Standing In The Need of Prayer
April 26, 2015
Speaker: Dot Daruka
It was at my request that the choir sang “Standing In The Need of Prayer” and I would like to express my thanks to them. When I received the invitation from Pastor Cho to share my thoughts on prayer with you this morning, I indeed found myself standing in the need of prayer and spent much time in prayer as I prepared to stand in a place I have never stood before.
The title of my message, “Prayer Is ________”can be completed using any number of words. Those that came to my mind were: supplication, appreciation, communication, action and silence.
SUPPLICATION AND APPRECIATION: When we hear of or face a tragedy or crisis, we pray for help, comfort, wisdom, healing and peace, don’t we?
In our opening prayer we were reminded that God speaks to us in many ways, and we just sang “open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine, so that we can be open to understand the meaning of the things we experience, the people we encounter and the written word.
One of my great pleasures in life is reading to young children. Important truths are beautifully presented in children’s stories. The same is true in songs and prayers. A song I remember from my days as a Sunday School teacher is: “Why Worry When You Can Pray?” I will share the words with you.
Why worry when you can pray? Trust Jesus, he’ll be your stay. Don’t be a Doubting Thomas, rest fully on his promise. Why worry, worry, worry when you can pray.
The same is true for prayers. A simple prayer that starts my day is a combination of appreciation and supplication that thanks God for the night and the pleasant morning light, for rest and food and loving care and all that makes the world so fair (even though there is much sadness, pain and suffering, the world is still a beautiful place with loving people.) The prayer continues asking for help to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good, in all we do at work and play, to grow more loving every day.
A quote on my refrigerator serves as a reminder to be thankful and appreciate all my blessings. It reads:
WHAT IF THE ONLY THINGS WE WOKE UP WITH WERE THE THINGS WE THANKED GOD FOR THE NIGHT BEFORE?
COMMUNICATION AND SILENCE: On a beautiful, clear Spring day last week I was standing at the edge of a running brook,(Mill River) watching the water rippling over rocks and rills. In this peaceful setting I found myself in communion with God even though I was in complete silence, for prayer is also moments of silence. I have found this to be true while watching a sunset, a moonrise or a rainbow and especially seeing a flower come into bloom after a cold winter as I walk through my garden.
ACTION: The creation story as told in Genesis is a reminder of the wonderful, marvelous place called Earth and we call home. We have just celebrated Earth Day. This is where we, each and everyone of us, young and old can do something to make prayer an action. From the smallest bit of waste we can eliminate through reusing and recycling to the biggest issue of global warming that must be faced, we need to believe that through faith, hope and prayer all things are possible .
On our journey through life we experience ups and downs, highs and lows, mountains and valleys. Prayer keeps me going.
On two occasions in my life I have had a mountaintop experience. The first was on a visit to the Swiss Alps. After a two hour ride on a cogwheel train to the very top of the Jungfrau, I stepped out into the cold, clear air and found myself on the top of a glorious, glistening snow covered mountain. What an emotional, God filled experience it was as I stood in awe. I took a slow, deep breath and in silent appreciation prayed: “my God, how great Thou art.”
This was followed by my standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon and again a silent breath prayer giving thanks for God’s creation.
May prayer lead you to a mountaintop experience. Amen