Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and . . .. he began to teach them, saying: …. “But when you pray, . . . “
(Matthew 5:1, 6:6)
“WHEN” you pray, not IF you pray!
Author Maxie Dunnam says that the need to pray is as natural to humans as is eating or drinking,
perhaps, the deepest impulse of the human soul. **
As an individual, my personal prayer time is my opportunity to speak with God; to acknowledge and praise Him, to express gratitude, to share my joys and pour out my hurts. It is a time to share my failings, name my questions, and express my needs.
It is also my opportunity to lay before God the needs and requests of others – those I love, the needs of those that I may not even know and those who have asked for specific prayers.
The bible tells us clearly, that God already knows our needs (Matthew 6:8). Then why pray?
Prayer is a time for YOU and for ME to focus …. on God; to acknowledge that he is all knowing and that we are calling on his Grace, Wisdom and Power to meet our needs. This is a time for us to fully recognize what we are asking God to do.
When we become professing members of a United Methodist congregation, we take a vow to support the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.
When we are in worship, we have the opportunity to come together and pray as a faith community. WE, together, praise God. WE express thanks for all God has given us as individuals and as a church body. WE confess the failings of our faith family and ask forgiveness; and WE make requests on behalf of our church and those in need both within the church and those who are outside of our church community.
And then, the other side of the conversation is in God’s hands. We are called to LISTEN and WAIT for God to speak to us.
In the silence we can hear God calling our name, leading us forward in His power, grace, mercy and love to enable us to reach out to the world and make a difference.
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care….’”
**From the workbook of Living Prayer -1998, by Maxie Dunnam