Summary: Your life is NOT a fairy tale and "pray continually" needs to be woven into the fabric of your daily life.
THE FAIRY TALE OF PRAYER
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (fairytales4u.com/story/jackand.htm)
Once upon a time there lived a poor widow who had an only son named Jack. She was very poor, for times had been hard, and Jack was too young to work. Almost all the furniture of the little cottage had been sold to buy bread, until at last there was nothing left worth selling except for the cow, Milky White. One sad day Milky White gave no milk, and then things looked bad indeed.
[At this point in the story, I would counsel the widow and her son Jack to pray.]
"Never mind, mother," said Jack. "We must sell Milky White. Trust me to make a good bargain," and away he went to the market. For some time, he went along very sadly.
[It is at this point that Jack should be lifting this entire situation to God in prayer. God please aid me in selling the cow. Please give me discernment in what to do and who to sell it to. While he was gone, his mother should be diligently praying for her son that he make good decisions and finds favor when selling the cow. There is power in prayer especially when all people involved are lifting up the same situation in prayer.]
Jacked walked along until he met a butcher. "Where are you going ?" asked the butcher. "I am going to market to sell the cow,” said Jack. "It's lucky I met you," said the butcher. "I will save you the trouble of going so far." With this, he put his hand in his pocket, and pulled out five curious-looking beans. The butcher said about the beans, “they're the most wonderful beans that ever were known. If you plant them overnight, by the next morning they'll grow up and reach the sky. But to save you the trouble of going all the way to market, I don't mind exchanging them for that cow of yours."
[Again, when faced with this monumental choice, it would be advisable for Jack to pray about the opportunity presented to him. Prayer is talking with God when our spirit connects with Him. Prayer is both talking to God and listening to Him.]
"Done!" cried Jack, who was so delighted with the bargain that he ran all the way home to tell his mother how lucky he had been. But oh how disappointed the poor widow was! "Off to bed with you!" she cried; and she was so angry that she threw the beans out of the window into the garden. So poor Jack went to bed without any supper, and cried himself to sleep.
The rest of Jack’s story which is familiar to most of us does include a giant beanstalk, but it also includes murder, theft, destruction, more disappointment, materialism, greed, and death. For some reason and somehow, the story does end with a “happily ever after.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray continually”
THE THREE BEARS (fairytales4u.com/story/threbear.htm)
Once upon a time there was a pretty girl named Goldilocks who lived in a far-off country. One day she was sitting on the hearthrug playing with her two kittens, and you would have thought she was as happy as a queen, and quite contented to stay where she was instead of wanting to run about the world meddling with other people's property.
[When faced with temptations and urges that we know are wrong, this is definitely the time to pray and ask God for guidance and strength to resist temptation. In communicating with God, we are connecting ourselves with His power and He will lead us away from temptation and show us a way out.]
But it happened that she was rather a mischievous little maid, and could not resist teasing her pets, so one of them scratched her, and then she would play with them no longer. She got up and trotted away into the wood behind her mother's house, and it was such a warm, pleasant day that she wandered on and on until she came into a part of the wood where she had never been before.
[Whenever we face the unknown, prayer should always be our first reaction. There is nothing unknown to God and He can direct our paths, give us discernment in making decisions, and help our reactions to the unknown. If we want to face the unknown with God Almighty at our side, we must come to Him in prayer.]
Now, in this wood there lived a family of three bears. The first was a great big bear, the second was a middle-sized bear, and the third was a tiny bear. They all lived together in a funny little house, and they were very happy. Goldilocks stopped when she came to the bears' house, and began to wonder who lived there.