OMG! Who Can I Talk To? – No Filter

 What are some of the rituals we have as Kenyans?

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Rituals give structure and meaning to each day. We do things at a certain time, at home and at work, in a certain place and way, such as reading the paper, drinking tea in the morning, saying good night at bed time. We create rituals that help us make life predictable. What are some of the rituals we have as Kenyans? We offer tea without asking people, we take off our shoes when we are entering a house…. we shake hands with everyone when we enter a room, even if there are twenty people.

As far as prayer is concerned we rely on ritual and ceremony to create order and clarity. One of the rituals we have in this part of the world and I like it, is overnight prayer services… Another ritual is morning glory, or morning prayers. The 22 Christians who were killed in Garissa University College were praying, early in the morning, like many other young Christians in high schools and universities.

The challenge with rituals around prayer however is that they tend to give us a certain fixed understanding of where prayer can take place and even who can pray. For most of us prayer is sharply distinguished as what we do in church rather than at work, in the car, when we are in public spaces and possibly even at home. Many of us have pigeon holed prayer only to certain designated or prescribed spaces and times. We have come to believe that prayer should only happen in those spaces, and/or happen on certain schedules.

The challenge is that we live our lives in a whirlwind. Between the demands of work and family, our lives are overflowing. We need to stop intentionally to be with God more than once a week at Church on Sunday so that the presence of God becomes a reality. One of the things that makes us reluctant to pray outside church is because we don’t want to look weird.

If we understand that God is with me no matter where I am, any place can become a place where we can pray. Psalm 139 actually helps us understand that God is with me no matter where I am [Psalm 139]

Psalm 139

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.

What this prayer is saying is that God knows us in our outward actions and in our inward thoughts. He knows us at all times whether as we walk the daily path or rest, lying down at night. He knows our habitual ways and our words. This detailed knowledge is part of God’s protective, tender care which is beyond our capacity to understand. God is that by His Spirit he is everywhere He is in highest heights, the deepest depths and the furthest parts of the earth. God is present to lead and to hold us.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.

God knows every move we make; sitting and rising represent all our actions. God knows not only our actions, but also our motivations. Our daily activities are also thoroughly familiar to the Lord. Going out and lying down at night represent the whole day’s activities. Before we can frame a word on our tongue, the Lord is thoroughly familiar with what we are about to say. V.5-6 This knowledge is extraordinary. v.7 There is absolutely no place where we can escape from the presence of the Lord.

What would it do if we understood that God is with us no matter where I am? My one point in this message is RELAX THE RULES, YOU CAN PRAY ANYWHERE. Many of us have grown up with spiritual rituals. It is easy for us to revert to what we know. What we know is that there are certain spaces, certain times for prayer. The question we are asking is how then do I make every bit of my life be a prayer altar? God expects us to fit prayer in our daily schedules… Yet we beat ourselves up because I am no longer the person I used to be…We can fit prayer wherever we are as we go along. It does not have to be at that particular moment. The rituals we have made imprison us.

Throw out everything you have done in the past and find the time: Many of us are not where we were in high school and college when we had all the time in the world. Each of us needs to understand the season that we are in and figure out what works.

Don’t be held captive by rhythms you had in the past. Many of us feel that unless we wake up at four we are not a true believer. We keep thinking that there is a formula… we can pray in the parking when we are waiting for someone, or even say: God give me favor with my boss, when we are putting a presentation together

Look for the prayer time in the season you are in, that may change next year or even next week. What is your moment? You could be traveling this season… and you can pray as you travel. Don’t discount what appear to be little moments of prayer. Nehemiah could not have put off the King and said let me go and pray in tongues for a bit.

What God wants is for us to establish a rhythm that our daily life can support. There are other places in life where we see people praying in all sorts of places.

  1. This week read through Psalm 139. As you read the scripture listen for the words or phrase that jump out at you.
  2. This week as you spend time in traffic, think about how that word applies to your life; think through those words or that phrase. Many of us spend about five hours in traffic on a daily basis. That’s almost as good as a whole kesha’
  3. Your needs are such a good starting point to have a conversation with God. If someone has something that you need you don’t wait until the weekend to say I need this. You don’t say I talk to this person only on Fridays. None of those rituals matter when you are need and you can use your need to propel you into those spaces. Finally, spend a few moments in prayer using those words, or those promises.

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