Pray Like Algernon
Have you ever known a Christian that was not walking with the Lord but when he prayed you knew that the Holy Spirit was directing his prayer? I remember a man like that. I*ll call him Algernon. I have never known a man named Algernon so I shouldn*t be offending anyone. As I think of it the name Algernon fits him better than his real name anyway. He was a Christian but everyone knew that he was not always walking with the Lord. He was an intelligent man but often he didn*t seem to know how to walk with the Lord. His attitude was it*s all about me. He didn*t seem to be a very good father. His children clung to their mother. They knew she loved them. They seemed to seek her protection from him. I don*t think they believed that he loved them. His teen-age daughter once told me that she wished I was her father. I think she said that to every man she knew EXCEPT her father. When I saw how he treated his children I wished I was their father.
But every time I ever heard Algernon pray I felt like something miraculous happened. The Holy Spirit took over. He prayed some of the most gracious and appropriate prayers I have ever heard. He was not gracious. He was seldom appropriate. Therefore it had to be the Holy Spirit guiding him.
Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
If the Holy Spirit could help Algernon pray He can help anyone.
1 John 5:14: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
I don*t believe I ever heard Algernon pray a selfish prayer. Somehow he knew that he was a jerk and needed to pray according to God*s will. I think he was asking the Lord inwardly to help him pray. I think he knew that the Holy Spirit would help him. He must have. He couldn*t possibly pray like that under his own steam. I must confess that I thought my prayers should have been more pleasing to God than his. But I don*t think they ever were. I don*t believe that Algernon ever presumed that he knew the Lord*s will. I think that*s kind of important. We should never presume that we know His will. That is a good starting place for a prayer. Algernon started there all the time.
Sometimes I have been sure that I knew the will of God but it didn*t happen. I must conclude that I was wrong. God has promised that the Holy Spirit would help us to pray. So asking Him to help us pray is one prayer that we can be sure He will answer. He even answered that one for Algernon. I often hear my Pastor tell the Lord We need your help today. I think he knows a little of what Algernon knew.
There seemed to be a lot that Algernon didn*t know. But he knew that he didn*t know. I think the only area of his life where he knew that he needed God*s help was prayer. It seemed like that was the only area where he always got God*s help. Having God*s help in prayer is the most important area where we need it because it might just activate the power of Almighty God. I wish Algernon was still part of my life so I could take my prayer requests to him.
It sometimes seemed that the only thing Algernon did right was to pray. This article has been too critical of Algernon. He did a lot of other good things for the Lord. If we pray right it will be impossible for us not to do other good things for the Lord.