Thursday, May 17, 2007


When I began my early days as a ministry student there was that gnawing item we seemed to encounter at too many turns.....prayer. I didn't like it as a subject and I didn't like to do it. I'm a "take action" sort and prayer possessed neither "take" nor "action". It just went on and on by whomever it was doing the mouth to ceiling recital. B-0-r-i-n-g....and I, for one, have no time for b-o-r-i-n-g!

In school we had times of prayer, studies on prayer, and then more prayer. I dreaded every second of it. I resented those who seemed to stand on their street corner to be heard by all. Give me a break. I wanted to get on with the guts of church work. When actually in ministry, I prayed very little. When I did it was always to commit my wish list to His ears. If a neighboring preacher would visit me at the office and ask if we could pray before he left, I always said yes. However, my inner man rolled my eyes and stuck my finger down my throat in sheer rejection of such a time-waster. He prayed. I listened. In my mind, my rejection trumped his praying and I won.

Over 25 years ago Albert Lemmons conducted a prayer seminar at Memorial. I attended but didn't want to. I went out of peer pressure; I was the preacher and had to show up. I went but vowed to not learn anything. I hated to pray. When he taught us to pray through the Psalms, I thought time had obviously stopped in its tracks. We even fasted an entire 24 hours and I felt I would not live. I didn't eat for the delegated time, but I didn't do much praying either. I was so glad to go out and load up on food!

Today, I truly enjoy prayer. My most important time of my week is when four or five of us gather in the auditorium on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. to pray for an hour over our day. The time flies. After leading several small groups in my home on Sunday nights with a combination of singing, eating, studying, and praying, I decided to begin a new group which would only pray. We spend our entire time in prayer. Such a move rapidly exploded our group into three groups.

What changed my view of prayer? My view of God. At first I saw Him as a Pharmacist taking orders for cures. But I learned to see Him as involved and interested; He loves to hear us say things as Thank You and We adore You. I've learned He is near. I've learned He is active; He responds. He cares.

Our God is alive! He lives! He lives to be adored! He lives to be given credit for all our senses can absorb! He seems to delight in seeing us praise Him in the center of distress as we act as if we actually have a Living God! Our lives are all about Him!

Prayer is not an order form with an 800 number. It is human to heaven and heaven to human discussion; a literal dialog. We pray to say to Him and to hear from Him. I guess the biggest thing which changed my view of prayer is to realize it is a two way street. When I learned God speaks to me and I need to listen for His response, the co-laboring involvement He and I took on is mysteriously wonder-full.

If you don't like to pray, I don't blame you. Yet, I do cheer you on that as you begin to connect with Him in speaking-terms-fellowship, life opens as a spring bloom.....wonder-fully a WOW!


Anonymous said...

That is just great.

Stoogelover said...

I could have written the first part of this blog. Now I'm trying to remember if I ever offered to pray with you and did I notice you roll your eyes??? :)

cwinwc said...

And it is honest and sometimes pointed communication with God. When you read the Psalms there are prayers of anger and frustration which implies that God wants us to be open and honest with Him. Praise God that the Creator of Matter believes my life matters.

Terry Rush said...


No you wouldn't have seen me roll my eyes because I only rolled them on the inside for God to see my disdain.

Danna said...

WOW! You were right: this IS good! :o) It always surprises me when I hear you talk about how you used to hate to pray, because I love hearing you pray!!! I have learned much from you on this subject and anticipate that God will continue to use you in wonder-full ways!

Love you!

Brenda said...

This is exactly why I love you! You are amazing. I too could have written that first part myself.
I love how honest you are and are willing to admit it to the world without fear of any kind of judgement. I need to learn from you. Thank you for blessing me today.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the thoughts.

I have never really hated prayer, my problem has always been with finding time to pray. Or, more honestly, with remembering to pray. Perhaps it is because I have viewed prayer as a verbal response to Gor rather than an emotional, spiritual response.

I've grown from thinking prayer could only be offered from a proper setting to the point that I realize I can pray while driving, with my eyes open of course.

But, I still struggle with finding time, or remembering. Any suggestions to help me with this???


Anonymous said...

Could you change Gor to God, please.. and then delete this..


Anonymous said...

Just had a thought when reading this - I bet that your dear wife always prayed and believed in it from the beginning. Just a quess.
Always love your heart,

Anonymous said...

One of the great things about living in this time is that we now have the grace to say things like this. Adults need to know its ok to feel this way, and Kids need to see us grow through the barriers to our spiritual walk and into His marvelous light. Thanks for your transparency.

Zac said...

Good post, Terry, but I want you to comment on something of particular interest to you and I.

What is up with the Cardinals right now? Its like they don't even care!!! I'm telling you, if Juan Encarnacion is the boost your lineup needs, you have a bad lineup, and its looks like our pitchers are about ready to pop as well.

I have no answers.


Zac - maybe you haven't "prayed" about them like I have the Braves. :)

Anonymous said...

Ohhh trey, that's just wrong!

I guess I'll always have 2006...

Liz Moore said...

I was finally doing some catching up today and what a great place to start! Wonderful thoughts on prayer! I have discovered that prayer is one of the greatest times of my day. But it was definitely a discovery. I also read your thoughts on Ana Rush Chapel. I had no idea. Your family has been through more than it's share, but by doing so you have all blessed so many people. My heart broke, but at the same time my spirit was lifted by your continued trust and love of God through everything. Your family is a great blessing to everyone who comes in contact with them. And we all love you very much. Blessings.