Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Calling Plan called Prayer

August 30, 2007

"Praying is no easy matter. It demands a relationship in which you allow someone other than yourself to enter into the very center of your person, to see there what you would rather leave in darkness, and to touch there what you would rather leave untouched. Why would you really want to do that?" ~ Henri Nouwen ~

Years ago when our Tuesday Women’s Bible Study started, our first assignment was to pair up and go pray using the list of prayer requests we had put together. As we got into our groups many were skeptical about praying out loud to the Lord. Asking permission to pray silently instead of outwardly was our way of conquering what seemed to be a “not so easy matter.” Over the years the difficult task we made it to be became easy, a type of second nature that now comes naturally.

Prayer should never be something that we are afraid of but something to utilize, in an opportunity to make contact and keep in touch with our Lord and Savior. The cost of the call to Heaven is merely opening up our hearts to someone who already sees deeply within it. Making available to the Lord the center of our person where we often like to keep hidden untouched and unavailable the things we’d rather bury than deal with.

Why would we really want to do that, we ask. Let us sit down this morning and answer that question for our selves making a list of the benefits as the Psalmist did in Psalm 103 of the things of God that he didn’t want to forget. The biggest benefit of prayer is the opportunity to draw closer in relationship to the One who forgives, loves, and cares about what we have hidden or untouched. Not as something to use against us but as one who wants to heal, mend, and clear up what seems to have gone cloudy within. Not just a creation but the Creator Himself, our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. It is being able to talk to the One who holds the crown of righteousness for all who wants it, who is the source of our strength, mercy, love, guidance, as well as companionship.

A call to Heaven that doesn’t need to be made collect, or through another person but one that is available on a private line. With a Holy Spirit ready to intercede for us when words escape us on what we ought to say. Definitely not an avenue to be taken lightly as something we can quickly send off like an email in cyberspace where we frequently return to check for replies. Only to wonder if we did something wrong in the sending process when answers don’t come back as urgently as they were sent out in the time frame we assigned them.

What goes wrong in the distribution process is when we fail to send our prayers in the first place as we become too busy to stop and too busy to care. God is the one that cares and so should we. The path has been opened for us to call. The buttons to push, the receiver used to speak as well as listen are in our hands. The choice becomes ours to use it daily in a plan that has no weekend or after hour rates to work around but only our own busyness.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for giving us the chance to come to You in an unlimited, always available calling plan called prayer. Forgive us Lord for the times that we give you the busy signal due to choices we are making in our lives. May we always turn to You even when words escape us knowing in our hearts the promise spoken in Psalm 66:19,20 “But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me! Amen."

This weeks host of "In 'Other' Words" is Christine of Fruit in Season. Hobble on over there and join in the fun and listen to what others have to say but stop first and visit the Lord and what He has to say in His blessed path of prayer.


MiPa said...

"The cost of the call to Heaven is merely opening up our hearts to someone who already sees deeply within it." I love how you said this! Bless you for sharing.

Christine said...

All of our problems with prayer are man-made, aren't they? Thanks for outlining how critical prayer really is!

Hopeful Spirit said...

"A call to Heaven that doesn’t need to be made collect . . . "

A lovely, compelling post.