Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekly Prayer Thought

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. Luke 18.10

A couple of years ago I went with my father to a seminar on prayer. It was at a church with a strong tradition of prayer among the members of the congregation. After a morning of teaching by the pastor of prayer ministries, there was a time of practical application led by two ladies. These ladies were volunteer pray-ers from the church. They told us of some of their experiences and some practical steps to take to make prayer more meaningful and effective.

At the lunch break, Dad and I reflected on the morning's activities. We agreed on almost everything. The teaching was excellent, practical and helpful. We were impressed with the pastor who led the sessions. But when it came to discussion of the two ladies, we were also in agreement. They were weird. They were so consumed with their prayer activities that they had forgotten how to be normal people. They spoke with a super-spiritual attitude that made them seem superior to everyone else. They fit perfectly that old saying, "They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good." Dad said, "Why does it seem that spiritual people are so weird?"

I didn't know then. And I don't know now.

One of the problems that people who pray have is that they think their praying, their spirituality, makes them somehow better, or at least different, than other people. They become like the Pharisee in Jesus' story. The Pharisee was praying, yes. But his attitude was that he was better than the tax collector. Jesus' point was instructive, even for us. Approach God with humility. Do not think that you are better than someone else. We are all sinners. None of us deserve a relationship with God. But he loves us anyway.

Humble yourself before God, and he will meet with you and bless you.

Prayer: Lord God, draw me to you. Help me to realize how much I need you and how worthless I am without you. Keep me humble and in a good and deep relationship with you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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