We are currently in a multi-week series called Real Faith. When we began this project almost a year ago, we sent out a topic survey to over 8,000 people, and, by far, the most requested topics were topics of faith and the Christian life. We are going to have a lot of fun together looking at different areas of Christianity and our Faith and we are so glad you're along for the ride with us!
Today's topic is "Prayer" and we are excited to have a guest author with us for this post. Kelsey Forehand is the Worship Leader at Oak City Church in Birmingham, AL alongside her husband, Cole, and is also proud to be the daughter-in-law of Dale and Jena! We believe you will be significantly impacted by her words on the importance and beauty of a powerful prayer life!
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries a non-profit 501 C3 ministry. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships.
To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com.
You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at @daleandjena
- - - - -
Over the last week or so, Cole and I have seen many of our friends post about watching the movie “You've Got Mail.” Come to find out, this film seems to have become a “beginning of fall" tradition for a lot of people because it begins in New York City in the fall season. I don’t know about you, but nothing screams “fall” quite like the changing leaves around Meg Ryan in the middle of Central Park.
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks spend the majority of the movie communicating via AOL E-Mail. (Hello, 1998!) It’s through this virtual, ongoing conversation that they begin to fall in love with each other. There are some great quotes, moments, and lessons to be learned from the film, but I want to focus on CONVERSATION being the route they take towards falling in love.
You see, prayer in its purest and most natural form is a conversation.
Prayer is such a universal term. Many religions, people groups, and cultures practice prayer. Eat, pray, love, right?!
But as a Christian, how do our prayers stand apart? What makes our prayers different? What does praying really mean for us?
Of course, the answer lies in the fact that we worship and pray to a living God. A God we believe defeated death and lives today. We are praying to a very much alive Father and Friend. He is not a distant idea. He is not a dead man who we simply admire and follow the teaching of. He is a being we are living in relationship with. This changes everything. When I pray to God, I am talking to a friend. And my friend talks back to me. I hear Him. I know His voice. (John 10:27). I am building a relationship with him, I am hanging out with him, we are laughing, and cutting up. We are learning about one another. He is my first, and greatest lover.
A lot of us sure have dwindled down our prayers. We have turned them into a checklist. We spout out what we want to say to our friend, we say “amen” and we move on with our day. Our friend never even gets a chance to talk back. Our relationship looks more like a list of demands, and less like a conversation. And we wonder why being a Christian isn’t fulfilling us. We wonder why we’re exhausted living day to day by our own efforts. We wonder why we lay our heads down at night knowing that there’s more. There is more.
My charge for you as you pray today is to stop talking so much and start listening more. Say “Hello” and see what a Father who is madly in love with you wants to say.
Don’t come to your date with your Love with an agenda. Just come to hang out, and see what gifts He has for you. Then, receive it.
Maybe just sit for a minute, and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10).
listen for His voice. Relate to Him. If you feel lost on how to start, ask Holy Spirit to help you. (He’s really good at that) Holy Spirit would love to tell you how to pray. (Romans 8:26) As you listen to Him, you will find your love for Him deepening because His words are nourishment to our souls.
Prayer is a chance for you to not only converse with The Creator of the Universe but to fall head over heels in love with The One who loves you most.