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Today is Super Bowl Sunday. Many people are sending prayers up to heaven for their favorite team, hoping and praying that they will win.

Many people are in Super Bowl pools and are praying to win. In reality, football games are not the testing grounds for our prayer life. “Hail Mary” passes are not the way we get through life. Dear God, I know I didn’t study much, but help me pass this test.” “O Lord, I know I smoked for over 30 years, but let my test results be good.” A God Alert

Prayer is something different. Prayer is paying attention to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Prayer opens us up to the presence of God in our lives. We need to look at Jesus’ life to learn about prayer and how we are to pray. I believe these 3 Points from his life will help us:

1. Jesus always prayed before he made big decisions in his life. Before Jesus began his public life, before performing his miracles and his teaching, before his travels, before going in to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and in the Garden before his suffering and death – Jesus spent many hours in prayer.

Jesus prayed especially before he chose his 12 Apostles. This would be his team who would continue his ministry and bring his Gospel to the whole world. Before doing so he spent the whole night in prayer.

Before you and I make important decisions in our lives – choosing a school, a career, a job, a home, a friend, a spouse – do we pray? Do we ask for God’s guidance? Do we open ourselves to a divine insight that might clash with what we want?

In the eyes of the world, Jesus chose 12 Apostles who appeared to be very poor choices – hardened fishermen, a greedy tax collector, James and John who were terrorists, and day-workers. Only through prayer did God the Father reveal to Jesus the true possibilities and powers that the 12 possessed. A God Provide

2. Jesus prayed before facing temptation and doing battle with evil. Before Jesus went into the wilderness and the desert, where he would face loneliness and abandonment while being tempted by the devil, he prayed and fasted. In the Garden of Gethsemane, as his enemies were getting ready to crucify him while his disciples were snoozing, he prayed to not give in to appease the authorities, but to do the will of his Father upon the cross.

When you and I are depressed, lonely, abandoned and feel like a failure, do we turn to alcohol, drugs and sexual pleasures to try and keep us going? Or do we dive into prayer with all our mind, heart, body and soul? A God Whisper

3. Jesus prayed when he had the least amount of time or energy to pray. For the last three years of his life, people were bothering him morning, noon and night. He could hardly breathe. When he could, we withdrew to pray. He did not abandon or reject people, but he always made the time to re-connect with his Father in heaven.

The pressures and the distractions of life today come at us from all sides and at all times. We are forever going in many directions. We are always checking a small or a large screen that is before us. It is difficult to not multi-task. The pressures on us are immense. Jesus shows us again and again that when we have the least amount of time or energy, is when we need to pray the most. A God Nod

Today’s Gospel story (Luke 4:21-30) in Jesus’ home town is most interesting. At first the people seemed interested in listening to Jesus. But then they cut him down to size: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” They wanted to be able to manage him in their minds and lives. “Hey, this was the boy from the carpenter shop.”

And we do the same thing in our lives – we manage Jesus. We put Jesus in the place where we want him to be. We go to him when we are in trouble or in need. How often do we admit that Jesus is the Lord of our life….and the Lord of all life?

We too push Jesus off the cliff in our own lives because we feel we honestly don’t need him until an emergency arises. On a day-to-day basis we cannot be healed until we admit we need to be healed. We cannot learn from Jesus until we admit that we are ignorant. And we cannot find the full joy of living until we admit that our lives are incomplete without Jesus in them. A God Poke

The greatest tragedy in life is not Unanswered Prayer, but Unoffered Prayer.

When we pray, God hears more than we say,
Answers more than we ask,
And gives us more than we can imagine,
In God’s own time and in God’s own way.

The first cordless phone ever was created by God.
God called it Prayer.
It never loses its signal.
You never have to re-charge it.
You can use it anywhere at anytime.

HAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!!

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