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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where Do You Pray?

       Halloween for 2009 is over. I hope I didn't bore too many readers with too much Halloween information and I hope that I provided some entertainment as well as interesting, and even useful, information. Please let me know your thoughts.

       Today I am going to start my NaNoWriMo experience. Tomorrow I will hopefully have something to say about this and have a running start into my writing challenge. But for today I will continue my Sunday postings having to do with spiritual issues.

        Over the past few weeks of posting on Sundays I have been taking a journalistic approach to the topic of prayer. The journalist uses the infomation gathering technique known as the "five w's" when researching a story-- these include who, what, when, where, why, and how. In studying prayer we have so far looked at what we should pray for, who we should pray for, and when we should pray. Today I will talk about where we pray.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6

       Prayer is not intended to be a public spectacle of one's piety. I guess you might compare praying so that everyone else can see and hear you praying as kind of like the person in the restaurant talking loudly on a cell phone so everyone else can hear what they are saying. When you pray in your private place it's all about you and God and nothing else. No one else needs to know about it. You don't need to impress anyone. This is your time to open your heart to God and become part of the heart of God. No show, no distractions, it's as simple as that.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Mark 1:35

       Jesus set the example for us in many ways, including prayer. Many times Jesus went to a solitary place to pray. We should take heed of his example. If we can't be in the privacy of our home, we don't need to throw down a prayer rug and prostrate ourselves for all to see. A quiet corner or even an unobstrusive bowing of the head with eyes closed will suffice. No one else needs to know about your prayer. The prayer is for God alone.

He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.
Jonah 2:2

       "There are no atheists in foxholes," goes a popular saying. This may not be exclusively true, but this is not the point of the saying. This aphorism is saying that sometimes in a place that might seem furthest from the heart of God this is when the prayer might be the most fervent. Whether it was Jonah calling to God from the belly of the giant fish, a miner trapped in a cave-in praying for rescue, or the soldier in the foxhole imploring for his safety, God hears the heartfelt prayer no matter where it originates.

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
1 Timothy 2:8

      We can pray anywhere and everywhere. A public group prayer is welcomed by God if His people are unified and sincere. Purposeful, honest prayer can be a powerful statement that brings people together in God's universal love. Eternal praise to God by all is the supreme vision of what heaven is about.

My foot stands in an even place; in the congregations I will bless the LORD.
Psa 26:12

       We should pray in church. Prayer is one of the main parts of the worship service. The church experience is the communal experience of believers and all of those who want to share the experience of the believers. The communal prayer teaches us about prayer through the example of those who are experienced in prayer. Praying with the congregation allows us to petition and praise God together as a body of believers, helping us in caring and fellowshipping with one another. In church we are on the same plane with others who believe as we do and unified in purpose.

Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

        To pray without ceasing means that everywhere is appropriate for prayer. Prayer doesn’t have to be said out loud. You can pray loudly or softly depending on the place and the circumstance. Essentially you should maintain a prayerful attitude. This does not mean you can’t have fun or experience typical human emotion. We are made in the image of God and as such should reflect goodness, hope, and glory so that we show the face of God. Our direct line to God should never be put on hold, but always remain open. God is always there when you are ready to call on Him.

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11


  1. Great! A blog with Bible verses. Not enough of these in blogger land. I'll be visiting often.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. Thanks for the support Stephen.
    The Bible is an endless source for inspiration in so many ways.

  3. These are wonderful examples of where to pray. Jesus showed us many things about how to live the life as a believer--great examples!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Lee, and encouraging me onward in NaNo! I wish the same for you--happy hours of writing and reaching your word count goal!

  4. I would like for you to toss out a little more information on "anyone reaching out with prayer." What I heard was a nonbeliever in a foxhole could cry out in prayer for protection and be heard. I'm not arguing the point, I would just like Biblical references. Would you know Bible verses that could be shown to someone? Thanks! Our church is having Tuesday night prayer for an hour. We go in, nothing is said, we, as a group, start praying and pray without ceasing for an hour. This has been so spiritually rewarding! As Stephen said, it is so rare to find Bible verses in blogs.

  5. Hello Judy,

    Thank you so much for your support and your question. On the statement "anyone reaching out with prayer" I think it is necessary to put in a qualifier, which is the same qualifier that applies to believers as well nonbelievers. We must go to God in prayer with the right heart, sincerity, belief, and motivation.
    Saying "there are no atheists in foxholes" for example is suggesting that in times of extreme duress or if one is up against an insurmountable challenge a conversion could be quite likely or at least an acknowledgment of who God really is. I don't think it probable that a non-believer can test or challenge God or give God ultimatums or make deals. In other words if one's prayer consists of something like "if you really are God" or "if you do this for me I'll never do (something which you don't intend to follow through) or anything like that.
    The prayer must be acceptable to God and not an affront to Him.
    So I don't think there is a verse that would support that any nonbeliever can irrevently go to God in prayer and get what they've asked for-- I don't even think you could accurately call this action prayer.
    Psalm 17 I think pretty well encapsulates the way praying to God should be approached.

    I hope that nothing in my post was misleading in any way and if anyone does have a Bible verse that would show that a nonbeliever can pray to God effectively with results please give it to us.

  6. Wonderful discussion of prayer, especially with all the Bible verses. I really relate to the verse where Jesus got up early to pray. Most mornings I shut myself in the upstairs bathroom to pray alone.
    Hope you enjoy NaNo, a lot of my friends at Faithwriters are doing that.

  7. Thanks Peter,

    I'll be posting my first progress report on NaNo Monday my time. Check it out. I love for you to click on as one of my followers --it would be pretty cool to have a Aussie on board with me.
    I'm going to be following your blog as it looks interesting. I'll try to catch up with some the older posts as I have time.

  8. Hi Arlee, I enjoyed reading your post this morning. I am surprised though to hear so many of your readers say that they aren't finding many other blogs who use scripture from the Bible these days, because I am finding just the opposite since I began using scriptural links to my posts about 6 months ago I have been finding more and more bloggers, like you, who also reference their Faith in their blogs as well! It is such an inspiration to me! I feel that us Bible Bloggers who use our blogs as a tool to spread the Good News have been called to do so! Thanks for your comment on my most recent post!

  9. Always A Mom---

    I too have seen several blogs that use Bible verses, although sometimes not contextually to what they have written. But yes, I feel like those Bible verses almost seem to write the blog post themselves.

  10. Thanks, Lee, for taking the time to respond! Would you share some of the other Biblical blog links? Maybe do a post on this?

  11. Dear Judy,
    I must say that I'm very new to this blogging scene so I really don't know too much about the Biblical blog sites. If you look at some of the blogs I follow (not all by any means) you will find some that are Biblically based -- when I run across one like this I frequently add it to my list. Then looking at some of the blogs those bloggers follow I find more of the same. Right now I don't know that I am knowledgable enough to do a post about these types of sites, but as I get more info about the subject, this certainly might be something to think about in the future.
    I appreciate you hanging in there with me.


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