When I was in high school I had a class period my senior year that I had to fill and so I thought it would be fun to take a shorthand and typing class. I loved learning shorthand and still use those skills today. My mother and I used to even correspond in shorthand when I was away at college and we would always, in any letter, shorthand or longhand, write, “I love you,” in shorthand at the end of letters and notes to one another.
Shorthand uses abbreviated symbols for the words and also leaves out many words that are just understood to be part of the sentence. So, in essence, it abbreviates much of what we would otherwise need to write out to complete a proper sentence.
As I apply this idea to our conversations with God I think many of our prayers we lift up are in shorthand. We often say to God, “I need this or that,” or we think, “God help me with this.” Now there is nothing wrong with that because I think anytime we turn to God in prayer and thought it is good. I also believe that God knows what we need long before we even utter the thought; but I also think it is good to set time aside to really sit and communicate in depth with God, to just talk and confide and dialogue with God as we would with another person. What I love about those times are the deep revelations of Spirit that come up during the prayer. This becomes true quality time spent with God and this quality time will not only help build our relationship with the Divine, but it will increase our faith and understanding of the grace that is poured out for us. I firmly believe that many, if not most, times the answers to my prayers are found in my prayer. While talking with God I suddenly find myself expressing the very thing that has alluded me. I find the ideas, the insight, the truth in my prayer as I am saying it, and what I just know is that the insight came from God and was sent through me to verbalize in order to understand it more fully. It also gives me a great opportunity to say “thank you, God, for your blessing.”
God understands our shorthand, but God also loves to hear our praise and thanksgiving in the fullness of our expression. Our prayer time is really one of the most important things we can do each day.
And at the end of each prayer, right before we say our “Amen,” we can also say to God, “I love you.” We all like to be told we are loved and I think God is no exception.
“The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.” (Psalm 6: 9
Affirmation: “Aware of the fullness of God right where I am I understand with greater clarity the magnitude of God working in my life. Thank you God for new insights and revelations of your presence. I love you.”
Rev. Jefferson Beeker
We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.
Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life. Please join us each Sunday at 5:30 PM in our Social Hall at First Christian Church, North Hollywood, CA for our Contemporary Celebration and Praise service. Come as you are and enjoy an hour of great music from our wonderful band and singers, inspiring messages and good fellowship. Those things in life that you have been seeking have also been seeking you. Now is a good time to receive them. We will lift one another to live exciting, abundant new lives of possibility and purpose.
Also, join me on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 PM for an hour of guided and silent meditation, reflection, affirmation and prayer. As always, we will share communion together. Everyone is welcome. We are an open and affirming congregation.
First Christian Church, North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. http://www.fccnh.org
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