July 4: Prayer

After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked,
“Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”
He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”
Mark 9:14-29 (The Message)

Prayer…what an awesome privilege God has provided for us all! I remember reading this gem in the Upper Room in 1999 from James K. Wagner from Ohio, one that stayed with me ever since, and one that I use when experiencing life-changing moments of indecision. When he and his wife face times of significant choices, they pray the “Increase-Decrease” prayer, originally found in Jo Kimmel’s book, Steps to Prayer Power.  It begins like this: “Loving and caring God, if this is the best course of action, if this is what you want me to do, increase within me to do it; but if this is not what you want me to do, decrease the desire within me.  Amen.”

I say this prayer only once and let it go. Either a feeling of peace or a feeling of doubt and angst fills me within a few days; then, I know the direction that I should take. This prayer has served me well over the years, as God is trustworthy and knows what’s best for me, better than I know myself. Moving from Chicago after 38 years leaving family and friends to Reno where I didn’t know a friend from a foe, was a time that the “Increase-Decrease” prayer served me well. After five years, Reno is now my home, and I love it! So, in times of earth-shattering decisions, look to the “Increase-Decrease” prayer and invite God to come to your aid; He will serve you well, as He did me.

by Betty Perry

As you go about your day, keep your eyes open.
What does “Prayer” look like to you? 
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