Can my prayers be wrong? Maybe not wrong, but there is a best way to pray.
I am still reading in Colossians, about to come to the end. In Chapter 4 this morning, Paul is encouraging the church about prayer. He says we should devote (give all or a large part of your time and resources to) to prayer. Do it with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Is that how I pray? Sometimes, but a lot of times it can be an after thought. Not a last resort thought. Not I have tried everything else and now I am going to try prayer. More like, I had to get up and do this and this and I ran out of time thought. Which is no excuse. Or, I do it as I am doing five other things. I do it while I am driving, or while I am sitting at work, or as I am drifting off to sleep.
Those are not wrong, they are still prayers. They are more like a snack prayer. They are not the devoted, alert, focused prayers Paul is talking about. Our diet isn’t healthy if we live on snacks alone. Our prayer life isn’t either.
My prayers are filled with thankfulness. I am not always sure they come from a thankful heart though. I have to check myself sometimes, to make sure that I am not just filling them with thank you’s. That I am not just following some formula. Praise God, be thankful, present petitions. Not the mimicking heart I talked about with Bella and the bubbles. I say thankful things you give me what I asked for.
Paul also asked the church to pray for them, he says pray God will give us MANY opportunities to share the good news. Do I pray for that? On occasion I have prayed God send someone across my path today that I can tell about you. But I am sure I have never thrown in the word many.
Then my favorite Paul says pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Paul the great evangelist prayed, let me present your message clearly. Part of why I am reluctant to speak up sometimes is because I am afraid I won’t be clear. I love to write, because I can think before I put the words down. When I speak I talk faster than my brain thinks, and sometimes it comes out in a ramble of things, things that are confusing and don’t make sense. I haven’t prayed about that, that God would make my message clear.
Paul wraps it up by saying. Live wisely around the world, make the most of every opportunity; it probably won’t come again. Let you conversations be gracious, so that you will have the right response to everyone. If I am gracious and kind in all my conversations, I won’t have to worry if I said something that will hurt someone’s feelings or offend someone. Remember the old saying “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. If you speak kindly to people they are more likely to listen to what you have to say.
God Today let me pray without distractions, with a sincere and grateful heart. I will come in contact with many people today, there will be many opportunities, let me be courteous, and obedient in them. Let my words be clear in proclaiming your message. Let my conversations be kind and gracious to all those around me today. Amen