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Rev. Ike

Prayer - What it IS and What it is NOT

- by Rev. Ike

I want to share with you a definition for prayer that may shock you, but it's going to bless you and give you a new experience in prayer. Now, there's no exclusive way of defining prayer and I don't ever mean to give what seems like an exclusive definition, this is an inclusive definition. So here it is: Prayer is an open line of instant, constant communication with God-in-you.

You Don't Have to Kneel
Down and Bow Your Head!

This lets you know that you don't have to wait for any special time or position to be in, in order to pray... don't have to be in church, you don't have to kneel down and bow your head -- but the line of communication between you and God is open, instantly and constantly. Isn't that wonderful?

We can enlarge upon that idea of God...

...prayer is an open line of instant, constant communication...

...with the mind of God-in-you...

...with the intelligence of God-in-you...

...with the wisdom of God-in-you...

...with the Power and the Presence of God-in-you.

Pray to God-in-YOU!

So you see, the God I'm talking about is not just some stodgy theological idea, not some Old-man-in-the-sky concept of God, like we were taught in Sunday School. God is in ME! God is in YOU! And right now when I stop to think that I have an open line to God, I'm excited. And it's not a one way line, it's a two way line! And the song says, "And He walks with me and He talks with me," so when you pray don't try to do all the talking.

Sometimes You Must
Shut Up and Listen!

When you pray, talk some and for God's sake, shut up and be quiet and listen some. Sometimes when I pray verbally, sometimes the biggest thing I say quietly is "thank you Father", and then I listen. Oh, thank you Father. So remember that this is a two-way open line to God. You use your end and God-in-you will use His end. Now that's a definition of what prayer IS.

What Prayer is Not:

Very quickly let me go through some of the things that prayer is NOT . Prayer is Not Just an Emergency Measure. Some folks never pray unless they pray in some emergency, "Oh, Lord have mercy." I say prayer is a constant, on-going communication with God-in-you.

Prayer is Not a Complaint Department.

When I was in the Air Force, and they were going to entertain complaints, perhaps the Commander would invite you to his office, you know, to talk about what you don't like that's going on around the Squadron and they would call them bitching sessions. And some of you haven't been praying at all, you've just been bitching. Prayer is not a complaint department. Again, prayer is not something you do only when you want something. Now these things may seem elementary, but there are just a lot of people who think that prayer is something you do in an emergency, prayer is something you just do to complain, prayer is just something you do when you want something.

Prayer Is Also a Giving Process.

Be sure that you do some giving in your praying. This is one of the things that will help to make prayer unusually successful. What is it that I'm to give in my prayer? Give thanks. Prayer is a thanksgiving process. Never pray without giving. All of life is a giving process in some way or another. Life cannot be successful unless there's a giving. And I like the words of the Apostle Paul, "In all things give thanks." So there should be giving in everything you do. And you should learn to give in every form and every fashion, with love and gladness. If you want to do something about your job, about your work, start thinking about it as a giving process, and give lovingly and you'll start receiving more. So put some giving in your praying.

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Dr. Frederick Eikerenkoetter
better known as Rev. Ike
November 2008

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