“Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matthew 6:6 – The Message
Whether we have a little or a lot, it’s easy to believe that sharing our financial resources is the only way we can give to God, but if that is where you are coming from, I urge you to think again, folks. Think again. There’s a lot more to giving than writing checks.
Prayer is a gift to God . . . and to Yourself.
In the 1950’s, Dr. William Parker was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Redlands. He was also a man with an ulcer, a man who was “churning with Hate, Fear, Inferiority and Guilt.” Once he recognized that about himself, he knew he had to get rid of the hostility creating those emotions. The question was, “How?”
Despite the fact faith hadn’t played an important role in his life, Parker found himself questioning the role of prayer in healing both physical and psychological problems. His solution was to design a class around a “controlled experiment satisfying academic conditions in prayer as a specific therapy or healing agent.” Ultimately, with the help of Elaine St. Johns, a well-known author, that experiment became the topic of a best-selling book called, “Prayer Can Change Your Life.”
Dr. Parker said one of the most important findings of that experiment is that prayer is a practice in honesty. As quoted above, Matthew 6:6 from The Message, a contemporary language version of the Bible, emphasizes that same aspect of prayer: “Find a quiet secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.”
The Message verse continues, “The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Dr. Parker went on to say that, “The healing power lay in a God of Love, which each student found by going into the closet and shutting the door.’”
It is no secret that the Pandemic has created stressful situations for every one of us. Can prayer alter that? Communicating with God through prayer is a gift to our Heavenly Parent who wants to be a part of our lives in good times and bad. Initially prayer can feel like a one sided conversation, but when we keep at it and learn to be totally honest about ourselves, the day comes when we realize it is also a gift to ourselves.
Blessings on your efforts to give the gift of prayer to God and to Yourself,
September 28, 2020