COLUMN: Making time for prayer

In this week’s Bashaw Star Religion column: Taking time for prayer

Pastoral Ponderings

Robin King

Do you pray?

Just to be clear, I’m not asking about those times in church when the pastor says “Let us pray” and we all bow our heads or kneel and share in a prayer made on our behalf. Nor am I talking about those times we share in the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer Jesus taught us, whether we understand it as an example of how to pray or “the” prayer to be shared.

I mean, do you pray? You. By yourself. With God. Or by whatever name you call God.

In the gospel of Luke, the author gives us one of the two stories of Jesus answering the disciples request to teach them to pray (Luke 11). His response includes a short version of what we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. But Jesus goes on, first with a parable that reminds us to be persistent in prayer and second, a reminder that God answers with what God knows is appropriate. It seems a little like saying — and I’m paraphrasing Luke with some additions, here — “Ask, and it shall be given to you, though maybe not exactly what you were expecting; search, and you will find, though maybe not exactly what you thought you were looking for; knock, and the door will be opened to you, though it may be a little like playing The Price Is Right, ‘cause you might find something you weren’t expecting.” God knows what is best for you and will answer with what is best for you. Trust God.

That’s a good way of explaining that, I suppose. At least, we want it to be. Sometimes it’s hard to make that enough. Like when we pray that God will help someone with cancer get well and they don’t. Or we pray that God will protect us from abuse, but the abuse doesn’t stop. Or we pray that a loved one travels safely and they’re hurt in an accident. Or we pray that God will help us find a job so we can care for our family, and there’s no work to be found. Or we pray for good healthy crops and there’s a drought. Is it enough then?

I want to say it is. But if you’ve been in one of those situations when you appeal to God for help and it appears that the help isn’t coming, it seems harder to believe, doesn’t it? And not just in God, but in ourselves. After all, what if our prayers weren’t answered because we prayed wrong?

Maybe the key to understanding that better is in the examples Jesus gives, comparing prayer to persistently asking a friend for help, or comparing how God might answer to a parent’s response to a child. It seems, in Luke’s gospel, like Jesus is saying, “You must understand the relationship as if God were a friend or parent who knows us, who really knows us, not like some distant, all powerful entity.” God is not the Great Oz, but our dearest friend, a parent, a lover that knows us intimately, genuinely, uniquely. After all, if we come from God and return to God, how can God not know us so deeply?

I don’t have an answer for how God responds to each individual and unique prayer. I can’t imagine that anyone does. But I know this: Prayer is the voice of our relationship with God. God hears all that is said from our hearts and you can’t — you can’t! — pray wrong. God loves us for who we are and God loves us regardless of how we live. God answers all prayers with love, whatever that love may look like to us.

Talk regularly with God. Pray for needs, but pray with thanks also. Pray because God is listening like a best friend or a parent or a loved one. Pray however your heart needs to speak. But do pray.

Just Posted

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Country Gardens owner Carmen Sim invited to international horticultural show

Located between Ponoka and Bashaw, the greenhouse owner is taking in a lifetime trip

Maskwacis RCMP lay charges from home invasion

Four charged in alleged invasion using knives and gun on Samson Cree Nation - three injured

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Bashaw council concerned with early regional water hook up

Regional water commission wants town brought onto system by end of January

UPDATE/WATCH: Jason Klaus and Josh Frank guilty in triple murder

Crown argues for 75 years to life in prison, sentencing on Jan. 22nd

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

Most Read