Vestry Devotion: The What, How and When’s of Prayer

Candace Moon.JPG

Each month, Good Shepherd’s Vestry meetings begin with a devotion offered by a Vestry member, and, for the past year, we have been including these devotions in the Sheepskin. This month’s Vestry devotion is submitted by Candace Moon. Candace is currently completing her three-year term on the Vestry. At Good Shepherd she has served as the Chair of the Stewardship Committee and currently sings in the Choir.

What is Prayer?
Prayer is offering to God petitions for mercies desired and thanksgiving and praise for blessings received.  Faith has been quickened by prayer; and it may be that prayer is an indication of the spiritual condition of the soul – it being to the soul what breath is to the body
How Did I Learn to Pray?
As a child, my mother and father taught me prayer and how to pray.  It was a ritual, that after a day of school and play, my mother, after preparing me and my brothers and sisters for sleep, she would gather us around her chair.  She would sit and have us in a half circle at her feet, we would kneel and pray the Lord’s Prayer.  My father taught us to pray before meals by saying, Jesus wept or having us say, The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.  At Sunday dinner, he always had a special prayer that at times seemed inordinately long as he thanked God for all the week’s blessings and recounted the week’s trials.  

How Do I Pray?

Ephesians 6: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Pray in earnest and in all sincerity.  Prayer is not what one wishes for; prayer is what one desires because God knows what we need even before we ask.  Matthew 6:6 instructs us to pray by entering into our closet, and when the door is shut; pray to God in secret and God who sees in secret will openly reward you.

When Can I Pray?
The lesson of prayer has become a lifelong skill for me; much like learning to read, swim, ride a horse or drive a car.  It is an integral part of my daily routine.  At the end of the day, I have a conversation with my God.

There is a song - Jesus on the Mainline; this song encourages us to call Jesus and tell him what we want.  When I hear the lyrics, it is pretty evident that the writer knew that in our fast - paced world, that we forget just how accessible Jesus is.  We don’t need an appointment, we simply have to call out his name and we are rewarded. He hears our call.  If we talk to Jesus and tell him what we desire and give him praise and thanksgiving, he hears our prayers.  

For myself, I receive an immediate sense of relief when I give my prayers to God.  Even if I do not get an immediate answer, praying helps to clear my head and focus on the next course of action that will appear.  When I check my Facebook, there are always messages from friends and family passing on a scripture or a prayer. Upon reading these prayers or scriptures, it makes me think about what a blessing it is to be able to pray whenever I want.   For the prayers that I need, how comforting it is to know that I feel the presence of God and that he hears me; and even more it makes my heart lighten to know that I have friends on Facebook who are praying to God.  Whatever is your mainline –  Messaging, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Jesus hears our call, he wants us to pray. He will respond to us how he chooses; whenever he chooses.  We have to listen for his call.

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.

Prayer is a gift that we give ourselves and each other.  How many times have you been at a loss of not knowing what to do; who to ask; how to do?  Prayer to God can be the answer.  When our money is funny; jobs are ending; our loved one(s) is sick; the boss is mad with you or your partner isn’t acting right, talking with God can relieve you of your fears.  Prayer allows us the opportunity to transcend from our worries and pain.   We are able to give our worries and fears to God.