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Pastoral Reflections- Rev. Barb Muhs, pastor, Salem Church of Lincoln Lincoln, Iowa

March 8, 2013
Northern-Sun Print
During this season of Lent I have been spending time thinking about and reading a bit more on prayer. For one reason or another the word. “pray” keeps coming to my mind when there is a moment of pause nad do I do as the spirit is directing me, the list of needs, people, world situations, healings and joys are so great that I never have to think long before I pray. I remember from my childhood hearing the words from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”. As a youngster I wondered how boring life would be if all a person did was pray all day long. I have since discovered that to pray without ceasing is one of my joys of serving and being a Christian. My prayer time is often in a variety of ways. Sometimes singing, sometimes outloud (yes, even if I am alone) and then there are the silent prayers that occur many times throughout the day. Thinking back on the prayers that I learned as a child, that many of you learned as a child are paryers that hopefully parents are teaching their children today . I blieve the most popular of all time, “Now I lay me down to sleep...” or perhaps it is a family meal prayer, “God is great, God is good and we thank God for our food.” More uncommon ones are to the tune of Superman, the Addams Family or even Johnny Appleseed. It matters not which one(s) we use what matters is that they are said. Over the years I have experienced prayer in a variety of ways, popcorn prayers(people stand up and offer prayers from where thay are standing), sentence prayers( where each person around the circle or in the room says one line of a prayer with a designated beinning  and ending person), meditation prayer ( a person reads a prayer while the gathered pray on the meditation). Yes, a variety of ways to prayer but still to the same God. Earlier followers of God prayed. Jesus prayed. Disciples prayed. Our forefathers and mothers prayed. We pray. I’m grateful that I learned to pray as a child and I am grateful that somewhere along my journey there were people that were willing to teach me that prayer is a conversation with God, my friend. I am grateful  that the disciples asked Jesus how to pray and that he responded by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer. I am grateful that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and the on the cross. Jesus was able to pray inspite of his future , his pain and suffering,Jesus was able to pray with confidence that God would hear ALL of his prayers and answer then in God’s time. Yes, prayer is a discipline, it requires time,commitment and thought. I’m glad Jesus encourages us to pray through scripture. It requires us to give time to God and to think of the sacrifice Jesus made for US so that we could learn, live, celebrate our salvation in Christ. Look around, see what is in front of you and then pray. God is always listening. God’s Peace


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