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Greg Brothers is an Adventist pastor in Oregon.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Who listens when God prays?

And his disciples came unto him and said, “Teach us to pray.”

And he said, “Why?”

And they said, “Well . . . uh . . . all the other rabbis are teaching their disciples how to pray.”

“So go ask them – and besides, you have 150 psalms, not to mention the Eighteen Benedictions that you recite in the synagogue every Sabbath. It’s not as though you lack for examples!”

“Yes, but when you pray, things happen. We want to pray so that things happen too!”

And he did close his eyes, and sigh – and after he had done so, he did begin teaching his disciples to pray as follows: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

And his disciples did stop him and say, “Excuse me? Does it have to be all about Him?”

“No,” he said, “there’s more. ‘Give us today our daily bread.’”

“That’s it?”

“You want more?”

“Let’s be honest,” said his disciples unto him. “You’re not going to sell many books on prayer if all it gets you is the bare minimum to survive. No, we’re looking for something more; we’re looking for a little something extra. You know – a little jam on the bread.”

“Okay, how about ‘Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors’?”

“Love the first part; hate the second. Try again.”

“Maybe something along the lines of, ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’?”

“There’s no need to be sarcastic – and besides, this whole prayer is just way too negative.”

“Negative?”

“You know what I mean. ‘God, it’s all about you – not me. I don’t ask for much, but I do need a break; right now, in fact, I could use all the help I can get.’ I mean, what kind of a prayer is that?!? ”

And he did smile and say, “the same kind I pray every day.”

Pastor Greg

And remember: "You can do more than pray after you have prayed. But you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed" -- John Bunyan.

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