May 30,2010: Quiz: How likely to pray in public?

This quiz I found in a daily devotional which I read aloud to my Mom after breakfast.  I don’t consider her public.  There are printed prayers after each article about two sentences long.  It’s nice. It’s decent.  It makes one feel satisfaction at having touched bases with their spiritual obligation for the day.

On a level of 1 to 10 I’d give it a zero.

I consider myself of a reformed faith.  I reformed my own personal faith. That is I used to try hard to believe a set of doctrines, but saw others defending their side’s doctrines against someone else’s dogma getting into the role of ‘True Believer’ at the crusades.  I may have even entered some form of this while on duty passing out tracts at University Ave. in Palo Alto to students going to Stanford.  I was passing out information and wanted to give those students the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Jesus like I had.

You can only give what you have gotten for yourself.  Or a tract about someone else’s experience.

I enjoy praying out loud now that I have progressed past standardized formulas.  My Dad used to say at the dinner table, “We thank Thee, Lord, for these Thy bountiful Blessings and for the many opportunities to be Thy Dutiful Stewards, Amen.”  It’s a good prayer.  Basically Dad meant God gave us Life, a Savior who did His job, and Responsibilities with strength and smarts to do them.  Our job was to do our duty with as little whining as possible.  I loved my Dad.

Presbyterians are not supposed to get excited over their faith.  Prayers are to be written out ahead and edited to not give offence to anyone.  I see the congregational confession we are to read in unison printed in the bulletin.  It is not asking forgiveness as much for doing any dastardly deed, but for omitting charitable kindnesses expected of a good Christian.  Sloth and inattention, rather than greed and lust.  And it is printed just afterwards, “Friends, in Christ we are forgiven.”

I went to a Presbyterian college, but they let in a gal who was a wee bit radical.  She had sweetly invited me to her ‘P.T.’ – (prayer thing) in her dorm room.  We six  sat in a ring on the rug and held hands.  With eyes closed we began saying a personal prayer out-loud squeezing the next hand to pass it on.  I began to sweat!  My hands and tongue began to swell.  Finally the hand squeezed mine, I was ‘On’!  In desperation I opened my mouth, “Oh, Lord, I thank Thee for the opportunity to be here tonight.”

Do you have a story of when you switched from aimless token prayers to actual communicating with your Heavenly Father?  Since you can’t see Him in concrete flesh and blood in His full Glory, we are taught to close our eyes and so close out the world in respect to the ‘unseen’ world where God resides.  That is one teaching.

I had many years of another style of praying to God.  This teacher declared that not only the realm of the unseen belonged to God the Spirit, but the world of the ‘seen’ belonged to the Son without whom not a thing existed that did not come from His Glory Substance of Light, Fire and Smoke.

“Don’t close your eyes like Adam trying to hide from God behind your bushes of eyebrows!”  The preacher declared.  “You wouldn’t close your eyes on a friend in conversation!  You wouldn’t expect your teenager to come begging for the car keys head down and eyes closed!”  God is in Heaven and Jesus is in His Glory Cloud looking down at you.  Look up!  Pray as Jesus did, looking up!  The proof is in the results!  Jesus knew where to look when praying, He looked up!  Eyes open!”

This preacher really expanded my repertoire of praying styles and expectations.  “Why have a prayer line with a man laying hands on you?  You can, for it is in the Bible to come to the Elders for anointing with oil for the prayer of Faith to save the sick.  But the real Elder is Jesus who will lay His Glory hand on you and cure you from the inside out.  Who do you want to get the Glory?  Man or Jesus?”  We entered in group impartations for a greater focus to our faith and all performed activity- faith- releasers to ‘work our faith’.

Here I want to explain impartations and faith-releasers.  An impartation is when you are a carrier of a great gift and the final one who is supposed to receive this gift is in front of you.  The act of giving the gift is seen as you imparting it to them.

If the gift is unseen then how is the receiver to know when to believe they are getting it?  Something tangible has to be given as a signal.  That is called a faith-releaser.

For example, the woman with a hemorrhage made a proclamation to her mind that ‘When I touch the hem of His garment I shall be whole.”  The act of touching Jesus’ hem released her faith and the gift of healing was imparted from Jesus’ energy body to hers.  Jesus felt ‘Virtue’ leave him so He knew someone had touched Him with Faith.  Others touched, but had not released their faith with any declared expectation.  Notice she did not pray as such.

I don’t know about you, but I like results.  She knew the guy who had the goods and used a personal approach to get it.  There are plenty of printed prayers, but I like the one remembered by one author whose mother always got results with, “Hey, God!”

Did you know God has a sense of humor?  Really!

I tested God out once.  I was waiting for the next shift person in our community to bring my car so I could get to another care-giving job 10 miles away.  They were late and my staff supervisor said to call the lady and tell her I’d be late.  I was fuming with irritation and concern for my job.  Finally getting my car and joining early morning traffic, I decided to tell God how I felt.  I challenged Him to make me feel better, for I was sure all Joy had left the earth and there was none to be had.

Do you know that kind of personal connection was all it took.  Don’t let anybody tell you it takes a long time to recover from a ‘funk’.  As I drove in to the parking area of the complex, I saw two gals in a golf cart …one held aloft a bouquet of twelve bright yellow helium Happy face balloons.  They were all grinning at me!  Oh, my!  The giggle started in the pit of my stomach and grew into a busting out of laughter with tears in my eyes at the joke.
“You did it!  My God, You not only heard me, but you actually did it!”

Now I can thank God for opportunities with the rest of them, but I know of the opportunities and am really truly thankful.  Now I can shorten my once belabored prayers to a shorthand I know both God and I are privy to.

“Find-a-lujah” is to send Holy Spirit to search and bring a lost item to hand.

“Sweet-a-lujah” is to calm ruffled feelings.

“Translation-a-lujah” is to get where we are going even if the tank looks empty.

“Blue-sky-alujah” is a temporary halt in the storm.

“Fragrance- of Roses- alujah” is to get the aroma of Jesus to fill the room.

I pray “Wisdom-alujah” for the oil-spill to cease.

Perhaps that is one for “Miracle-a-lujah!”

There is an admonition in the Bible to ,”Pray without ceasing.”  I read that one’s heart beat can be dedicated to signal a continual prayer.  The author wanted his to say, “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me.”  Maybe a Yogi would want his to say, “Om.”  Mine, I’ll just have it say, “Thank you Jesus, Halle-lujah!”

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