Monday, January 9, 2012

Refreshing Prayer and Praise

Some years ago my beloved pastor, Scott Bauer, (who went home to be with the Lord in 2003) wrote an in-depth prayer guide entitled "An Hour of Prayer - How Do You Do That?"  I had tucked it away in another Bible I have and hadn't used it in some time.  A couple of days ago I decided to begin using my favorite Bible again after having used another translation for the past few months.  The guide was in the pocket of the inside front cover of my Bible and I was delighted to come across it again.  I decided to use it during this first month of the New Year to refresh my prayer time and to reacquaint myself with some of the guidelines that Pastor Scott wrote about.  The prayer guide is basically a breakdown of the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.  I'd like to share these 7 special points with you over the next several weeks.

First, "Praise God for Who He is and what He has done."  "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name" (vs. 9).  I feel I can praise Jesus best by reviewing all He has done for me in previous months and years.  This always keeps me encouraged as I thank Him for all the many answers to prayer I've received, but I especially need to thank Him for precise things He has done for me.  I can think of so many!  I'm thankful for a loving husband and family, good friends, a wonderful church/church family, a warm and cozy home, food on the table, clothes on my back, good medical providers who help me by caring about my health and well being, a beautiful area in which to live that encompasses ocean, desert, forests and mountains - all nearby or within driving distance.  Obviously, I'm most thankful for salvation and the joy that freedom in Christ brings.  My list goes on and on, as I'm sure yours would, too. 

I like to think about recent answers to prayer that the Lord has provided.  I love to thank Him for the answers to small but important requests that come quickly.  Our laptop wasn't working last night, so I prayed that the Lord would give us wisdom in discovering what the problem was and how to correct it.  He did and it was a very simple solution!  Yes, we could have taken our computer to the local Geek Squad, but I always believe in going to God first for our every need.  And aren't we often surprised when the answers come so quickly?  It's at times like these that I love to praise and thank Him for being right on time! 

Have you ever praised God by some of the many names He's known as in His Word?  I like Jehovah-Rapha, "God our Healer."  Another favorite:  Jehovah-Jireh, "God our Provider."   He is the Anointed One, The Ancient of Days, The Bread of Life and the Bright and Morning Star, among other glorious descriptions. 

Next time I'll be focusing on the second line of the Lord's Prayer, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done..."  Please join me in thinking of new ways to thank and honor our King.  Let's fill our homes with prayer and praise in 2012! 

A pretty tea pot from a friend.  The inscription reads:  "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."  Psalm 37:7.   The tea pot is from the DaySpring collection.