Browsing "Everyday Prayers"

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 5

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“Come let us worship and bow down.  Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”  Psalm 95:6

I loved to read as child and disliked being put to bed, especially if I was right in the middle of a good story.  One night, I got out of bed so I could try to read by the light coming in from under the door.  I don’t know how my mom knew that I was up, but she did.  She came into my room and found me on my knees by my bed.  She asked me what I was doing.  Trying to cover, I said, “I’m praying.”  She knew I wasn’t that devote or maybe it was the telltale book beside me.  She said, “Yes, you’d better start praying now” as she confiscated my book.

Growing up, kneeling for prayer was an Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 4

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Standing in prayer is often in Scripture associated with worship and praise.  “…to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord and likewise in the evening.”  1 Chronicles 23:30  In contrast, bowing down (kneeling) is more often associated with supplication, humility, and sacrifice.  (We’ll look at this more next week).

When we stand, we come from a place of confidence to exalt God and to lift Him high.  Those who know their own weakness, but also the joy of being covered by the blood of Jesus, come with boldness to the throne of glory, with assurance that their prayers are heard.  (Hebrews 4:16, Jude 24)

Standing is also associated with Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 3

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While last week’s blog was my least favorite expression of prayer, today’s is one of my favorites!  Praying in bed!  Growing up I was taught that it was not a good thing to fall asleep in prayer and so praying in bed was not approved of, since you might drift off.  However, I’m grateful for the freedom now to go to sleep praying and to wake up praying.

The Psalmist says “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You through the night watches.” (Psalm 63:6)  Or even “Let the saints be joyful, let them sing aloud on the their beds.”  (Psalm 149:5)  God enjoys our worship and our prayers even in bed!

I love to review the day with God and meditate on His goodness to me as I fall asleep.  Sometimes I might use breath prayers (see previous blogs) if I’m needing to relax and stop Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 2

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One of the most challenging positions of prayer for me is laying face down, prostrate before the Lord.  I don’t find it comfortable or convenient and maybe that is where its power lies.  To prostrate ourselves before God is an act of humility, desperation and worship.

Moses interceded for Israel, 40 days and nights, fasting and crying out to God for them (Deuteronomy 9:18).  Some translations say he “fell down before the Lord” or “Threw himself down before the Lord.”  That is some serious praying!

After the defeat at Ai, Joshua fell down with his face before the ark all day (Joshua 7:6-10), crying out to the Lord for wisdom and strategy.

David spent the night with his face to the floor praying for the life of his child (2 Samuel 12:15)

Faced with unspeakable calamity, Job chose to worship, throwing himself to the ground and crying out, “….the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20)

Prostrating oneself also demonstrates Read more »

Sep 25, 2013 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    No Comments

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 1

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God made us with a physical body, a soul and a spirit.  Sometimes we tend to think of each of these things as separate entities and yet we are created as an integrated whole.  This means prayer involves our physical body as well as our soul (mind) and spirit.  We will be taking the next couple of weeks to look at ways we use our body in prayer.

Positions in prayer shouldn’t be sterile, routine or a “have to”, but should flow naturally as part of our worship to God.  How we position our body can enhance our prayers and give them greater expression and definition.  They can be a reflection of what is going on in our hearts.

One unique expression I read about recently is an old Quaker prayer in which you Read more »

Sep 17, 2013 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    2 Comments

The Rosary

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This blog might surprise you, being written by a Protestant, however, I believe there are some interesting historical roots to the rosary and benefits from understanding this form of prayer.

Though there are differing opinions on the origins of the rosary, counting prayers dates back to the desert fathers and the Jesus Prayer (See blog on The Jesus Prayer).  In the ninth century there were monks who repeated the 150 psalms as a major part of their worship.  Keeping track of where they were necessitated some form of counting.  This was often done by putting 150 tiny pebbles in a small leather pouch and transferring them Psalm by Psalm to another pouch.  Since this could become troublesome, they began to use a thin rope with 50 knots in it and then counting through it three times.  As the Irish monks began to travel throughout Europe, they brought this form of devotion with them.

The specific prayers that were said evolved as well, from praying the Psalms, to a shorter Psalter, and beads replaced the knots.  The Psalters were divided Read more »

The Circle Maker

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There is an ancient story told of Honi, a Jewish man, who in a time of drought drew a circle in the sand and refused to leave it, praying day and night, until God sent rain.  It represents desperate and persistent type prayers that don’t give up.  I admit I don’t always have that kind of consistency and desperateness to my prayers.  At times, we can give up too soon, figuring that we let God know the need and we just wait around for Him to do something.  Yet it is the partnership that He loves, that we ask and keep asking and knocking until He opens that door, believing in His promises.

I recently finished the book “The Circle Maker” where Pastor Mark Batterson recounts the Honi story and shares his own experiences as a “circle maker.”  I was inspired and encouraged to Read more »

Examen, Part 2

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In researching for the previous blog, I came across a wonderful website that combines the Examen prayer and journaling – www.examen.me.  You can explore the site without creating an account, but to save your journal entries you can sign up for free.  I’ve really enjoyed this week using this method with journaling.  They have a variety of options to use in your devotional life.  The Prayer Examen is similar to the one I shared in my blog last week, with the added benefit of guided journaling.

They also offer a Scripture Examen which is essentially praying and journaling passages of Scripture.  Each day there is a different passage that you can choose either from the New or Old Testaments or a Psalm or the Gospels.

There is also a “Center Out Prayer” which guides you through praying for yourself, those close to you, your region, nation and the world including space to journal your prayers.

Finally, the Examen.me offers Read more »

Aug 26, 2013 - Everyday Prayers    No Comments

The Examen

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In our busy lives, we don’t often take time to reflect on our day and how God has moved in it.  The Examen is a method of reviewing the day, seeing God’s presence and confessing where we’ve “missed it.”  Avoid falling into the trap of condemnation, but recognize that the more understanding we have, the more of God’s grace we receive to avoid those mistakes in the future.  I’ve taken this Examen from The Practical Disciple (used by permission).  Next week we will look at a practical tool combining Examen and journaling.

Find a spot where you are not likely to be interrupted. Sit down and settle down. Relax. You may want to light a candle or dim lights just to mark a transition into prayer time.

1. Recall that you are in the presence of God. No matter where you are and no matter what you are doing God is present. God’s voice Read more »

The ACTS Prayer Model

Why use a prayer model?  Though prayer is about relationship, prayer models can be a powerful tool to keep you focused and increase your prayer life.  Too much of the time we know we should prayer, but we spend little time actually doing it.  Using a prayer model such as the FELLOWSHIP prayer model (See previous blogs) or the ACTS model described below can make a huge difference in your life as you consistently pray.  This model was developed by Joseph Company and instead of “reinventing the wheel,” I’ve included their description and sample guide.  There is also a great youtube video available – just type in “acts prayer model” and enjoy a video posted by The Practical Disciple

The ACTS Prayer Model is a tool to help guide you into the Presence of God during your personal devotional time. To use this tool, pray through each section and use the “Launching Pad” Scriptures to lead you to other passages.

Summary of ACTS Prayer Model Read more »