Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Three Crucial Ways to Pray

There are three kinds of prayer. Seeking Prayer, Speaking Prayer and Soaking Prayer. 

Seeking Prayers get us started. We Seek the leading and discernment of the Spirit  first thing. 

Second, after hearing the directions from the Spirit, we know what to Speak to the Lord about. 

Finally, some issues demand ongoing, intense, Soaking Prayers. 

Seeking Prayers emphasize the importance of listening carefully to the Holy Spirit as well as the person in need. We have one ear focused on the Spirit and the other on the Seeker. This gives us an idea of how to best speak. 

Rosalind Rinker called this process“Dialogue Prayer”. She was the very first person I ever read who talked about the three ways to pray.  She was a Baptist Missionary and saw the need to hear God direct her very early on in her placement overseas. 

As we dialogue with the Lord and the Seeker the best ways to Speak to the Lord becomes clearer. As St. Paul reminded us in Romans 8:26, 27.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. 

We are really ignorant about how to pray. To assume that I know what to pray for is a direct contradiction of scripture. But, thankfully we have a Counselor who prays for us in accordance with the will of God. This awesome Counselor has wisdom, love and understanding. 

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26 GRS)

To assume knowledge of the outcomes of prayer can lead arrogance and pride. Even Jesus was unaware of God’s perfect will in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Into thy hands I commit my spirit for it is not my will but thy will.

 And He taught us to pray:  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Seeking Prayers also listen to the person in need. We cannot know the root needs of a Seeker unless we let them speak honestly. However, we admit we do not hear well for listening behind the words is necessary. “Be slow to speak and quick to hear,” St. James says. Relax and allow the Lord to guide and the Seeker to open his heart. 

Faith activities need to maximize every one of the factors. Any suggestion about prayer, Holy Communion, scripture reading, etc must be done in love with the GREW skills of Genuine concern, Respect for the patient, Empathy and clear understanding of her interests and concerns and Warm non verbals taking center stage. Any time the helper’s behavior contradicts GREW damages the patient’s health. See my book, Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty  

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