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Prayer - May the words of my mouth
SERMON – Jesus wants us to ask, seek and knock
A bible class teacher once asked his group this question:
"When you are in trouble, what do you usually do?"
He then gave them three options from which to choose:
1. Take care of it yourself;
2. Phone a friend and ask them what they would do;
3. Pray to God for help.
Only two in the class of 35 said 3. Pray to God.
Most of them chose 1. Try to work it out themselves;
only a handful said 2. Ask a friend to help.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says "Ask and it will be given to you,
for everyone who asks receives."
Too often, prayer is not our first response to trouble.
Our natural response is to try to work out a solution by ourselves,
using our own skills, our contacts, our money;
if that doesn't work, then we might turn to a close relative or friend,
and only if that doesn't help,
do we try praying.
God is our last resort!
We should try to bear in mind that Christianity is a practical religion;
it is not just about believing certain things,
Pie in the sky when you die;
it is also about us doing things for God,
And about God doing things for us,
so we should apply bible truths and doctrines to everyday life.
If we believe God loves us, we should go to Him more often.
If we believe He is Almighty, then we should take advantage of His power.
If we believe we are His children and the apple of His eye,
then we should not be afraid or embarrassed to ask Him to help.
If we believe we are beneficiaries of grace rather than subjects of the Law,
praying to God should be our first response, not our last resort.
Different religions have different ways of praying.
Jewish men must pray at 3 set times every day,
and they must face Jerusalem when they do,
and they should pray in Hebrew,
and they must wear a hat (Yarmelke or Kippah)
when they pray as a sign or reminder that God is above them,
and in public prayer they must wear a prayer shawl (Tallit)
to remind them of the tents their ancestors lived in during the Exodus journey.
Muslims must pray to Allah in Arabic,
they must pray at least five times every day,
and it must be in the direction of Mecca,
and they must stand, sit or kneel on a prayer mat,
and only after washing their hands, face and feet.
Sikh men must wear a turban when they pray
and Buddhists must use prayer beads or a prayer wheel when they pray.
Roman Catholics and high Anglicans usually cross themselves
at the beginning and end of their praying,
and Catholics usually use rosary beads when they pray to Mary.
But at least they all pray, why?
Because as it said in an old BT advert, “It’s good to talk”.
All religions believe it’s a good thing to talk to God,
to tell God they love Him, to confess their sins, to pray for others,
and to pray for themselves.
As Evangelical Christians we have no rules or regulations
about how or how often we pray,
and we believe that we can pray at any time, in any place, in any language,
and as many times or as few times as we want to.
The good thing about this is that prayer should be easy to do,
and therefore something we do a lot,
but the unfortunate thing is that by not having rules that order us to pray,
many of us do not pray very much,
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