What do you do when you pray? ~Paul Gray

What do you do when you pray?  When I first started my religious life, I was taught – and I embraced – the ACTS formula…and I stress FORMULA…for praying.  It was easy to remember because of the Book of ACTS in the bible.

A==Adoration: Spend at least 15 minutes adoring God

C==Confession: Spend at least 15 minutes confessing everything you hadn’t confessed the day before. Forgetting to confess something and dying before you remembered it would cost you the loss of your salvation. You’d suffer Eternal Conscious Torment. Seem like a fair deal to me. NOT!!!

T==Thanksgiving:  Spend at least 15 minutes thanking God for everything you can think of

S==Supplication: Present your requests to God for 15 minutes or more.

I then expanded that and taught a version that varied the request part each day of the week – ie – Mondays pray for everyone in your family, Tuesday pray for everyone in your church, etc.

Can you see anything wrong with that formula…other than the wrongness of even having to have a formula for prayer? 

You saw it!  There was absolutely NO time or place for LISTENING TO GOD!!!  

Then as I started to come to know God personally and He started revealing to me His Unconditional Love, Grace, Acceptance, Forgiveness and Inclusion of ALL people forever, one day He said to me:  

“Paul, you believe that I’m Omniscient, right?”

“Yes, Papa.”

“Has it ever occurred to you the foolishness of spending all your time talking to the One person in the Universe who knows everything?”  

“Uh…now that you put it that way…”  We both had a good laugh.  And I started listening much more. I think that’s what the Apostle Paul meant in 1 Thessalonians 5:17  “Pray continually.”  

I’ve come to realize that, for the most part, PRAYER IS LETTING GOD TALK – AND ME LISTENING & BEING SILENT!!!

I want to finish today with something from across the pond: Here’s a WONDERFUL poem that my Scottish friend, Rose Lee wrote after watching my video about Rest:

The true sabbath day
Is a who
And not a what.
We just let Go
Go with the flow.
Of Jesus.

Give it to God
Relax and be still
Trust God’s will
For me for you
In all we do
God has this!

With Him we’re right on time.
He is totally in the now
He knows the why and how.
The Holy Spirit working in us
As us, through us
Its all good, all of God.

Though If I stress
And grab the steering wheel
That’s not the deal.
On my own
I’m not all that
and things sometimes fall flat.

How well things go.
With a supernatural flow.
It’s not our labour
Not our intentions
Or what we know
But Spirit sent.

The Sabbath is a who and not a what.
No need to plan or plot
It matters not.
We rest in Christ
For God is love.
No rules Just Love.