A Dogwood tree in my neighborhood...2011
Lovely Maypop flower...2011
Since the first Sunday in March, we've been studying "The Prayer Of Jesus", by Ken Hemphill. The prayer of Jesus, of course, is the Lord's Prayer. This study has gone along with what I've been trying to do in my life, that of improving my prayer life.
Some of the points Ken Hemphill brought out was what is the goal of prayer. He said that prayer wasn't having our requests granted, nor was it to alert God to our needs, but rather to spend time in conversation with our Father. Prayer is a constant, continuous moment-by-moment relationship with God! Not just during "prayer time".
Prayer allows us to express our love for God; to thank Him for being our provider; to give Him honor and the point that hit home for me, it brings us into the presence of God.
Some how this phrase caught my attention and stayed with me, giving me pause as to what it meant. Ken Hemphill says there are three common problems we introduce into our praying habits:
1. Phantom Prayer-we don't pray because we're too busy, too shamed from past mistakes, too
unsure of how to pray, too undisciplined or too self-reliant.
2. The Phony Prayer-this is where we try to impress with our prayers. Saying beautiful, flowery
words, almost bragging. Not listening to the Holy Spirit, but mentally creating a speech.
3. The Frivolous Prayer-Saying the same prayer again and again to convince God that this petition
was worth rewarding.
At times, I think I've done all three, which makes me more aware of praying to communicate with God,
to leave my current surroundings behind and actually be in His presence. Which brings up how I received a
mental thump from Him.
Have you ever received a mental thump, you know, you're doing something or listening and suddenly it's like you're thumped and it gets your attention. It's like a window in your mind opens and you're aware that it's like God is saying, listen up, this is important, this is what I mean. This is so you can learn and know.
The first Tuesday of each month, my church has an hour of prayer. We gather at five-thirty, when we immediately start praying, silently or some will pray out loud. This happened this past April 3rd, it was an amazing gathering, and when I was praying, I was alone with Him, even though there were others there. This is when I received my mental thump, it was as though He said, "this is what it feels like to be in my presence, this is what I wanted you to feel".
It was a turning point in my life, an insight and an understanding.