Tag Archives: Prayer

God’s ‘Direct Line’

26 Feb

I read about a man in Topeka, Kansas, who decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to Washington, DC, and started working west from there.

Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone in the vestibule and was intrigued with a sign which read “$10,000 a minute.”

Seeking out the pastor, he asked about the phone. The pastor answered that this golden phone was, in fact, a direct line to Heaven, and if he pays the price, he can talk directly to God.

The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Boston, Orlando, Birmingham, Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Denver, and all around the United States, he found more phones with the same sign ~ and he got the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrived in sunny San Diego. When he entered a church there, he saw the usual golden telephone; but this time, the sign read, “Calls: 50 cents.”

Fascinated, the man looked for the pastor of the church and said, “Pastor, I have been in cities all across the country, and in church I have found this golden telephone. I was told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God; but in all the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads 50 cents a call. Why?”

The pastor, smiling, said, “Son, you’re in California now. This is God’s Country. It’s a local call. (1)

[NOTE: The original said Dallas … but anyone who lives in San Diego KNOWS that can’t be right! LOL.]

When I was a little girl, my Grandma Webb told me I could always talk to God. She said it was like I had a direct line to Him. I thought that was pretty cool, so ~ like many children ~ I talked to God a lot. I asked Him for lots of stuff, treating Him like my personal Santa Claus. I envisioned that he read over my list like Santa did, and decided whether I deserved an answer.

Then, as I got older and more “sophisticated,” I decided it was silly to talk to God. I pretty much ignored Him unless there was a crisis like a breakup with a boyfriend, or my family having to move ~ taking me away from all my friends. All my “prayers,” as a teenager and college student, were more like complaints.

I remember one precious day when I understood that my sins separated me from God, but that Jesus made a way for me to establish a link with God (Rom. 3:23; Isaiah 59:2; Rom. 6:23; 5:8; 10:3; Acts 4:12; John 1:12). After that life-changing day, prayer took on new meaning. Not only was I linked to God forever through Christ, I had a direct line of prayer to my Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit who lived in me.

The “connection” for this prayer line goes straight through my heart to the ear of God. He is listening to me, ready to answer (Psalm 66:19; Isaiah 65:24; Proverbs 15:29).

Yet it’s not enough to know that this direct line to God exists. Unless we pick up a phone and call, there is no communication; unless we call out to God in prayer, there’s no connection ~ no open line.

The problem is, I often have a mind crowded with everything but God when I come to Him. I rush in to share my petitions, and then get back to my agenda. Connecting with God requires that we take time to “get His number,” so to speak. We need to know how to approach Him. And then we need to recognize who He is, and to worship Him and share our love with Him. We need to seek His face (Psalm 105:4) ~ seek His presence. And the wonderful blessing is that we don’t need any other mediators than the Redeemer Himself! (1 Tim. 2:5)

These days, I don’t come to God casually, or with demands. Yes, I can come boldly, as I read in Hebrews 4:16; but I “call” on the Lord with humility, respect, and adoration, seeking His attention and “laying hold” on Him in the confidence that He hears and cares.

I’m grateful that my Creator is willing to “make the connection” with me, and thankful God has provided for a direct line to His throne room.

(1) Adapted from http://www.jestkidding.com/jokes/church-jokes

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Overcoming ‘Prayer Slackerdom’

7 Nov

Girl Reading BibleIn her book, Confessions of a Prayer Slacker, Diane Moody tells the funny story of how, as a young girl of maybe nine or ten, she attended Camp Nunny Cha-Ha in Oklahoma. The theme of the week was learning to have a quiet time, and Diane described the required one-hour quiet times she had… just her and God.  Her description of one of these hour-long sessions made me (Dawn) chuckle.

“Did I mention these quiet times were supposed to last an entire hour?” she said. “I tried. Really I did.”

“Now I lay me down to sleep…” No. Wait. That’s a prayer for babies. I can surely do better than that. Ah! I’ve got it! The Lord’s Prayer! Much more grown-up. So I closed my eyes and recited the familiar words.

“Our Father, Who art in heaven…” Art? I like art. I hope we get to paint this week. Maybe some watercolor…

“Hallowed be Thy name.” I’ve never liked my name. Diane. It’s just so plain. Why couldn’t Mom and Dad have named me Veronica? Or Tabitha? Or Maria ~ like Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Oh my Gosh, I love that movie!”

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done…” Be done, be done, be done … will this Quiet Time ever BE DONE? I’m sooooo bored! B-O-R-E-D. BORED! BORED! BORED”

On earth as it is in Heaven.” I wonder if Julie Andrews and I will be friends in heaven. I loved her in Mary Poppins.  I really liked that bag of hers. All that stuff just kept coming out!

“Give us this day, our daily bread…” I’m so hungry, I could puke. I sure hope they don’t have Sloppy Joes today. Those were gross! maybe we’ll have hot dogs. I’ll take mine with ketchup, no mustard. I hate mustard.

“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” What the heck is a trespass anyway? And why should I care if someone tresses past me?

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” I am so tempted to short-sheet Sally’s bed. That would serve her right for stealing the top bunk.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” This hour feels like forever. FOR-E-VERRRR!

Amen. There. I prayed. Now what? (1)

And Moody then thumbed through her Bible, confessed all the sins she could think of, and tried to deal with the remainder of her “Quiet Time.”

Been there? As I read her words about going through the motions of prayer and Bible study, Confessions of a Prayer Slackerspiritual detours on her prayer journey, and the common excuses people make for not spending time alone with God, I found myself identifying. Though I’m not where I was years ago, I still am not where I want to be and sometimes … yes, sometimes, I’m a “slacker.”

Moody doesn’t leave it there. She doesn’t claim to be an authority on prayer. She’s just is an authority, she says, on “prayer slackerdom.” So she offers motivation and practical help to get started with a prayer life and Quiet Time that makes a difference. She handles “excuses” with humor and insight, exposing how silly we get sometimes when it comes to capturing time with God.

I appreciate Moody’s transparency, and I wonder how many of us would also get honest and say our prayer life and/or Quiet Time need some improvement.

Here’s a quick motivational check up that Diane offers in the book:

“If someone told you to spend the next twenty-four hours in prayer, Continue reading

Encourage a Child’s Faith-filled Prayer

24 Oct

Pam sent me these funnies, which she received from a friend in a long list of funny anecdotes. First, there’s this one, about a little girl’s prayer:

“When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and Girl at Betdime Prayingevery animal (current and past).

“For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, ‘And all girls.’  This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.

“My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, ‘Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?’

” Her response:  ‘Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying, ‘All Men’!”

And then there’s this adorable little boy:

Dinnertime Prayer“Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.

“‘Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer,’ his mother said.

“‘I don’t need to,’ the boy replied.

“‘Of course, you do,’ his mother insisted. ‘We always say a prayer before eating at our house.’

“‘That’s at our house,’ Little Johnny explained. ‘But this is Grandma’s house, and she knows how to cook!‘” (1)

I (Dawn) love practical devotionals that encourage my faith or inspire hope (which is one reason Pam and I wrote LOL with God! The other day, as I was cleaning out a bookshelf, I came across a warm, creative book by Cheri Fuller titled When Families Pray. This devotional uses short, present-day stories of answered prayer to remind families that every person in the family can have intimacy with God and connect with Him in powerful prayer.

A favorite chapter, “Prayer Lessons from a Child,” reminded me to pray with childlike faith, believing that nothing is impossible for God. He still performs miracles for those who trust Him.

In the story, a little boy named Jeffrey watched his grandfather’s health deteriorate due to irreversible heart disease. Eventually, he ended up in the intensive care unit (ICU) with gangrene spreading through his leg, but the doctors did not recommend surgery (amputation), believing he was not strong enough to survive the operation. The family resigned themselves to waiting for the inevitable.

Grandpa told everyone he was ready to go “when it’s God’s time.” Three days later, it seemed it was “Grandpa’s time,” and all the family members streamed in and out of his room, saying good-bye. Little Jeffrey, age nine, was left at home, but he begged to see his grandpa. “I need to see Grandpa,” he said. “It seems like God wants me to be there.”

The nurse took Jeffrey in to see Grandpa, who was in critical condition. As he left, the nurse said, “… the Lord will take him when He’s ready.”

“But I prayed for my Grandpa,” Jeffrey said with confidence, “and God’s going to answer my prayer.” He later told his mother, “Grandpa isn’t going to die today; God told me!” And the little boy prayed through the night for his beloved grandfather.

The next afternoon, a phone call came. Continue reading

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