Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 27, 2015

June 27, 2015 “Taking The Lead”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day Everyone!

Quite often, be it at a church function or at someone’s home to share a meal, people will graciously turn to me and ask, ““Pastor, would you lead us in a word of prayer?” Let it be known that I am honored to do so, and appreciate the opportunity. There are times, however, that I feel like the “designated pray-er. For some, praying in a more-or-less public setting is somewhat challenging and just a bit unnerving, so they turn to me to address this unspoken anxiety.  Now I would never embarrass someone by refusing the request to pray or by insisting that they do the praying, but I would like to encourage those of you reading this blog to consider your own response when invited by someone to pray…even if there happens to be a pastor present. For those of you who are reticent to pray in a public setting , Christian theologian/author Robert Foster has posed this truth:

“Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.” 

Rather than regarding prayer as a task, he suggests that we approach it as an act of expressed love, which it is! Now here’s something interesting Quite often, I see in all of this (especially when someone falls in love), initially expressing such ardor does take a bit of “courage building” I believe this is due, at least in part, to a fear of rejection. There is a certain sweet anxiety in initially expressing affection for another person. That’s natural. Once that stage is past and the love is verbally expressed, and hopefully the object of one’s affection responds in kind, a new comfort level becomes a reality. No longer is it necessary to “grit one’s teeth” to express the love inside. It comes more naturally. Here’s good news…God will never reject our expression of love for Him. He has already shown His love for us. The hard part is over. We know He loves us. He has demonstrated that clearly. As you return his affection…as you “fall in love” with Him, conversation in the form of prayer flows more easily. It doesn’t matter what someone else may think of the way you verbally express that love for God. What matters is that you let God know of your love for Him through prayer. There are times, lots of times, that those conversations will be private. But there will also be times to express that love in public. Don’t be hesitant to do so. Don’t be afraid of “taking the lead” when it comes to prayer. God loves you, and that’s what matters most! Let’s pray!

O God of infinite Love; May we never be reticent in expressing our love an gratitude to you, no matter what the setting may be. let us be eager to do so, always prepared to let people know that You are the object of our deepest affection. We love and praise You, great God, and make our prayer this day with overflowing love for you in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

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