Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Inward Disciplines...Prayer

Your own children can and should be changed through your prayers. Pray for them in the daytime with their participation; pray for them at night when they are sleeping. One delightful approach is to go into the bedroom, as a couple, and lightly place your hands on them and bless them (Mark10:13-16) He has given you the ability to do the same. Blessed is the child whi is blessed by adults who know how to bless!

"Flash Prayers" is an excellent idea developed by Frank Laubach in his many books on prayer. He purposed to learn how to live so that "to see anybody will be to pray! To hear anybody, as these children talking, that boy crying, may be to pray!" Flashing hard and straight prayers at people is a great thrill and can bring interesting results. I have tried it, inwardly asking the Joy of the Lord and a deeper awarness of His presence to rise up within every person I meet. Sometimes people reveal no response, but other times they turn and smile as if addressed. In a bus or plane we invite Jesus to walk down the aisles, touching people on the shoulder and saying, "I love you. My greatest delight would be to forgive you and give you good things. You have beautiful qualities still in the bud that I would unfold if only you will say yes. I'd love to rule your life if you'll let me." If thousands of us "experiment" with "swishing prayers" at everyone we meet and would share the results, we could learn a great deal about how to pray for others. We could change the whole atmosphere of a nation if thousands of us would constantly throw a cloak of prayer around everyone in our circle of nearness. Units of prayer combined like drops of water, make an ocean which defies resistance.

We must never wait until we feel like praying before we actually pray for others. Prayer is like any other work; we may not feel like working, but once we are at it for a bit, we begin to like working. We may not feel like practicing the piano, but once we play for awhile, we feel like doing it. In the same way, our prayer muscles need to be limbered up a bit and once the blood flow of intercession begins, we will find that we feel like praying.

We need not worry that this work will take up too much of our time, for "It takes no time, but it occupies all our time." --Excerpts from Richard Foster's Book A Celebration of Discipline


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