Friday, January 13, 2012

What is prayer really about?

Scripture: John 15:1-14
Does God answer the prayer petitions of football players hoping their kicker will win the game for them? If God doesn't care about that, how can we be sure God cares for our prayers? Perhaps this is just a faulty way of looking at prayer. Instead of looking at what prayer achieves, we should begin with what prayer is. How would you answer that question? I'd answer it by saying that prayer is a conversation between us and the God who loves us more than we can love ourselves. With that as a the starting place, shouldn't we pray about everything that's on our hearts. Does that mean we'll get what we hope for? Not necessarily, but that's not the point is it. The point is simply being in the presence of the God who loves us. What happens from there is in God's hands.
With that here is a summary of one more prayer App and three other devotions that can used to help deepen your prayer life and ultimately your relationship with God. 
PrayerProLite - Definitely for the OCD type of spirituality. Begin by picking a category of what you'd like prayer for, "Wisdom, Peace, Relationships, etc." and click "Let's Pray" and not only will there be a prayer, a short section called "God's Promise," and a Scripture verse, with one more click you can email that prayer from the interface. Under the "Requests" tab you can schedule prayers. If you'd like to pray for a person or particular topic for a period of time you can do so. You can move prayers to the "Not Answered" or "Answered" folder. I like I would find this as more guilty inducing  and makes prayer something you check off, but you might find it helpful.
The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide (Online Edition). The Upper Room has been a favorite of United Methodist for over 75 years. This devotional begins with a Scripture reference. gives a "Thought for the Day" and short, often one sentence prayer followed by a "Prayer Focus." You can also submit your prayer request to their Upper Room Living Prayer Center or post a comment in blog format about the devotional. 
Under Upper Room you can link to Method-X ( This website is great for learning about various ways of praying. You can choose to learn about prayer methods (9 different ways), create your own Sacred Space, take a Spiritual Types Test, Learn about Saints, or share joys and request on a Prayer Wall . 
Common Prayer: For Ordinary Radicals. There is a book and website (they are coming out with a pocket version). Modeled on the Book of Common Prayer that has been in light of Neo-Monastic movement. This is much more user friendly than Book of Common Prayer. There is an unique morning prayers for each day, seven evening prayers for each day of the week, one midday prayer for everyday, and occasional prayers. One interesting feature is that it adds the expectation that this is to be done in community. There are short biographies of modern and ancient saints. A worthy tool for leading one into a habitual prayer life.
What kind of prayer works best for you?
When do you like to pray? Morning? Evening? Throughtout the day?

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