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Just a Little Talk With Jesus
By Pastor Stacy Williams
posted April 15, 2009
RELIGION – What do you think of when you
hear the word prayer? Do you think of a formal address to God where you
read your list of requests to Him? Do you think of something done by a
child right before bedtime? Maybe you think of the long talk to “our
Heavenly Father”, the preacher gives while your head is bowed and your
eyes are closed.
Prayer is one of those words we use in church that is very
misunderstood. Perhaps it is because of the word itself that we ignore
the true purpose of the act. The word comes from the Latin word precor,
which means, “to beg or entreat”. As the word evolved, it became
preiere and eventually prayer.
The word precarious is a form of the same Latin root precor. In Latin,
precarious means, “to obtain by entreaty”. The original meaning of the
word precarious was “to be dependent on circumstances beyond one's
control”. In modern language, we tend to use it to describe a dangerous
The word prayer was very common in the time of the writing of the King
James Bible. It was typically used as a request in the Old Testament.
And Abram said unto Lot,
Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between
me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren
(Genesis 13:8). However, most of the time when it is used in the
Testament, it specifically refers to a conversation with God.
Maybe that is why we sometimes see prayer as a “to do” list for God.
While I believe that God certainly wants to hear our requests, I also
believe He wants us to truly communicate with Him. Sometimes we take
Him a “grocery list” of things we want to obtain or happen and miss the
true power and privilege of being able to talk with our creator.
Last week, there was a lady who called 911 to report she didn't get as
much shrimp as she wanted in her fried rice at a Fort Worth-area
restaurant. I heard the audiotape of the 911 emergency call, in which
the customer is heard telling the dispatcher, "to get a police officer
up here, what has to happen? He didn't even put extra shrimp in there."
Restaurant workers said the woman had been denied a refund after
leaving with her order, then returned to complain.
911 entertained the woman’s call. They listened to her and responded.
However, this is not the kind of situation for which the emergency
service is designed. The request was treated with respect, but was far
below the intention and power of the service provided by 911.
When all we take to God is our “wish list”, we are heard and treated
with respect. However, we are not honoring Him with good use of this
privilege. What does God want from us in prayer? He just wants to hear
from us. He knows the things we need before we ever ask for them
(Matthew 6:8). What He truly wants from us is…well…US!
There are many things I already know about my children’s day before I
see them in the evening. My wife and I talk during the day, and she
tells me about things they have done or significant happenings.
However, when I get home I usually ask the kids to tell me about those
same things. I already know what happened, but I love to hear it from
them. Likewise, God already knows what is going on in your life, but He
would love to hear it from you.
The next time you begin to “pray”, speak to God as if you are talking
to a good friend. Talk with Him in a familiar but respectful way. Yes,
we can certainly tell Him about our troubles, but tell Him your hopes,
dreams, fears, and blessings also. Remember that prayer is
communication with Almighty God, not a means to whine before the
The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much. (James
The prayer of a person
living right with God is something powerful to
be reckoned with. (James 5:16b The Message)
All are welcome join us for worship at Edgefield First Baptist Sunday
mornings at 11 AM and every second Sunday of the month at 6 PM, for our
casual contemporary service that we call CAPTIVATE. For more
information call us at 803-637-6139 or visit our website where you will
find weekly activities, church information, or even listen to sermons
online. Our web address is http://www.edgefieldfirstbaptist.org
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