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You are here: Home  > Faith Alive! | October 2009

Faith Alive! | October 2009

In Faith Alive! this issue:

  • What’s on the web?
  • First or last?
  • Nehemiah (3)
    Prayers and problems
  • Ready To Give An Answer (RTGAA)?
    “What do you believe?”
  • The power of poetry in the Old Testament (3)
  • Right or wrong?
    Your work
  • Poem
    The Minor Prophets
  • ukyc09
    A speaker’s perspective / A participant’s perspective
  • “Life’s greatest inventions” (3)
  • Science sound bites
  • Psalms crossword
  • Don’t gossip
  • The Commandments of Christ
    The internet version
  • The faithful of old – studied by the young …
  • Prayer
  • Prayer themes
  • The Lord’s Prayer Crossword
  • An action plan for improving your praying …

A sample article from this edition:

First or last?

FOR many people, including those with no faith, prayer is a last resort. Desperation sets in and prayer pops up. Near death experiences, emergency situations, sudden illnesses, tragedies are just some of the catalysts for people deciding they will start praying. Yet prayer ought to be our spontaneous response to every situation every day. It ought to be a reflex action, something which comes as a natural response – like closing your eyes when you sneeze – it should be something we can’t stop ourselves from doing.

But I doubt that prayer is like this for most people. We have to train ourselves to do it. The Bible is clear that the mind of man doesn’t naturally tend towards godly things – it needs teaching. Prayer is one of those sad spiritual casualties of a mind filled with other things. We need to remind ourselves with things that trigger prayer.

Prayer addicted?

Most addicts will admit they have triggers to their addiction – things that make their addiction worse or cause negative behaviours to resurface. Addicts have to break habits and remove triggers to get rid of the addiction. It needs to work the opposite way round with prayer. Prayer should become like a spiritual addiction which improves our lives (unlike human addictions which are so destructive). As such, creating habits and triggers to make us pray can help to make us “prayer addicted”. Every time you get in a car or on your bike, every time you switch a light on or off, every time you leave the house – whatever works and is memorable for you – think of something that makes you think to pray.

Structuring prayer

Remembering to pray is one thing, but actually knowing what to say is another. Having help in terms of structuring prayer can be useful too. The most obvious structure is the Lord’s Prayer. Another less well known one is “ACTS” (not the book of the Bible). It is a useful little tool to remember how our prayer should be structured, and the order of importance we should attach to different parts of prayer:

Adoration (recognising God),
Confession (recognising ourselves in relation to our God),
Thanksgiving (thanking God),
Supplication (asking God).

Anything like this which helps us to remember to make prayer our first resort and not our last can help us grow as we wait for the kingdom of God. As with most things, the more we practise the better we shall get.

Edward carr – Editor


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