Martin Zender's Guide to Intelligent Prayer
©
2004 by Martin Zender
Paperback. 80 pages. Illustrated.
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Could you bear the pressure or the consequence of God enacting your whims? Here is comforting news: Whenever a human will goes up against the divine will and clashes with it, the human will mercifully loses. Or should I say it wins. God knows best what all of us need. This is because He is a tad smarter than we are. Is this a revelation? It is to some people.

I had this friend one time with political bumper stickers all over his car. The amazing thing was that every candidate this guy ever slapped on his car bumper, won. His track record was so amazing that I thought he was either into tarot cards or had just waxed his Ouija board. I finally asked him how he did it and he said: "I put the bumper stickers on after the elections."

The longer people walk with God, the more they shut up and listen to those who are smarter than they are. Shutting up, they hear better. Hearing better, they learn. Learning, they buy the right bumper stickers. Buying the right bumper stickers, they pray and appear as geniuses. Or at least very spiritual. Because when one prays for what God wants, it always happens.


The ignorance of people who think: We moved God, or: We broke through to the blessed life; proud, small people who embrace the relative and ignore the absolute; who drool at the knothole and never become mature enough to look over the fence. I challenge these people: Wake up to your creaturehood and expand your view. You do not move God, He moves you. Prayer doesnít move God, God moves prayer. See the big picture. You are not driving the car, you are participating in the journey. Snap out of it; youíre merely touching the steering wheel of Godís car.


Pray wildly if you have to. If your heart is breaking, donít try to fashion your words or pray intelligently. Just pour out your heart to God. This is my recommendation even if you do have specific and selfish requests. In Philippians 4:6, the apostle Paul says: "In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." How can you be thankful for trouble? You canít, at least not while youíre going through it. In this context, however, I believe the thing youíre supposed to be thankful for is the opportunity to lay your worry on God. Because look at the very next thing Paul says: "Do not worry about anything."


The National Day of Prayer falls on the first Thursday of every May. This is a special day when every Christian in the United States of America is supposed to seek Godís guidance and blessing on the good olí U.S.A. Can you imagine how many prayers Shirley has to captain that day? As I said, I fear for her health. Shirley must feel on the first Friday in May like Santa Claus feels on December 26th.


Jesus says not to rattle off long prayers like pagans. Apparently, pagans think that words are like points that rack up digitally on a pinball machine. Yet this is exactly what the Catholic church told me to do: Pray this many prayers and youíll rack up points, which to the Catholics meant having your sins forgiven. It was words that counted. More words, longer words, better words. I had to say so many of this prayer, so many of that. So many prayers and Iíd get an extra ball, or a bonus round. Saying the rosary was like getting your metal ball stuck in a metal hole, when the machine just goes wild. Bells ring, lights flash, and youíre sitting there going, "Oh, God, Iím racking up the points now!" Godís eyes light up and He must be saying to the angels, "Holy Moses, this guyís headed for a single-game record."