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ROBERT LEWIS WAS GEORGE WASHINGTON’S PRIVATE SECRETARY. DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE PRESIDENCY, HE SAID THAT HE ACCIDENTALLY WITNESSED WASHINGTON’S PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, BOTH MORNING AND EVENING. HE SAW HIM IN A KNEELING POSTURE, WITH AN OPEN BIBLE BEFORE HIM; AND HE SAID THAT HE BELIEVED SUCH WAS HIS DAILY PRACTICE. HIS CUSTOM WAS TO GO TO HIS LIBRARY AT 4 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING FOR DEVOTIONS.
Barbara Kerby has written a humorous reflection about her first experience of driving. Barbara’s father took her to the high school parking lot for driving lessons. For this particular lesson, Barbara’s three-year-old sister rode along in the backseat. While trying to negotiate a turn, Barbara hit the curb. From the backseat she heard a small voice say, “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.” Barbara slammed on the brakes, turned around to the backseat and yelled, “What are you talking about?” Her little sister replied, “Your driving is scaring me, and that’s the only prayer I know.”
BARING MY SOUL
When we carried our son and daughter-in-law to the airport in Birmingham, as they left to go overseas, I cried. I had told myself not to cry. Get this picture. My oldest son felt led of God to spend his life serving in southeast Asia. He was about to leave. I knew that for the rest of his life I would only see him for short visits. I knew that I would never spend extensive time with my grandchildren. I had the audacity to tell myself that I was not going to cry. When they started through security, I cried. I didn’t just cry. I wailed. People were staring at my as if there was something wrong with me. There was something wrong. My heart was broken. I cried! There was no pretense. There was no cover up. People could read me like a book.
That is what happens when we get real with God. We bare our soul to Him.
PRAYER'S BEST POSITION
Three ministers were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong--the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.
By this time the phone man couldn’t stay ...
Bruce Wilkinson has written an excellent little book called The Prayer of Jabez. In the book, Wilkinson explains the reluctance believers have toward having a greater influence for Christ in their world.
He explains this reluctance by using two mathematic equations. The first equation describes the reluctant believer. It looks like this.
“My abilities + experience + training +my personality and appearance + my past + the expectations of others = my assigned territory” (Wilkinson, p. 40).
The prayer would sound something like this. “Lord, please use my abilities, such as they are. Give me the experience and training I need. Make me a better person and don’t let anyone find out what I’m really like. Help me to be what everyone expects me to be so I can have more influence.”
Wilkinson writes, “Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernormal God who will do His work through them . . . That means God’s math would look more like this: My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanded territory” (Wilkinson, p. 41).
A father, walking past his 5 year old daughter’s room one night, proudly noticed she was on her knees in prayer. Listening in, he heard this curious prayer- "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"- repeated several times. When she was finished, he asked her what it meant: "God is really smart," she said, "when I don’t know what to pray about, I just say the alphabet and He figures it out for me"
Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses, and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile.
A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.
"I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon...
A pastor and his wife decide to have the church deacons and their wives over for dinner. It was quite an undertaking, but the pastor and his wife want to be "Salt and Light" for the leaders of their church. When it comes time for dinner, everyone is seated and the pastor's wife asks her little four year old daughter if she will say grace. (As a note to new parents: Don't do this!)
The girl says "I don't know what to say."
Her mom tells her, "Just say what I say honey."
Everyone bows their head and the little girl says, "O dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner! Amen!"
A dear friend, Donna Smith, once told me, “I never say Amen I always have so much to pray about.” That’s probably good advice; when you’ve got God on the line, you wouldn’t want to hang up the phone!