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Are you a good pray-er?

What you believe about God determines your prayer life. Having spent a fair amount of time in Boston, (as I have a son living there), I have noticed tis a different mentality than in other areas of the country. Apparently, Bostonians pride themselves on being somewhat skeptical; and if a university student, well particularly skeptical about Christian faith! Hmm, so I wonder if the praying lives of the Bostonians were measured against those of other big cities just how they would compare. Hmmm. A. W. Tozer said, ‘What we think about God determines everything about us’! Is it true? I think it is. Whether or not I am cognizant of it, how I define and think about God determines pretty much everything about me, including whether or not I pray, how much I pray and how much faith I have in the God to whom I am praying—the efficacy of my prayers in short. You and I have differing views, differing experiences with God—influenced by our upbringings, whatever we have experienced and also whatever way we have invited God into our lives. My view and experience of God, upon closer inspection, determine who I think runs my life. Is it just me? Or ‘someone else’s idea--perhaps reverence and respect for my parents, heritage, culture or faith tradition? What I believe about God, and how he fits into my life establishes Who or what I look to for truth, guidance, purpose, strength and whether I look to God’s Word for my instruction and understanding. What the beloved apostle Paul believed about God prompted him to say, ‘Grace and peace flow from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’1 How much grace, how much peace do I experience? And how much of each do you experience? Perhaps if you find yourself grace-challenged, it bears looking into what Paul said, and seeing if ‘you can get yourself some o’that’! I mean, he is another of the apostles of Jesus Christ who believed so much in Jesus Christ, he was willing to die for his belief. With so much that is good and right coming from the pen of Paul, doesn’t that give us cause to consider he might be right-- that grace and peace come from God the Father and Jesus Christ’? My knowledge of and about God establishes my place in the world . . . including my role to be ‘in the world, yet not defined by it.’2 Aye, it means I ought be daily living as a transformed woman of God, not conformed to the culture’s standards or ideas. What I think about God gives me a right understanding of myself as a human being, known by God before I emerged from my mother’s womb, because God created my inner being. He wove me together in my dear mother’s womb. He fearfully and wonderfully made me, because all of his works are wonderful. God saw the shape of me and my unformed body before my mother even existed! 3 Staggering. What I think about God, having the knowledge that his Word tells me that I am-- ~Created in his image 4 ~Endowed with a unique purpose 5 ...One of submission and surrender to a mighty, loving, good God … ...One of humility to love and serve people 6 ~Enrolled as a citizen of heaven; indeed, I am just passing through this life, though it is all I now know! 7 ~Saved by faith because of the great grace of God. 8 ~Encouraged to live a life worthy of the Lord, and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God— 9 --causes me to pray and believe there is a loving God who hears and answers my prayers. For that reason, I pray. And when I pray, I become a good pray-er. And when I am a good pray-er, I find it is well with my soul. Listen: You too? Christine

1 - Ephesians 1.1-2 2 – Romans 12.2 3 – Psalm 139.13-16a - my paraphrase 4 - Genesis 1.26-27 5 - Ephesians 2.10 6 – Mark 12.30-31 7 – Philippians 3.20 8 – Ephesians 2.8-9 9 - Colossians 1.10

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