Pray: “Pray With Your Whole Self”

Rev. Tully M. Fletcher IV

Decatur Presbyterian Church

May 7. 2023





How much time do you spend with Jesus?

How much time do you spend in prayer?

How Much time do you spend LISTENING to GOD?

We seek God

Psalm 63:1-4  

A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 

2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 

3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 

4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.


  • Presbyyerians are heady/academic people, we seek God “up here, in our heads
    1. g. of Boo, & BoC
    2. Frozen Chosen,
    3. Pig or Chicken (breakfast analogy)
  • What we aren’t so good at is engaging our whole bodies
    1. Other traditions are better at this
      1. Catholics, incense = smell
      2. prayer beads = touch
  • Muslims, while many aspects of their religion are not in line with Christianity, one of the things I admire most about the Islamic faith, is their commitment to prayer.
    1. 5 times a day
    2. Prayer with whole body, kneeling
    3. Story of “Ali” Bus driver, praying
  1. EQF prayer styles
  2. Passing Peace
  3. Communion engaging sense of Taste & Smell
    1. Smells can transport you to a time & place
    2. Do you have a ‘mind’s nose’
  • We seek out God in our lives, and often through prayer and worship
    1. We pray to God most in times of trouble & pain
    2. We pray seeking specific answers
      1. I heard the quote once, “God always answers prayer”
        1. Just not always the answer we want or expect
      2. Which leads me to my next point…

God feels Distant

  • Sometimes we are at the mount top
    1. God feels like, right next to us
  • Sometimes we are in the deep valley
    1. God’s presence is far away.

Psalm 22:1-8  

To the leader: according to The Deer of the Dawn. A Psalm of David.

 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 

2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 

3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 

4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 

5 To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame. 

6 But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others,
and despised by the people. 

7 All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me,
they shake their heads; 
8 “Commit your cause to the LORD; let him deliver–
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”


  • This is obvious to anyone who has lived life
    1. Suffering happens
    2. We wretch with out bodies
      1. We Presbyterians may not be inclined to ‘pray with our whole bodies prayers of Joy and adoration… but When it comes to pain? We do put our whole selves into it.
    3. Emotional/Mental pain has real physical symptoms
      1. Stress, mental stress, leads to real physical pain
  • JC on the Cross
    1. JC quotes this Psalm.
    2. The people standing by would have known the rest of the words.
  • Jesus felt forsaken, we fell forsaken,
    but the truth is the God is ALWAYS there

God is always there


Psalm 139:1-4 & 13-14 

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me. 

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 

3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 

4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. 

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

  • God Knows us
  • God knits us together in the womb
    1. Image of God weaving, or crocheting our DNA together
  • When we pray, we seek God out, but most of the time, I don’t think we listen enough
    1. When we pray, we do all the talking.
    2. How often do you, do we, sit in silence, and wait for God’s voice?
    3. Father Kelley, in Israel, city of Magdala, encouraged us to take a 15 minute walk with Jesus on the beach

How much time do you spend with Jesus?

How much time do you spend in prayer?

How Much time do you spend LISTENING to GOD?