Prayer - Douglas Christian Larsen
Colorado Springs — The somewhat simple concept of prayer — so simple that children rarely have a qualm in understanding, and even joyously participating in the activity, prayer — is interpreted very differently by all the cultures of the world, and even quite drastically different within Christianity.
The late D. James Kennedy made grandiose, elegant, inflated prayers, often spending thirty seconds to say: "Thank you, Lord" in the highest language possible. Others believe that prayer should never be uttered aloud, while others believe it is best when said aloud, and loudly. Some say simple is best. Some say you should only read prayers from a Book of Prayers, others that you should always compose your prayers on the fly. Others say it is best to not even understand what you are saying when you pray.
God knows. We do not need to impress Him, or follow a set rule, or best practice. God deals with people One-on-one, individually, quietly. He is the "still small voice." Regardless of religion, or denomination, or method, God is there, and He listens, and cares, and loves.
Imagine looking out over a beautiful, sprawling garden, watching two beloved children, your twins, play in the garden. They do not realize that you see them, that you are watching them.
Both are doing things, things good and bad. And you see. You know everything.
Later, they come to you, your beloved twins. The first tells you everything, bragging about the bad things, boasting of the good things, delighted in her play. You knew all this, but what a swelling burst of love as this little girl tells you everything.
The other twin tells you some, in his turn, but he keeps hidden the things he should not have been doing, that messing about with the ants, breaking the flower pot, and throwing mud at his sister.
You knew all this. Your love is not lessened by his bad-boy antics, not even his reluctance to share everything with you.
But your beloved child's joy is reduced, as he shares with you, especially as he refuses to share with you. You know everything, and you love this little boy every bit as much as his twin sister. You assure him, he can tell you everything.
He places a burden upon his own back. He piles on the weight, even if it is invisible. He walks away from you with a feeling of guilt, and it is heavy. The weight is debilitating.
We are told to practice constant prayer. And yet no clear-cut advice is offered on how this constant prayer throughout the day should take place.
But God knows everything, and He loves us just the same. We can tell Him everything. We should tell Him everything, not because He does not know, but because offering Him everything looses burdens, it breaks bondage, it sets us free, on a daily basis, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis. And most of us need that freedom, that peace beyond understanding, that ephemeral goodness washing through us.
We ache for it.
And the good news is that you do not have to "sign a pledge," or stand up in a restaurant and shout at the top of your lungs. You do not have to transform into an angry, judgmental person. You do not even have to tell anyone. You can talk to God. Right now. Or later. But generally, the sooner you talk to Him, the better.
Just talk to God. Tell Him every detail. And you will experience a very real peace that you cannot hardly understand.
delight yourselves in the Lord
yes and find your joy in Him
be known for your gentleness
and never forget the nearness of our God
and don’t worry
whatever is going to come
just tell God every detail
and the peace of God
that no one understands
will come to you
no, don’t worry
just tell Him every detail
and His peace
will come to you
Try it. Talk to Him. Just tell Him everything, even if you are embarrassed, even if you are weighed down by guilt. Tell Him what scares you, what steals your confidence, where you think even He has been unfair with you. Tell Him why you are mad. Go ahead, yell at Him. He will listen.
God bless you and your family!
Art et Amour Toujours
Douglas Christian Larsen
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