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  • Writer's pictureMark Whitten

Pages: Raw, Unedited, Free Writing (with an occasional picture) [Published Edition 01]

Hey friends. Steven King convinced me that I need to start writing every day as a discipline to hone my craft. So, I thought I would share with you a few of my freewriting ramblings from time to time, to give you a behind the scenes look at the writing process in its raw, unedited beginnings. So without further ado, I introduce to you....wait for it........ PAGES.

Pages 101921 [How to Pray 1]

Prayers. Start with breathing. We begun as breath, and we will end with one last one.

Center your soul and acknowledge the Presence of the Christ within you.

Being still of course. Reel your mind back into this present moment.

Align with hope and goodness and love.

Let joy begin to swell up into your morning, like how the sun rises with such gentleness.

If you’re in too much of a hurry. Wake-up earlier. You really need more than 15 minutes. It usually takes 15 just to posture yourself in prayer. To become still. To become present. To notice that you’re sharing this space with Divinity.

I rarely begin with confession of sin and short-comings. Father already knows. I know. We’ll deal with that later.

Just acknowledging His Presence is an act of worship. An act of faith that comes before Him like a sweet smelling fragrance. A glance, shall we call it, that turns a mundane moment into Holy ground.

Allow His goodness to embrace your inner being until you begin to feel it in your flesh.

He is everything and in everything. Hear the birds singing as they fly. See the sky unfold its daily work. Watch the wind move through the branches like invisible sheets. Breathing in goodness. Believing that goodness is the plan. And sighing with gratefulness at the banquet set before you in this new day.

Enter His gates with a grateful heart.

Cultivate gratefulness if it doesn’t leap from your heat like a bouncing baby goat. If it doesn’t cover you like a deep fur blanket, practice being grateful. Yes, practice. Make a list of little items that you’d be lost without if tomorrow came and they weren't with you (coffee is a good one to start with) and say a simple thank you. And if you’re finding it difficult to come out of your dark hole then think of the day of your death. Remember your mortality, and consider that things could always be worse. Someone, somewhere has a much more painful path to journey than I do.

Praying in tongues (if you can do that) is a good way to begin your verbal expression to the Lord. For you do not know what you ought to pray. So we let the Holy Spirit form the introduction and smooth out any miscommunications or forgotten requests that our minds have yet to extract from our spirit. Let the Spirit pray for a while, perhaps a few minutes or more, and feel Him build that bonfire in our bellies.

And then we can enter into various rooms in our house of prayer. We may wish to go to the bathroom for a bit of confession or repentance. Don’t stay too long here though. It’s meant for getting clean, not relationship and romance.

Perhaps then we’ll go into the basement and intercede for our family, our neighbors, our community nation and leaders. Perhaps here we plead for an increase of the gifts of the Spirit, a cultivation of good soil that we can bear more fruit of the Spirit. And for wisdom. Definitely ask for wisdom and understanding. And that we learn to love above all things. The basement is where the work is done. This is where I work through a list of people and places I pray for regularly.

Next, I head for the kitchen (still in the house of prayer here). This is where I ask for sustenance. I supplicate for the things in my life that I need and/or desire. Health. Retribution. Prosperity for our business, our partners and investments. I also ask boldly for the things my heart desires like a boat and a legacy home for my children and grandchildren to visit. Sometimes I pray for the gift of Spanish and the ability to play a guitar skillfully.

The dining room is the logical next step. Here I ask God to reveal His plan and will for my life. I ask about my mission and life purpose. I pray for clarity. I listen for direction, feel for nudges, and look for pictures in my minds eye that might be related to the things I’m asking about. I often ask God to unravel the scroll of destiny for my life. The dining room is where I fellowship. Where we share our dreams and desires. It’s where we catch-up and talk about the day or the yesterdays and about the weeks to come. A family meal. I feed on the Father’s goodness. And the Holy Spirit’s council. More thanks are appropriate here.

Last, but certainly not the only room left in the Father’s house of prayer, is the bedroom. I seem to remember Jesus saying there were many rooms in here, and I’ve been to a few of them (quite mystical, but I don’t have the time to mention them in this post). This is the "come away with me, Song of Songs room". It’s the place of intimacy. Romance. Love. It’s the deep calls unto deep place where we expose our deepest heart to the God of all comfort and care. Our saddest laments are released here. Our fiery passion for the Son of God, anguish, rage, intimate details that we wouldn’t share with even the closest of confidants. This truly is the secret place. It’s the place that only you and God know about. It’s where secrets are shared. It’s where He longs for us to be. Its rapturous. Ecstasy. Tears, songs, kisses, trembling, revelation, mystical happenings, and pleasure.

I must admit that I don’t get to spend as much time here as….well, as He deserves. I should probably just start in the bedroom and I’m sure all of the other prayers might not even be necessary. The bedroom is where we abide in the vine. It’s where the essence of the Kingdom can be found. Our ultimate source of deep, abiding peace, love and joy.

As you might have figured out by now, meaningful prayer takes time. If we want to be close to Yahweh, we have to be a people of prayer. There’s no shortcut. No way around it.

To enjoy it, you have to learn it. Listen to sermons about prayer (I recommend Mike Bickel). Read books about prayer. Do a topical study on prayer in the Bible. Read the what the church fathers had to say about prayer. Research the mystics. Visit the House of Prayer in Kansas City. Pray-read the Bible (find portions of scripture {like the apostolic prayers – look ‘em up} and pray them back to God – this is the best! Because you know you are praying God’s will and that your prayer will be answered because you are praying His word). The ancient faiths have some great prayers to that you can use to develop your prayer language. Prayer will eventually overflow from your heart, but developing a language of prayer is paramount to expressing the complexities of desire.

Prayer has to become a lifestyle or you will never enter into the pleasures of prayer, and you’ll never see the true benefits and blessings that come from a life of prayer. Again, it is an investment. A voluntary weakness (like fasting) where you risk your time for a reward of knowing God. But it’s a long-term investment. It’s much like farming. Sowing and reaping. Sometimes the crops spring up fast as if God was just waiting for you to ask. Other times, the soil must be cultivated, the plants pruned, fields fertilized, and of course waiting and watering.

I also pray the prayer of Jabez as well as a few other meaningful Scripture passages if I have the time.

Look, it’s not always perfect. I often get interrupted by some life occurrence that cannot wait and my prayer time gets derailed. I don’t wallow in guilt or self-pity because of it, I just try to pick back up where I left off that evening if I can scratch out some time or shelve it for tomorrow morning. But if I get up early enough or if I can structure my day/work schedule around my prayer life then everything works out for the best.

If your job or life structure prevents you from cultivating a meaningful prayer life, then you probably need to find another job or simplify life so that you can. It’s not that we don’t have the time…it’s that we don’t make it. No, really. It’s true. I’ve been on both sides of the coin so many times that I can say it with authority on the matter. The only reason that we don’t have a prayer life, is because we don’t.

Here’s how I end my prayer time: “Father, I plead the blood of your dear Son Yeshua over my sins and the sins of my nation. Mighty and merciful God, end abortion, expose corruption and send revival to America.” And then I cross myself (Orthodox style up, down, right left – not that it matters).

Oh, one more thing, this is just the anchor time. Prayer is meant to be a continual turning. A perpetual glancing into the face of God for direction, counsel, help, sharing, etc. So try to stay in the present presence and turn inward to God as often as possible. Remember, that acknowledgement makes your time and space holy whether you're in line at Dunkin Donuts or polishing silverware.

Oh, did I mention theophanies?

In the Lion, In the Lamb,


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