Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A better way to pray

A colleague gave me Andrew Wommack’s book, A Better Way to Pray.  I’m reading it.  I try to set aside a little time for spiritual reading each eay. I was reading the Bible cover to cover again but the app I was using began messing up so I stopped that.  I was reading a daily reflections book but it just wore out.  A bathroom spiritual book I’d rescued once too often from the sink or toilet or floor.  So I picked up Andrew Wommack.  He’s  with Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs.  Right off his way of writing, American colloquial, the buddy talk of a guy you meet in a diner, kind of pissed me off. I’m a bit more intellectual and prefer less ‘glad hand’ salesman writing. Yet the friend who gave me this book is not at all like that.  So I continued on till I struck gold.
"Prayer is communing with God,”  Now that I can wrap my mind around. There’s formal times when I pray, in church, out walking in the woods, on the beach.  I actually stop and talk to God by name. I say Jesus, because my God is called Jesus, when I’m praying like that. Mostly I speak to God as “my father’, or ‘my lord’ or even sometimes, God of Gods.  And alright, the guy who was knocking the glad hand salesman talk also calls God, look dude.  Our relationship is fluid.  It’s like a father and son or like brothers.  I know about those relationships. I don’t really know how one is supposed to communicate with the Creator, the Lord of All ,the Great Kahoonah, the Emperor God, the Mastermind behind it all, the Holy Spirit, the Higher Power. There’s no real, ‘right way’.
But Andrew Wommack, who by his writing has obviously done a lot of praying and read and listened a lot on praying, to my mind has some really good ideas about prayer. He quotes the Holy Scripture a lot. And who but Jesus knew the most about prayer.  Thy Will Be Done.
Right now I’m asking God for a new truck and the wealth to purchase this without loss to myself.  I want to manifest a truck. I want to have a truck show up outside my door with angels and horns and hallelujahs.
It’s okay that I want anew  truck. It’s okay that I ask God for a new truck.  I certainly don’t want to ask the devil.  I might ride like the devil but I don’t want to ride a truck from the devil.  Besides I might argue I have my motorcycle for all those shenanigans. What I want the truck for is to drive people about. This weekend I’d pick up a family and their kids if I had a truck.  I mostly need a truck to pull my RV and to haul my ATV out into the woods.
But I don’t spend all day, begging Jesus for a truck.  It would even be better if I was praying for a truck for someone else. That’s more unselfish prayer.  The motive in the prayer counts. Andrew Wommack talks about that. If I was praying for a truck to bomb the Trump inauguration God simply wouldn’t give me a truck for that purpose. The devil might but not God.  Jesus is all about creation not destruction.  He might want to destroy my addiction but his way of lifting my desire for negative things is through attracting me to positive things. I think of exercise. I have to eat less and exercise more so God isn’t beating me up about my expanding girth as much as he’s inviting me to enjoy less weight and more mobility. Today I loved walking the dog in the rain, mostly.  I did hurt picking up his shit and that reminded me that I’m too much at my desk and need to do more stretching and moving about. I actually did some stretching last night.  God wants me to be healthy.  He wants me to live long and well if that is my desire.
Mostly God wants my companionship.  James Houston of Regent College wrote a book on prayer and it really emphasized that idea of being a companion to God. Sometimes I just talk over my day and what’s going on with God.  I do the same with my dog and in many ways my relationship with my dog mirrors my relationship with God.  My dog is with me most of the day. He’s often lying under my desk while I’m working. I’m always communing with my dog in that way. We’re together. I reach out and touch him to reassure myself he’s there. I sometimes just look over at him and feel good that he’s there.
I’m a God seeker.  Be Still and Know That I am God is one of my favourite prayers.  Sometimes we say meditation is listening to God and prayer is talking to God. I like meditating too. I like to let my mind focus on some positive word or thought or phrase from the Bible and repeat ‘come holy spirit come’.  Something like that. Anything to take my mind off all the chatter and anxiety and worry and regret that it can sometimes get into. Often I just repeat Jesus Christ over and over to myself. I like the Hail Mary Prayer and Lord’s Prayer and All Shall Be Well. But I use those prayers to distract my mind when I’m afraid or sad.  I think at those times my mind is going in reverse or in  the wrong gear and I just need to get it in neutral for a bit before I can shift into the right gear forward.
Other times I’m just registering the beauty of God in creation, like the smells this morning in the fresh rain.
Andrew Womack said Prayer is Communing with God. I like that. Probably because I like communing with God. It’s like being in community with God. It’s like having God in my heart.  God’s not out there distant but near like my dog under the desk. I like that.
So even though I didn’t like the ‘authority’ talk of Andrew Wommack, he talks like he knows God, which he really seems to, but I thought ‘he talks like he knows God more than me’ and that wasn’t a particularly Godly thought. Not that I know God more than the next guy but I am pretty prickly these days.  I know from the scripture I’m supposed to be slow to anger. I know I have a whole lot of character defects and I do ask God to remove these from me.  I ask God to make me a better a person. I ask God always to make me a better doctor. I’m studying and learning and reflecting and practicing but I’m also just asking God, please God mould me. I think of a potter’s wheel and ask god to make me more what I might be best to serve his goals.  I swear too much I think I have tourette’s syndrome. I beat myself up something fiercer and I’m lazy and don’t do nearly enough good stuff.  I’m often just going along on automatic rather than celebrating the time and the day.  God is in the present.  God is known in the now. God is here and now. God is always and ever.  God is with me and in me above and below and beside me. God is all.
I like Andrew Wommack and I like the friend who gave me his book.
Yesterday a patient gave me a picture of a Mother with a heart of love from Romania. His sister has given her life to the service of God and sent this back with him as a gift for me.  I was touched by this. It’s on my wall now so I can look up and be reminded that God’s love for me is like a mother’s love.  I miss my mother who is now in heaven but I can know God’s love as her love was for me.  I am forgiven. I am loved.
Prayer is communing with God.  Thank you Andrew Wommack

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