National Day of Prayer

Fold Your Hands with Me

“Our Father who art in heaven,  hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,

forever and ever.  Amen.”

I have been a mind that has become so tired, it doesn’t seem to grasp much information. I have been two eyes that haven’t seen far enough and I have been a heart that has carried way too much. I lie to myself and say that I am bored but in reality I am restless for answers. I have grown and diminished, in my faith. I have reached so far for things, but once I found an answer it was to difficult to decipher. So I stopped. I stopped flooding my brain with theologian books. I stopped scouring the bible looking for my answers, and they trying to decode them. I took a deep breath and I waited. I listened to my own heart beat slow down and after awhile, I feel. I dropped  to the ground, I folded my hands tightly, and I prayed. “God, take it away, the pain, the restlessness and when it is gone just hold me.”

I had written this essay for one of my classes, I was reading over it and I ended up  pressing delete. Because I realized that I needed to be honest with myself, and the previous paper was just a cheep imitation of what was happening. I am in a state of wondering. If there was ever a time to be a Nomad, I would choose right now. Because that is exactly what my mind feels like at the moment. I am still in a process of really listening for the Lord. However, I would like to think that as the days, and months and eventually years go by I will hear the Lord’s voice more and more. I use to scoff at those who would say that “God talked to me” or “I heard the Lord’s voice”. But if I don’t have faith in God, then what are my prayers?  Far it be from me that I would just want God to answer me, and do what I want. Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I think that those around me, have given up on that leap of faith. That courage the disciples took to follow Christ. Sure they had Jesus with them physically, they could put their arm around him, and I might not be able to. However, if God tells us that all things are possible then why couldn’t hearing his voice in prayer be possible. So many people in this world, are lost and confused. But if our lives as christian’s starts to look similar to everyone are we any better? If we shy away from the thought of God speaking to us, then we are no better then the unbeliever.

So what does it look like to pray to our Heavenly Father? To be different from others, so that instead of looking like everyone else we stand out. Standing out so much others will questions and then we can give the glory to the Lord.  John 17:20-23 says, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Our prayers are also in for that one-on-one time with the Lord, with our Father.  Matthew 6:5-15 gives a excellent portray of what that all means. So that how we live in time with the Lord will be seen in our hearts and on our faces.  Matthew 6:5-6 says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” At the time I don’t know what the reward means however, in a different translations it might help. From The Message bible, verse six says, “The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Instead of knowing the reward we will get from God after doing something right, it is shifted to developing a better understanding and a stronger relationship with God.

“Prayer is simply communication with God who loves us and invites our prayer. it is important part of the Christian life, and a great blessing. Our gracious God invites us to talk with him-to share our joys and sorrows, our need and desires. He promises to hear us and he promise to answer,” Called to Believe, Teach and Confess by Steven Muller. Yet, prayer seems like the most intimidating action to do with others. I was so nervous to pray in class in high school. It had nothing to do with God. Sadly, he was the furthest thing from my mind. It was my own fears about if I would mess up. Satan can even use something as wonderful as a special connection with God to leak sin in. I allow these fears to corrupt my time in prayer with God.  I am very blessed to have a godly people in my life. I look up to my grandpa. When my family is around he and my grandma, he always prays. It is this wonderful prayer. He always thanks those who have prepared the food, and then the food itself. He also remembers to thank God for his sacrifice. My grandpa is wonderful at prayer. I have come to realize he, like so many others in my life always remember to be very thankful and humble in their prayers. They also are very true to who they are. They don’t embellish their prayers to sound like someone they are not. They just pray to the Lord through Jesus Christ. As stated in John 14:6, “ I am the way the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.” This continuous relationship with the Lord is rooted in prayer.

When I was younger I was given a beautiful form of, “Prayer Hands,” as a music box. It was shaped as two hands in all white and there are pretty pink flowers around the border. You twist the nob on the bottom and it sings, “The Lord’s Prayer. I have always like that visual representation of prayer. I was curious to see  if there was more to the story, and there was.

There were these two brothers, who lived in a small village near Nuremberg They grew up with may siblings and their father worked long hours. The two were aspiring artist. They flipped a coin to see who would work in the mines and who would go and study art. Albrecht won and went away to school for his art. Albert worked in the mines for almost four years paying for his brother tuition. When the brothers were reunited, Albrecht  had all the teaching he needed  so he wanted to give that same opportunity  to Albert go to school. However, the toll of working in the mines had taken everything out of him and he could not even hold his hand up. So to show the sacrifice of one brother to another, Albrecht  drew his brother’s hands together. It was originally called “Hands, however later it was called, “Prayer Hands.”

This world isn’t easy. There are so many struggles and challenges in the world. It is very easy to get swept up in the pain and problems. However, in hope we can pray to the Lord and know that he is listening. In today’s society a person can really wonder if someone is there for them. But no one should worry that the Lord isn’t. So my prayer for you, is that you know a few things. 1) You are a Child of God  2) The Lord of the entire universe, not only knows you by name but loves you unconditionally. 3) Even though you and everyone else in the world, including me  should receive eternal punishment and death, God called down at your baptism and said, “You Are Mine.” Just three things, like my grandma always says, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Prayer has a funny way of sneaking through our defense. I think it is God’s gentle way of saying, I am your God, I love you and I will be with your through, everything.

Amen

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