Zip It and Pray! – FaithGateway

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How to Speak to God Before You Speak to Other folks

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer. ~ John Bunyan

When I was in college in the 1980s, I came across a pamphlet entitled “How to Invest an Hour in Prayer.” I had been a Christian for just a couple of years, and I was intrigued. I knew about people known as prayer warriors who placed excellent emphasis on conversing with God, and prayer seemed to come to them as naturally as breathing. Perhaps you know some prayer warriors too. They regularly want to know your prayer requests. They habitually intercede for other people. For them, spending an hour in prayer is no major point.

I myself have by no means been identified as a prayer warrior. Ever. In reality, I am much more like a prayer wimp. I come across it complicated to keep my thoughts from wandering when I pray. They ricochet all over the spot as I attempt to concentrate on communicating with God.

Way back in the eighties when I came across that pamphlet, I decided that factors have been going to transform. So I took off to a park 1 sunny, autumn afternoon with my Bible in hand and a resolve in my heart to stick to the step-by-step guide. I felt like a spiritual giant.

I settled myself on a quaint park bench close to some pine trees and a beautiful flower garden. I opened my Bible and looked down at my pamphlet and started to do what it recommended: “Spend five minutes thanking God for the blessings in your life. Spend five minutes praising God for his character qualities,” and so on. Apparently, breaking down the a variety of categories into 5-minute increments was supposed to assistance. But it didn’t assistance me.

5 minutes seemed like an eternity.

Quite quickly a jogger occurred by. He was carrying a small portable radio — without having headphones — and the blaring music distracted me. I couldn’t truly get into worshiping the Lord with Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” blaring in my ears. (Hmm… maybe in retrospect I need to have joined along, singing that tune out loud to the devil!) Two hyper squirrels decided to chase every other up and down a tree and about and about my bench. I laughed at their antics but once again lost my spot. A household getting a picnic nearby decided to engage in a rousing game of Frisbee. The Frisbee got away from 1 of the youngsters and soared previous me, barely missing my head. Even when the animals and humans quieted down, nonetheless I had problems concentrating. I couldn’t concentrate.

I kept considering of all the factors I had to do back at the dorm. And I got distracted seeking about at nature, even even though it wasn’t generating a sound. I gave up just after twenty-3 minutes and concluded I just wasn’t reduce out to be a prayer warrior.

My prayer wimp status tends to make me really feel spiritually inferior to these for whom prayer comes naturally, but it does not stop there — a lack of prayer impacts a further region of my life.

When I don’t pray, I am much more most likely to say factors I later regret. Or to say something that desires to be mentioned but I say it in the incorrect way or at the incorrect time. And there are even occasions that I say nothing at all at all when I need to truly be speaking up. Yes, when I do not make it a habit to speak to God, I from time to time speak (or fail to speak) to others in a way I later regret.

Speaking to God assists me know how to speak to other people.

A lot more Prayer = Significantly less Gossip

In addition to the reality that prayer warriors take communicating with God seriously, I have also noticed some thing else about them. They are not normally identified for gossiping, making use of harsh words, or speaking as well considerably. In reality, just the opposite is accurate.

Could there be a correlation amongst the time and work spent talking with God and the high quality of our conversations with other people?

I assume so.

Take my pal Kelly. She and I became close pals over thirty years ago when we have been fresh out of higher college and both landed on the exact same floor in our tiny midwestern Christian college dorm. She was on the cheerleading squad. I was on the dance group. She had only sisters. I had only a brother. Her favorite color is lavender. Mine is peach. But the greatest difference between Kelly and me? My mouth has frequently gotten me into trouble. Nonetheless, in the thirty years I have identified Kelly, I am certain I have by no means as soon as heard her gossip. Seriously! Whilst she seemed to commit a lot of time speaking to the Lord, she did not spend time speaking about other people. Or speaking in an angry way. Or saying the incorrect point. Or speaking as well considerably. I do not ever recall her getting to take away her foot from her mouth, some thing I seemed to have to do frequently throughout my college days.

As I got to know her, I noticed correct away that she took her relationship with Christ extremely seriously. Oh, she wasn’t 1 to do acts of righteousness ahead of other people so that she could be thought of as super spiritual. I just noticed factors. Like the reality that she often had her Bible open on her dorm bed, exactly where she had highlighted passages (with a lavender highlighter, of course!). Or I would spot her writing in her prayer journal, recording requests from household and pals that she had promised to pray for. She often sent me a note in the campus mail, telling me she was praying especially for me. The much more I got to know her, the more I realized just how essential prayer was to my pal Kelly.

Watching Kelly’s life more than the years has convinced me that there is a direct correlation amongst our prayer life and our conversations.

Probably if we spent much more time and power on our prayer life, we would use our tongues much more wisely.

Watch the Hold It Shut Video

Excerpted with permission from Hold It Shut: What To Say, How To Say It, And When To Say Practically nothing At All by Karen Ehman, copyright Karen Ehman.

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Your Turn

Do you have a pal like Kelly who encourages you by instance to commit your words wisely? Do you have a habit of saying factors you later regret. Of gossiping? Of making use of harsh words? These are battles we can refuse to drop even if it is a method! This Psalm can be a continual prayer. Currently, let’s pause and ask the Holy Spirit to “Set a guard more than my mouth, Lord maintain watch more than the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:three. Come join the conversation on our weblog! We would really like to hear from you about mastering to zip it and pray!

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