Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prayer is the key

Psalm 55:16-17
As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Prayer is a powerful weapon we have to battle the ups and downs of life. It is an opportunity to go before God with our problems and concerns. It is an opportunity to go before God with our praise and thanksgiving. It is a chance to ask for what we think we need. It is a chance to appreciate the blessings we have received. 

Prayer is a private, intimate, quiet time where we reveal to God those portions of ourselves that no one else sees. It is a time to reveal our true selves that only God knows. 

Prayer is the key to a healthy relationship with God. It is the way that we stay in communication. And as we know, every relationship needs good communication to survive.

Wikihow gives 3 tips to developing good communication:
1. Know what communication really is (the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver).
2. Have the courage to say what you think.
3. Practice

(Read the entire article here: 

As it applies to prayer, it is the method of transferring and sending messages between you and God. It is our way to stay in contact with him.  Prayer requires courageous honesty.  You might as well say what you really think because God knows what you really think anyway. And you get better with practice, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

There  really are no rules to prayer. You can do it when you want, how you want, how often you want. That's  between you and your God. There are, however, some guidelines (see Matthew 6:9-13). And there's something special about praying three times a day: evening, morning, and at noon, starting off your day with God, checking in with God in the middle of the day, and ending your day with God.

It is nice to have that kind of regularly scheduled communication with God. So set up three appointments 6:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 6:00 pm. Call upon God. He will hear you. Prayer is the key.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God is

Psalms 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God.

Seeking God is a skill, just like learning to read.  It is something that must be practiced every day until it becomes second nature. 

As children, we first learned letters and their sounds, learned to put those sounds together to make words, learned to put the words together to make sentences. And now, as adults, we read and write without consciously thinking about those steps. We've been practicing all our lives. It is engrained in our minds. We do it without even thinking about it. 

The same is true about seeking God. We must first learn that God is. He is everywhere, He is everything, He just is. 

We have to accept that God dwells in all people. No matter how broken, how damaged, how far they have strayed, how much they gossip and back bite... God is in there somewhere. 

We must acknowledge God in every interaction, every conversation, every conflict, every trouble, every blessing. God is there, because we are there, and God  dwells within us. 

The more we practice seeking God, the better we will get at finding Him everywhere. And before we know it, it will become second-nature, it will become engrained in our spirits. And we will be able to say, with true understanding, that God is. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cleaning Up

Psalms 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

There is something about being clean. After I've washed away all the dirt and grime that has built up on my skin over the course of the day. There's just something wonderful about being clean. And the thing is...I don't even notice all the dirt as its collecting on my skin. As much as I love being clean, I don't even notice that I'm getting dirty. 

So it is with sins and vices and bad habits. We walk through life picking them up and allowing them to dirty our spirits. Sometimes we don't even notice how we've hurt someone else; how we've turned our backs on the commandments; how far we've come from being the spiritual beings we are called to be. As much as we love God, we still manage to get dirty. 

Thankfully, every day is another opportunity to get clean. All we have to do is acknowledge our sins, vices, shortcomings, oversights or whatever we want to call them. Acknowledge them and really feel sorry that we've allowed ourselves to get dirty. Then seek forgiveness from those we have hurt, including ourselves, and be willing to forgive those who have hurt us. And finally, be willing to walk in a new way. Walk in the light of a new clean heart. Bask in the beauty of a renewed spirit.

It is hard work to scrub free of all our iniquities,  but well worth it. And we have the benefit of a loving, awe inspiring, wonder-working God to help us with the really tough places. There  is just something wonderful about being clean.