Two Are Better Than One

 Heaven & Earth Declare the Glory of God

Prayer Partner &  Artist: Barbara Whatmough

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB)

Reflection:

I can’t imagine my life without prayer. I would feel spiritually naked. Appearing naked in public is not on my bucket list of things to do. Prayer offers an invisible layer of protection. It is an anchor and a parachute especially during unexpected times in my life. Imagine feeling like a flat tire or a deflated balloon. Prayer lifts, fills, strengthens and relieves burdens that weigh us down. Praying is a way to seek divine help, give thanks and celebrate God’s goodness. 

Jesus often prayed, in solitude and with others. Having a prayer partner may strengthen one’s prayer time and relationship with God. Imagine driving driving a car. One foot controls the pedal, the other foot controls the brake while God’s hands rest on the stirring wheel. It’s like a cord of  three strands that is not broken.

Let us pray: God, we thank you for the opportunity to call on you anytime and any place. You hear our prayers and answer us. Thank you for being with us and keeping us in your loving care. Your wisdom and guidance is a shield of protection. You bless us with your constant presence. You prepare us as your servants. You mend our brokenness and repair the tangled relationships in our lives. You soothe our pain and give us peace. You make us unmoveable, steadfast, faithful and faith filled. You ask us to love you, love one another, pray and live as your servant children. Loving God, thank you for calling us to partner with you like one of three strands bound together as a cord. Help us to answer your call daily and rejoice. The heavens declare the glory of God! In Your Holy Name. Amen.

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Biologist affirms Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

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“Everyday prayer is a cleansing and healing spiritual experience”  Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto
http://www.ric.edu/biology/Pages/newsMatsumoto.aspx 

Several months ago, Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto, a renowned RI College Professor of Biology, sent the following Blog for Park and Pray affirming it as an everyday prayer that “is a cleansing and healing spiritual practice.”  He retired, June 2017 after 34 years of service. Dr. Matsumoto is a remarkable liver transplant recipient, whose method of transplant contributed to the advancement of science. Matsumoto joined a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, and he became one of three patients to participate in an experimental method of organ transport.  Lloyd and his wife Terry are members of Beneficent Congregational Church United Church of Christ. IMG_1361Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto appreciates the power of prayer through his own personal experiences and relationship with God. His high risk surgeries and significant medical and surgical challenges didn’t change his commitment to pray daily. Lloyd believes God’s grace and his faith in the Divine saved his life. Prayer is a staple in his life.

Scientific Evidence Suggests Prayers Positive Effect

In 1988, Cardiologist Randolph Byrd conducted a landmark study at San Francisco General Hospital on the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer on cardiac care patients.  The control group or patients who did not receive intercessory prayer required ventilator assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the Intercessory Prayer group. This study and other data suggest that a prayer mediator or intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU. This study laid the ground work for other related studies.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3393937

Try the A-C-T-S Prayer Method 

Adoration Loving God you're amazing!
Confession Merciful God I confess my sins and ask forgiveness.
Thanks Lord I come before you with praise and thanksgiving 
Supplication Almighty God help, save, heal and bless me.
I ask in the powerful name of my Savior, the Christ. Amen.

Prayer Chants (spoken repeatedly):

The Jesus Prayer – “Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me.”

A Prayer for Mercy & Thanks – “Lord have mercy.” and “God, we thank you.”

Fear Not, Prayer is Powerful

expressions_shared.jpgPrayer is powerful. It’s a treasured investment. It’s free, available to everyone and useful. You can freely give it to anyone and freely receive it without conditions. The rewards are greater than we can imagine. When we park and pray at 1:11 pm, we set aside a time and place to intentionally enter into God’s presence.  We knock on God’s door with wonder and expectation. God knows our name, understands our desires, hears our prayers, and fulfills our needs according to God’s will and purposes. We set ourselves up for heartache when we schedule God’s response to our prayer. Our internal alarm clock rings and we expect God to disregard divine time and immediately obey our timed commands. Anxious and discouraged, we let go of our prayers and praying. We experiment with fear and other ways to fill the void.

It’s 1:11 pm, we pause, rest, stop, PARK and PRAY at 1:11 pm.

We pray, “Lord have mercy!” Awesome God, forgive us for worrying about matters that seem to make us more anxious. Thank you for reminding us that “truly you know the plans you have for us, to prosper and to give us a future and a hope.”(Jeremiah 29:11) God, make your presence known to us all. You know what we need for today and tomorrow. Comfort all who are afflicted. Heal all who are wounded and brokenhearted. Satisfy our hunger and thirst for your grace, righteousness, goodness, and mercy.  Bring relief to all who are without shelter and loving support. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” We pray in Thy Holy Name. Amen.