I am Getting Better at Praying

That may sound strange coming from a pastor but the truth is, I’ve struggled with praying in the past.  I have felt almost forced to pray rather than want to pray.  But all of that is changing.  Today, I love to pray and I spend a good portion of my time praying!  Let me show you three parts of most of the prayers I say to God.

1) Thank you!
  I’m learning to focus on all the good things I have been given rather than focusing solely on the things I still want but don’t have.  I often find myself thanking God for you – if you go to my church, or you’re a friend or part of my family.

2) Help me!  I ask God to continue to help me become more like His Son.  Help me may mean things like, “help me love the things you love more and help me stop loving the things only I love less.”  It may also mean, “help me be sensitive to ways you want to use me more for your glory.”  Either way, “Lord help me!” 

3) Help others!  My list of people who I’m praying for seems to constantly grow.  I don’t think that is because I’m meeting more people with needs.  I think my list of people who I feel led to pray for is growing as I learn to care enough about them to consistently pray for them.  There are people that I believe I have prayed for thousands of times!  And I believe God continues to work in their lives as I pray.  Prayer is powerful!  If you’d like for me to pray for you please let me know because I love praying for people like you!

Here’s a sample of a short prayer I might pray, “Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you are doing in my life and the life of others.  You are so good and I am so fortunate to know you and have you to talk to daily.  I love you!  Lord, would you please continue to help me be more like Jesus?  I really want Him to be seen in me so I need your help to remove all the things in my life that get in the way from others seeing you.  And would you please help _________? (insert your name if you’ve asked me to pray for you).  I know they really need your help, your healing and your love so would you help them in the way you know to be best and help me love them just as you love them too!  May your will be done in all things, In Jesus name, Amen!”

I bet you’re thinking something like, “That’s not so different from the way I pray!”  I bet you do pray in a similar way!  But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that the words aren’t as important as the attitude.  When I pray I believe God will do the things He wants to do and my desire is to pray His will – not mine.  So I have to seek His will before I pray His words.  That may be the best part of prayer – the preparation that comes with seeking Him and His will first.

This Sunday I’m hoping to share a prayer that Jesus prayed for you almost 2000 years ago.  It’s still His prayer for you today so it’s my prayer for you as well. I hope you can join us this Sunday at Wildwood as we explore the topic of “Owning Oneness” together.  See you this Sunday and until then, I’ll be praying for you!

~Pastor Ric