Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Christians Don't Pray"

Our friend Elaine, called this morning to tell us to check out an interview on Good Morning America, with Diane Sawyer speaking with muslim children in Saudi Arabia. This group of third graders were very similar to American children. They spoke of Wal-Mart, Target and even Dr. Phil. They had typical future dreams, wanting to be architects and doctors. Ms. Sawyer continued the interview asking them about religion. The Saudi third graders had this to say, "Christians are bad, Muslims are good----Christians don't pray."
Wow!!! What an indictment! I mean, we pray!!! We do!!! Every Sunday morning, we open our bible class with a prayer, we start worship service with an "opening prayer". We pray before we take the bread and before we take the wine and even before we give our offering, right? And most of the time, we even close the service with a prayer---sometimes we incorporate the prayer for the fellowship meal afterward into that one prayer, don't we? Sometimes, we even pray during the week other than at church on Wednesday evening. How dare they say we don't pray?
I did an internet search on Muslim prayer--this is what I found out: According to my understanding, "devout" Muslims pray a minimum five times a day facing Mecca. There are many rules or aspects to their prayers. They must make sure they themselves, are clean and the area where they will be praying is clean. In preparation for their prayer, the recite the entire first book of the Kuran and then any pertinent verses. They stand and raise hands, praising allah and then inviting him to hear their prayers. They recite a series of statements usually three times all as a part of their prayer. The usual prayer, according to my research, lasts over ten minutes. The crier who calls them to prayer at dawn starts by saying, "Prayer is better than sleep". Their practices suggest they place prayer above most other activities in their lives.

While I am not promoting praying to allah, I believe we can learn from their devotion to prayer. Prayer is our communication with God---the One and Only God. It is commanded, it is exampled, its success is promised. I could cite so many scripture references here, but you know them, we all do. And yet, prayer seems to be one of the most malnourished areas of our lives. Prayer should not be optional for Christians, nor should it be an afterthought. The God of the universe wants us to talk to Him. We should want to do that. We don't really take prayer seriously. We don't make preparations to speak to God. We don't make time to speak to God. We don't. I don't believe that we, (me, included) spend enough time in prayer. I don't believe that we make prayer a priority over sleep, over food, over entertainment, over leisure, over ________. (You fill in the blank). And, brothers and sisters, we should!!! Perhaps our endeavors are not as succesful because we have not asked God's blessings on them. Perhaps the heart of that soul is not softening, their eyes not opening to God's message because we have not asked for God's intervention. Perhaps our finances, our relationships, our ministries, our own spiritual health, are not flourishing because we haven't asked God to make it happen. Perhaps our church is not growing and our leaders aren't leading and our members aren't active because we haven't asks God's help in making it so. We (again me included) should repent, change, become a prayerful people or -----perhaps, all those little third graders will be proven right---Christians don't pray!!!

"Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God . . . " Daniel 9:13


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch Neva! You're so right, I can think of so many ways and times I should be going to God. I look forward to what you have to say tonight. I did pray today that God would calm a very nervous cow I was hauling and we made it, so as I knew, he does answer prayers if we'll just pray!

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Abby---ouch!

Something to think about.


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow-I am convicted. You are so right--we should be praying--no wonder we don't have results. We are not really seeking them.
Great post my sister

12:31 PM  
Blogger flee said...

Wow Neva, thanks for posting that. Something to definitely chew on and change if necessary! I enjoy you!

Love, flee

1:08 PM  
Blogger Mommysmart said...

That was very interesting. There are lessons to be learned from all people and we should learn from their prayer commitment. Thanks for that post.

1:22 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

I was thinking this just the other day. I think we do have the traditional 3 times a day at meal prayers and bedtime prayers and wake up prayers, but they are so relaxed that they do not compare to the sincerety of the Muslim's prayer. Maybe we should learn something from them.
Also, I must say that because of something the preacher said in Lubbock I have been praying that Jesus comes (or stays) into my kid's hearts. I always thought this was a Baptist thing to say so I avoided it. But, something hit me that Sunday, that I decided it should be in all my prayers for my kids. Just a side note. (and nothing against Baptists)

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Tim Archer said...

I've been intrigued by what we see in Acts of the disciples going to the temple to pray at a regular time. I wonder if I shouldn't set regular times to pray. Your post furthers that "wondering" in my mind.


Grace and peace,

2:11 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

So true!

We skip the prayer before the offering, of course we also skip the 'seperate and apart from' too.

As for the dedication to prayer. There are so many direction I could go with this. I was preaching on rpayer for a few weeks and the people came up o me and started expressing concern we were going to ask them to be part of a regualr prayer ministry. Sad!

We have a program here, part of the Nation Day of Prayer, May 3rd this year/ first thursday in May each year. One member from each congregation other than my family attends these. I am aware some think God doesn't hear sinners...

Why is it so foreign to our thinking as a whole?

I have been at congregations where we had a prayer ministry. We had prayer chains. We had fasting and prayer. We had over night prayer vigils. ... Not everyone is oblivious. There are some out there praying.

Focus on prayer is not just a recent development. I remember back when I was younger there were all night prayer times at Sunset. While I was a student we had one prayer time that was for I think about six hours. As I remember it went from like six pm to midnight. Yuo might remind me of the details if you remember Neva or Ned. But, that was only one time sad!

2:17 PM  
Anonymous lisa leichner said...

My first thought was "OUCH!!" Glad I'm not the only one. Wouldn't that be really interesting if we had mandatory prayer times throughout the day & all the Christians stopped and prayed together? I'm getting chills. That would be awesome!! (Though I realize not the free-will God had in mind. Still, awesome to pray together all around the world!)

3:00 PM  
Blogger Ancient Wanderer said...

It's good to have minimums and it is good to know that some of us surpass "devout" Muslims.

I was surprised recently to find out how little some of my brethren pray and this was in the "leadership".

I'm just talking here, as Paul would say 'as a fool', but I generally have a running conversation going with God. Sometimes He's the only one who hears one of my dumb jokes and we just enjoy it together.

Don't send men in white coats, please. :)


3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so impressed. I watched the same segment and it had no impact on me. It should have. I am thinking about the comments and on one hand thinking scheduled prayer time would be good but on the other, right now the brethren are rebelling so much against ritualistic worship, etc. I just have to think some more,
Thanks Neva

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The muslims I know also do the running conversations with allah, like AW mentioned, the five times a day are their formal prayers. They are very important to them and the children who said muslims are good, know that prayer is an important part of being a "good" muslim.
Good post,

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva, this is Rachel,
I am such a blonde.
That last comment was from me and supposed to say,
"Good post, Neva


5:34 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

No problem, Rachel.
When I posted it, I figured it was you. I am sometimes, no occasionally, no frequently, no usually a blonde too. So, I was sort of surprised that I wrote such a nice comment to myself. :)


5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often think if we were more persistent in our prayers, we would be more successful in our lives. dont you?
Thanks for always making me think


6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in agreement, ouch--we are not a very praying group of people. I heard you speak once on prayer and you said something along the lines of "if my husband only spoke to me as often as I speak to God, our relationship would not last. Why would we expect a relationship with our spiritual bridegroom to exist on so little communication?"
THat really moved me and I have been making an effort to do better. It is amazing what God will do in your life if you talk to Him. It is amazing how much easier it is to have a spiritual focus when you spend quality time in prayer.
You are wise beyond your years, friend of mine, and I love you

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our prayer life is usually the first thing to suffer when we get busy. That is too bad because that is when we need it most to help keep us grounded. Thanks Neva
I always enjoy my visit here.


10:10 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Sobering thoughts! We (myself included) don't spend enough time in prayer. Prayer should be a priority in our lives. I think scheduling a time to be with God would be a great place to start. I know that sometimes people don't like to think of scheduling time with God, but we schedule everything else in our lives. And when we don't schedule God in, He sometimes gets left out. I also believe that if we did start scheduling God in, we mind find that we would arrive at a point where we would no long need to schedule Him in. Because our need and desire for Him would be so much greater, He would become the priority. Thanks for sharing.

9:43 AM  

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