‘Stumped’ in prayer?

6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:6  

(the following is a modified excerpt from this past Sunday’s sermon)

In the busy world we live in, it is next to impossible to give our “undivided attention” to anything.  Yet, Jesus gives us this directive: Go into your room, shut the door.  Pray.

We must free ourselves from all distraction. Turn off the tv, the phone, the radio.  Listen to God.  This may be most difficult for busy moms, or those who may carpool to work.  However, we must take every advantage we have of a quiet moment to spend in prayer.

Martin Luther once said, “I wish I could pray like my dog stares at meat.” What if we could have that kind of concentration!?

Also, if we pray alone, we are not too concerned about how good our words are.  The Lord is patient.  Our words will never be good enough, God answers because He is gracious.

Prayer is localized, where you are.  Not just in the temple, but at home, privately.  We can make the same mistake today (as they did then) by thinking we can only pray in a church building, or by thinking God somehow hears our prayers better at church.

The story is told about my Grandmother’s grandmother (my great-great-grandmother).  Every day on her way to milk the cows, she would stop at a particular stump in the yard and pray.  She had a “prayer stump.”  But if you think about the day and time she lived in, the likely size of her living quarters, the reality of having children running about and having chores waiting the moment she stepped back in the door, it comes to mind that perhaps a woman like this – this may have been the only time she was ever really alone, and she prayed.  Find a prayer stump, make an altar, and, “your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

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