our lives, our relationships, our bodies and minds.
It is simple. The Father’s care for all of us is that he sent Jesus to this world to be a demonstration, his declaration, his Word to us that he will do all to give us the love, comfort, help to rectify his relationship with us, broken not by him, but by us.
The cross of Jesus which takes away the sin of the world, our failures and all the wrong things we have believed abut God have been forgotten. All who believe in Jesus as the One who bring us back to God as Father are his children. In that “all” is you!
Jesus prayed. He taught his disciples how to pray. Read that prayer carefully and see what you are demanding of God and see how he has come through for you.
So, ask your heavenly Father, and he will give to you; seek him and you will find more than you can imagine, knock on his door and the bounty of the heavens will come to you. And as you ask God’s Good Spirit to fill your lives with joy and peace, he will give what you need.
In a world that seems to need God less and less, the result is the massive chaos that is experienced by all too many. Prayer to the heavenly Father is not just the port in the storm. It is the safe haven which leads to the eternal haven of heaven.
A Message from Rev. Walter Harms brought to you by Grace Lutheran Church, Web and Park Street, Mountain View, Arkansas. For prayer or more information, contact Pastor Kenneth Taglauer by email: [email protected]. A Pass it On Project