November 18, 2009

What Does Your Prayer Life Say About You?

One of our campus pastors recently spoke about what our prayer life says about us. I (along with many of us I'm sure) struggle to have a consistant and meaningful prayer life. I'm the kind of person that has God in my thoughts all day and I'm constantly giving shoutouts and I think that is wonderful... but I don't sit down for a long period of time and petition on behalf of unbelievers (although I do reserve my blowdry time for praying), or request that God do amazing things in my life in order to bring him glory. I give thanks and recognition throughout the day, but that's about the extent of my regular prayer routine. The pastor challenged me to question what my prayer-life says about myself. He said a lacking prayer life usually points to two things: pride and unbelief. Does my prayer life show that I think I can do all of this without God? Does it show that I don't believe he'll do amazing works in my life? Does it show that I don't think he desires to bless me and provide for me? Does it show that I think I can do all of this better and know what's best for myself? Does it also show that I don't think I have a role in petitioning him on behalf of those he created to know and love him? For the past few mornings I have been getting up at 7am, reading my daily bible verses, then writing in a prayer journal. I've stayed as close as possible to the format of rhte Lord's prayer. It feels good! Except for my writing hand, it hurts. I don't know how I used to hold a pen and write all the time. Praise God for keyboards.

Au Gratin Potatoes
6 russet potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
black pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

The box kind takes forever to cook anyway, so why not just make it yourself? Besides, have you seen the dehydrated "potatoes" that come in that thing?? Preheat the oven to 375. If it's worth it to you to dirty up one more small saucepan in order to make sure that your cheese sauce is not lumpy, then I definitely recommend putting the 2 cups of milk in the smallest saucepan you can on low. You just need to bring it to room temperature because the cold milk will make the butter/flour mix clump up. Melt the butter over med-low heat, add the flour and whisk until well blended and pasty. Take a measuring cup of any size and scoop in a little of the milk at a time. Whisk it until it is well blended and no longer lumpy. Once you can add a scoop of milk and the mixture does not lump, it's safe to pour the rest in all at once. Once that is warmed through, added the shredded cheese about 1 cup at a time. You can grate your own cheese for this, but you're already making so much of this from scratch, I say take a little help from the store and buy a pouch of already-shredded cheese. Add the nutmeg and pepper. Let the cheese sauce simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then turn the heat off but you can leave it on the burner. I like to pour in a thin layer of sauce, then add a layer of potatoes, and repeat until I'm done. Bake covered for 45 minutes, uncovered for 10. You can also thin slice an onion and layer it: cheese, potato, onion, repeat. I left the onion out tonight because I'm making this for a work potluck and it's hard to know what people will like.

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