John D. Telgren

Some of you may have seen this before. I read it several years ago and have had it filed away because it is a good reminder that God's plans may not always be our plans.
He was a Christian and he prayed

He asked for strength to do greater things
     He was given infirmity that he might do better things

He asked for riches that he might be happy;
     He was given poverty that he might be wise

He asked for power to have the praise of men;
     He was given weakness to feel the need for God

He received nothing that he asked for;
     But all that he had hoped for

His prayer seems unanswered,
     But he is most blessed

How often have you prayed in the last week aside from meal times and church services? How many total minutes have you prayed aside from those times this last week? I suspect many of us need some drastic improvement in our prayer life. That could be the key to many of the spiritual and emotional problems many of us are struggling with.

Learning how to pray doesn't come naturally. You have to learn how to pray. Knowing what to pray for doesn't come naturally. You have to discern God and his will before you are attuned to that. At one point, the disciples wanted Jesus to teach them to pray (Lk 11:1).

In teaching us how to pray, Jesus gives us this paradigmatic prayer:

"Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.] (Matt 6:9-13)."

Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be looking at this prayer more deeply. It is such a simple prayer, but is filled with meaning.

In the meantime, here are some passages to read concerning prayer. Matt 6:5-8; Luk 11:5-10; Rom 8:26-27; Eph 6:18; Phil 4:4-8; Heb 4:14-16; Jas 5:16-18.

If you will notice, there are seven verses here. That is because there are seven days this week. I challenge you to take some quiet time, reflect on a passage a night this week, and write your reflections in a note book, and pray.