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Prayer

What good is it?

There are many images of prayer:

  • children asking God to ‘bless Mommy and Daddy, and Grandma and Grandpa, and the dog and the cat’ at bedtime;
  • kneeling with folded hands;
  • asking an invisible being for a wishlist of things;
  • pleading for the life of a loved one;
  • making deals with God in a time of crisis;
  • repeating a written prayer in church;
  • mumbling a mantra.

What good is prayer? And how is it most effectively done?

Like me, you may feel that life has a way of becoming a tangled mess at times. It seems inevitable. As you go through the day, or the week, problems just pile up, and solutions are often elusive. You hope that you can find the answers, the help you need.

Think about the cord on your hair dryer: it gets easily tangled and kinked. Or microphone wires. Or, worst of all, strings of Christmas lights. They can be so frustrating to try to untangle!

PRAYER is the time we take to sit down and unravel the threads of our lives that have become tangled up. Tight knots loosen as we let go of the issues and allow God to deal with them.

It doesn’t matter if that prayer is conducted kneeling beside our bed, in chorus with others in church, or walking along the street. When we open our hearts, take time to quieten our souls, and listen to God’s soft voice, we are praying.

And it’s amazing how enabling such prayer is. We can face difficult situations when we commit them to God.

Your hair dryer will still function with a tangled cord, but the reach will be much longer, and it will be much easier to handle, when the twists are smoothed out.

‘Is any one of you in trouble? They should pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing joyful songs in prayer.’ James 5:13

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