Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Beauty of Prayer

The power of prayer is unimaginable. Because we don't always see its immediate effects, many people, especially those who have just begun praying, don't understand the immensity of this gift from the Lord. The Lord hears every prayer, even the merest whisper of prayer - vocal prayer, wordless prayer, contemplative prayer, community prayer and the silent prayers of the heart that we are not even aware of - even the Holy Spirit within us prays. Prayer pierces heaven and we should have complete confidence that our prayers are heard and answered....every single one. I like to imagine prayer as beams of light which pierce the clouds of darkness around us. I came across this quote that really made me think of the power of prayer:

   "Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. Christ has willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good. Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains. Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, bring travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, over-rules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.
  All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee...The birds rise and lift themselves up to heaven...
   What more need be said on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord himself prayed. To Him be honor and power for ever and ever. Amen."
                                        From the Treatise On Prayer by Tertullian (d. 259)

Yes, Tertullian, I think you've covered this nicely.

7 comments:

  1. I love talking and writing and reading about prayer. Prayer is everything if we want to have a relationship with God. Good post. Thanks!

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  2. Yes, Mary I agree Tertullian covered everything and then some in his quote on prayer. I think that even those of us who know the power of prayer forget or don't realize its impact. I like how he calls it a way to conquer God. So true-I don't think God refuses anything we ask Him with humility and love.It may not be in the way we want or expect but He always answers.
    Thanks and God bless.

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  3. Colleen,
    I do too! Prayer is one of my favorite things to write about. It is a gift to us, and one far greater than any of us can ever possibly realize!

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  4. Karin,
    I love this quote. There's something so poetic about it :) Everyone and everything glorifies God in some way or another. The animals glorify Him by simply...well...being animals :) I believe God answers all prayer. When people say that their prayers are not answered it's often because what they are requesting is not always best for them (at least at that time). Prayer is more than just asking God for things, anyway (though there is nothing wrong with this). Prayer helps us get to know God and opens us up to receive his love.

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  5. Mary, our late pastor, who I speak of often, used this little prompt to help us remember the different ways we should pray:
    1. What do you say when you want/need something?-Please

    2.What do you say when you do something wrong? I'm sorry

    3. What do you say when you receive something? Thank you.

    4. What do we say to those we love? I love you.

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  6. Karin,
    Great prompt! Your late pastor was very wise :)

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  7. Karinann, I love this reminder from your pastor. It's so easy to remember and helps keep us from overloading on the "gimmees" - "Gimme this, gimmee that". If we can say "I love you" to someone, we surely must say it to God. I should say it to Him more often.

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