3.28.2012

What is the use of silent prayer? Why do we need that?

What is the use of silent prayer? Why do we need that?

I was leading a retreat the other day at a Christian Retreat Center.
After my first presentation, a person asked me: what is the use of silent prayer?
Why do we need that?
He had a scientific mind and wanted to know what the benefit of silent prayer was. My answer to him was a longer one. But I would like to share a part of it.

There is so many way we pray.
Silent prayer is one of them.
Silent prayer or contemplative prayer is good for those who like to discern God’s way in their own life.
It helps you to get to know more about God and yourself.
It is like taking an inward journey of yourself.

God is communicating with us in various ways.
So, during silent prayer, you examine how God has been communicating with you.
If you recognize it, you can enjoy God’s guidance for your life.

One way to examine about this is to think about how you have been feeling lately.
It is because our feeling often informs us whether we are in tune with God or not.

So, in terms of examining God’s gentle guidance through your change of feeling, here are two questions that you may consider.

What does it feel like when you are in tune with God?
What does it feel like when you are NOT in tune with God?

Mostly, when we are in tune with God, we feel good. We feel alive.
So, here are some of feelings that you may feel when you are in tune with God:

o You are peaceful, whether you are busy or not.
o Everything seems move smoothly.
o You feel calm and easygoing.
o You feel freedom.
o You feel God’s grace for your life.
o God seems working through you as well as people around you.
o You are grateful.
o Out of nowhere, you have faith, hope, and love.
o Suddenly, you feel like you love everyone.
o Suddenly, you are full of hope.
o You are able to calmly listen first, then plan and work.
o You have a quiet conviction for your life. You feel like, “This is it!”

Now what does it feel like when you are NOT in tune with God?

o You worry a lot. So, you spend a lot of times watching TV.
o You become grumpy, or anxious.
o You get easily upset.
o You feel sad, without a specific reason.
o You are not accomplishing much, but you are very busy.
o You feel people don’t care.
o You feel like you are doing everything.
You don’t feel like God is there to help you. You feel like, “I am alone in this.
I alone have to do all these.”
o You do things because you feel you got to do.
But you know you are not in it.
o You feel like your life becomes tough.
o You go through the motions.

If you recognize these feelings, you may be able to discern where you are with God, and then choose better choices for your life.
This is really a very brief description.
But it may help your journey of living in tune with God.

Mark 11:1-10 (3)

Reading: Mark 11:1-10

Let me show you this video first.
Let me know what you think.
Video: http://youtu.be/IMbF_6c1EZE


What is happening in this video?
Who is entering where?
Right, Jesus is entering Jerusalem.

What is this?
It is the leaves of palm tree.
In Jerusalem, it was easy to get this leaves.
They had a lot of them.
So, we are going to give you one.
Does everybody have one?
Good.

You saw in this video that they were waving this Palm leaves.
Why do you think they wave?
What do they want to do?
Right, they want to cheer/welcome for Jesus.

But why?
Because they think Jesus is the new King.
And when they welcome a new king, they wave these leaves.
And they say "Hosanna!”
It means "Save us."
It also can mean: Hooray, Yeah, Yeeha.

Let’s try, shall we?
We are going to wave and say “Hooray for Jesus, Hosanna, Save us, Yeah, Yeeha”?
You are going to make some noise for Jesus.
Ok, shall we try? Alright.
I will count 1, 2, 3. On three, we will go. 1, 2, 3!
Hosanna! Save us! Yeeha.
Good.

They were doing things like us to say to Jesus:
"Finally, you have come in the name of our God!
We have been waiting for you, our Messiah! The King!
Bless you. We bless you, our king! Save us!”

Even though it was only for a short time, they recognize him as the king. They believe that Jesus was a king.

Do you think Jesus was a king?
Yes, he was the king of peace.
That is why he was riding a donkey.
Jesus was the king who used his power to serve everyone.
He was the king who wanted to save all.
I hope when you have some kind of power or authority, you will also use your power to serve others like Jesus. OK? Remember that. Good.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for being our king.
Help us follow your way always.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

Let’s go out following our teachers, waving leaves.

Note:
http://youtu.be/IOEQSE7FbJE

3.03.2012

Luke 11: 1-13

Reading: Luke 11: 1-13
ppt

(1)What do you think he is doing? Right, he is praying.
(2) What do you think this person is doing?
This person folds his hands like this and prays.

(3) What about this person? That person looks down like that and prays.

(4) What about these persons? They pray together, huh?

They all pray. But they all pray differently, right?

So, I have some questions about prayer.
What is prayer anyway?
How can they do that in all different forms?
Can you tell me what prayer is? Right, prayer is listening to God and talking with God, of course.

But then what do we learn when we pray?
We learn of God.
We get to know God.
As we talk with God, we get to know more of God.
And God gets to know us.
And we get to know of ourselves as well in prayer.

Then when can we pray?
Can we pray anytime? (Anywhere)
You can pray anytime.

Can you pray when you feel joy? Of course.
God is your friend. So, you can share your joy with God.

Can we pray when we have some difficulty and some problems? Of course.
Jesus said: "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door will be always opened to you."

So, you can ask God to solve your problems.
In fact, Jesus asks us to keep on praying and never give up.
It can also mean that sometimes you need to wait for God to answer your prayer.
God is ready to help.

Can we also pray when we are afraid of something. Of course.
In that case, you can say to God, “God, I am afraid. So, be with me. Good God be with us.” God will be with you. In fact, God is always with you.
God is ready to help.

Well, do you pray time to time? I hope you pray every day.
So, remember to talk with God sometimes. ok?

Let’s pray: Jesus, thank you being with us. Thank you for your love. And thank you for listening to our prayer. In your name, we pray. Amen.