August 2016

Words of Wisdom

Every so often, a thought so heartfelt, so meaningful, is shared by an obedient, faithful, Godly man or woman – and everybody needs to know about it.  This is one of those times, and James Young is that man.  His thoughts on prayer are spot on, not because he thought them up, but because he lives them every day.  I wanted you all to have the benefit of the words he wrote in a spiral notebook years ago – my prayer is that you will find them as relevant and instructive as I have.  Enjoy!

As I listened to a sermon on prayer one Sunday night, I began to think about and to recall some of the things I have learned about prayer and the results of prayer.

Praying is a two way thing. We talk to God, and He talks to us. Most of the time, we pray for something but don’t wait for, or listen for, the Lord’s reply. Here are some statements that I have learned that may help us to pray better:

  • Pray whereever you are and at any time. In most public places one person cannot pray out loud for everyone. However, each  individual can whisper a prayer. There will be others praying quietly while others have no idea what is going on around them. Don’t be afraid to pray while on the phone – but be sure to keep your eyes open if you are driving!
    • Be decisive when you pray. Don’t pray in generalities. Name the person or situation you are praying for.   God is aware of the person or need that you are coming to Him with.
    • Be careful what you pray for. There are some things that we ask for that when God begins to teach us when answering our prayer that can make our lives hectic or miserable.
    • Thank the Lord for what He has done and for what He will do for you. Look back on the past and see where the Lord has blessed you. Thanking Him for what He is going to do can mean that you know He will answer your prayers and that you will accept His answer.
    • Pray with the belief that God will answer you. He may say yes, no, or later. When He says yes, it means that what we prayed for will help us and will glorify God. When He says no or later we should not get angry, but try to see or understand the reason why. Later could mean that the time is not right, or that we would not accept His answer.
    • It took me a long time to realize that when we prayed for an ill person and they died, that God had answered our prayer but not in the way we had expected or hoped.

      There are different ways that the Lord can get our attention when He has something to say to us. Here are some: sitting quietly, when we sleep (dream), in a sermon, or through another Christian.

      Regardless of the method that the Lord uses to talk to us, we must be sure that what we hear or feel He is saying is really from Him. When there is a doubt, we can put out a fleece or ask God to show us that it is Him we hear.

      Prayer without faith will not accomplish anything. We must pray with a strong belief that God will hear and answer us.

      Here are some examples of how to pray:

      The proper way for a man to pray,

      Says Deacon Lemuel Keys,

      And the only proper way to pray

      Is down on his knees.


      No, I should say the way to pray,

      Says Reverend Doctor Wise,

      Is standing straight with outstretched arms

      And upturned eyes.


      Oh, no, no, no, said Elmer Slow,

      Such posture is too proud;

      A man should pray with eyes fast closed

      And head continually bowed.


      It seems to me his hands should be

      Austerely clasped in front;

      Both hands pointed toward the ground,

      Says Reverend Doctor Blunt.


      Last year I fell in Hitching’s well

      Head first, says Cyrus Brown.

      And both my heels were sticking up,

      And my head pointing down.

      And I made a prayer right then and there,

      The best prayer I ever prayed

      Was standing on my head.


      Putting complete faith while talking to and listening to our Lord will help us to overcome obstacles in our lives and touch the lives of those around us.