Prayer

Turning Back to Say “Thanks”

By Karin Brown

One Leper’s Return

One day as Jesus was heading to Jerusalem, He was met at the edge of a village by ten lepers who were keeping their distance, as the Law of Moses required. Knowing Jesus’ reputation as a healer, they cried out to him to have compassion on their suffering.

No one in Jewish history had ever been healed of leprosy. The rabbis concluded that such a healing would surely be a sign of the Messiah. Strangely, Jesus told the ten men to go and show themselves to the priests, something you were to do when you were already healed, as you can read in Leviticus 14.

No doubt puzzled, they did what Jesus told them to and went on their way to Jerusalem. And as they went, they were healed! Can you imagine? A miraculous healing – instantaneous and complete – and the only recorded instance of Jesus healing multiple people at the same time! But more than that, for a leper, the relational healing that would follow as they could again be readmitted to the community that had shunned them for years.

One of them, a Samaritan, immediately turned back, and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and gave thanks. Then Jesus asked in disappointment, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-19).

One. Only one. Only 10% turned around and said “thank you.” He said it with a loud voice – I love that part! He must have been overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

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Our Theology of Prayer Matters More than Our Feelings

"I relished reading about prayer, talking about prayer, trying different kinds of prayer, and encouraging others in their lives of prayer. And most of all, I loved the sweet intimacy of prayer itself .... And then one day, without warning, reason, or explanation, that sense of sweet intimacy was gone. ... My very relationship with God seemed threatened." - C.Today

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Does Your Prayer Life Need to Change?

Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

I would guess that almost every Christians reading this sentence would like to have a deeper prayer life.

As we read God’s Word, we see that prayer is a crucial part of our Christian experience. It is not simply an event that we participate in, an exercise we accomplish, or a task we fulfill. Rather, prayer is humility before God. It is an expression of our faith in Him and in the veracity of His promises.

Sometimes people describe prayer as just “talking to God,” but we know that prayer is much more than that. It is worship. It is active dependence upon God our good Father. In prayer, we give praise to God and express to Him our gratitude for His grace and good gifts. We take our concerns to Him, seeking His aid as we actively trust in His sovereignty over us. We also plead for His grace to work in the lives of others whom we love (intercession). Prayer is all of these things and much more.  

Prayer is also a spiritual discipline. It requires discipline to pray because our sinful hearts fight against spending time in prayer. It is hard to maintain consistency in prayer. We need God’s help to both enable us to pray and to teach us how to pray in a way that pleases Him. God commands us to “pray without ceasing.” Prayer is a spiritual skill learned over time by God’s grace. When it comes to prayer, every Christian is still learning.

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