How to Pray: Posture

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2017

PRAY!

Today we finally get into how we should go about praying. I’m sure we’ve all learned different ways of prayer; some of us grew up bowing our heads and folding our hands or perhaps kneeling to pray. For some people, what we do when we pray changes depending on where we are or who we are with. Maybe you hold hands when you pray before a meal. When a group is preparing to leave on a mission, it is common for a church to put their hands on them as they pray.

But what does the Bible say we should do?

As it turns out, there is no single way that the Bible tells us to pray. We can find some examples of how people in the Bible prayed, however. In Genesis 24:45, it says that Rebekah prayed in her heart. If you read this with the understanding that ancient Egyptians (and by implication, the Israelites) believed that the heart was the center of thought and knowledge, the verse says that Rebekah prayed in her mind. So silent prayers are absolutely fine! Matthew 6:5 speaks of praying while standing and in Luke 22:41, Jesus prays while kneeling. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me.

Personally, I have never understood the practice of closing your eyes and bowing your head. If prayer is a conversation with God, then I want to stand tall and meet his eyes, as I would for any person that I respect. If I were to meet the President of the United States, I would stand, shake his hand and maintain solid eye contact. For me, this is the highest form of respect in our culture. For me, when I close my eyes, I look at myself. How can I have a conversation if I’m only thinking about myself? At that point it is a monologue and no longer a prayer.

The long and short of prayer posture is: it all comes down to you! Pray in such a way that you can keep your focus on the prayer. If closing your eyes causes your mind to wander, than open your eyes. If having your eyes open causes you to get distracted by what you see, then shut your eyes. Maybe some of us need to try praying in a different way than we have before. After all, anyone who is in Christ should be a new creation!

-Nathaniel Johnson

Why Should We Pray?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Luke 18-1

I don’t want to spend any time talking about what prayer is or how we should go about it before I even convince you that we should be praying.

So why should we pray?

I think this is a pretty easy question to answer. Jesus commands it. There are a few verses that explicitly command prayer: Matthew 6:5-15, Matthew 26:41, Ephesians 6:18 and Luke 18:1. I want to look a little closer at the verse in Luke today.

”Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).  If we strive to be disciples of Jesus, then we should always pray. Being a disciple is essential to being “in Jesus,” just like our memory verse says. If we commit ourselves to constant prayer, than we can become a new creation.

Seems like a pretty easy step right? All we have to do is pray! Tomorrow we’ll talk about what that looks like.

-Nathaniel Johnson

 

Transformation!

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

2 Corinthians 5-17

Weekly Introduction by Nathaniel Johnson

If any of you have known me for very long, you know just how awful of a child I was. I was a little fireball of emotion. I would kick and scream when I didn’t get my way and I would hurt anyone that got in my way. Thank God for the transformation that occurred when I decided to be baptized! However, baptism wasn’t the only thing that changed me. A life filled with Bible study and prayer is what changed me. Paul described my situation perfectly in his letter to the Corinthians when he said, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

 

Our memory verse for the week will be one that I have always felt very close to, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Throughout the rest of the week, I look forward to spending some time talking about prayer and how it is intimately related to this verse in 2 Corinthians.