I am not the judge

Prayer

Recently, in our church bulletin, our minister wrote an article about prayer.  I have had my personal feelings about prayer, but after reading his article, I nee to refine my views.

First, I have always felt that prayer is a very private act. This is a private conversation between God and myself. Now, I am also an introvert. I feel very uncomfortable speaking in front of people. So, trying to lead prayer, which I feel is a very private act, in front of a lot of people, I get really nervous.

Part of my feeling about prayer results from the preface of the Lord’s Prayer. What? You don’t know what I am referring to? The Lord’s Prayer starts Matthew 6:9. BUT, as with most all scripture, you need to read the entire section. Matthew 6:5 tells you to not pray just to be heard by people, but to go into your room and close the door.

OK, so our minister mentioned something that sparked something in me. I have never been a person that wrote notes. This includes writing my prayer when I lead prayer in church.

Well, the article was about David’s prayer (Psalm 51). This is a VERY private prayer, yet David (or someone) wrote it down.

So, though I will continue to keep my prayers private, I now see that writing notes for my prayer may not be a bad thing.

Tithing

Question comes up in several conversations on tithing: Should we tithe on net income or gross income?
My answer: It doesn’t seem to matter, since most people don’t tithe anyway.

In Exodus, God instructed the children of Israel to set aside 1/10th of their “first fruits” for the priests and those tending to the Temple. The way I read it is, the tithe comes FIRST! I have been a fan of Dave Ramsey, he tells people to set a budget line items for “Tithing”, and set it at the top.

In the New Testament, the rich man and the widow each made a contribution. The scripture doesn’t say whether the rich man gave a tithe or not. But it does mention that the widow gave all she had.

Some people look at tithing as their limit or their goal. Once they reach their goal, they feel that are done. Can you imagine what would happen if we set tithing (or donating 1/10th) as our minimum goal?

So, what are your thoughts on things?