This week we are looking at How to Pray.
There is a video by Pete Grieg the author that you can watch here:
This is Rev Becky’s reflection for this week on the video and Bible passage;
Matthew 6 v6-8 (Message version)
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role- play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
I was thinking this morning that exercise and prayer are similar processes for me. I never really feel like going out for a run, or taking an online class, my natural tendency is to lethargy! Each time I do it I notice how much I enjoy it, and how great I feel afterwards. Prayer is similar, I can easily put it off to a more convenient time and then when I do get round to it, I realise that I have actually really enjoyed it! Saying the Lord’s Prayer can seem really boring, it’s like reciting mumbo-jumbo sometimes, but this course and the book we are reading by Pete Grieg, tries to help us understand it better. It’s the prayer that Jesus taught us and it’s a good one! The passage above is the way that Jesus introduces it to his disciples. He is teaching them in the context of another tradition. They are all practicing Jews and have already been taught how to pray, but here Jesus says, just keep it simple, your Father knows you pretty well, so you can cut out all the showing off, and just focus on God instead.
I’m sure the majority of you reading this, are not show-offs, but I really am at times. I love attention from a group or crowd, and I can get carried away! The simple act of talking to God is so important. It’s like my marriage. If I don’t say good morning to my husband, and how are you, or comment on something we are doing, or even smile at him sometimes, then our relationship quickly deteriorates! If I just told my husband about all my problems and never listened to his response we wouldn’t get very far either! With God he just loves to be acknowledged as a part of our day and he loves to walk with us. So we don’t have to make it complicated. That’s quite a relief I think. I hope you enjoy the video, and there are some discussion questions you might want to think about with a friend or join us for Friday prayer this week on Zoom.
Keep it simple: “your prayer life is at its best at its simplest” Q. What do you mostly talk to God about?
Keep it real: “Don’t role-play before God”
Q. Do you feel like you have to act a certain way before God when you pray? Why or why not?
Keep it up: “Don’t give up praying too soon”
Q. Do you find it challenging to persevere in prayer? How can we be encouraged to keep going?