As God is Holy, only He deserves prayer. When we pray we exercise faith, we come to know Him. As we know Him we are able to worship Him, and in that worship through prayer we will find our greatest joys. Our soul will be filled with streams of living water. We will be satisfied in Him.
- Real prayer, the kind that is in Jesus name, is an exercise in abiding in the will of God.
- Prayer is God’s will, it renews the mind (Romans 12:1&2)
- Is it any wonder that when baby Jesus was brought to the Temple for dedication in Luke 2 that the family was met by two people who had given their lives to prayer?
- Prayer of course is the only thing the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them. They saw what it did in His life. Prayer makes us like Jesus.
Here are a few simple essentials of the framework of what God seeks in our prayers. Just as the stud walls support a house and lay out the floor plan, this model lets us have direction. Then from the heart we may decorate and make it distinctive from our lives.
(Mat 6:5) “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
True prayer will not have the flashy words that so many think they need to have to publically pray. I love to hear children and new Christians pray. Its great to hear the heart, and it’s from the heart the relationship to God really grows. This is what is the reward, simply relating to God.
(Mat 6:6) “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Times do exist for public prayer. But one who prays publically must first have a private prayer life. Prayer is character for the Christian. This fashion of prayer is abiding, humble, and pleasing to God, It is intimate, it is what Jesus did and thus found the holy commune with His Father. We are commanded to likewise pray.
(Mat 6:7) “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Mantras mean nothing. Repetitive words to not wear out or entice God to become a vending machine. Prayer here is seen as simple meaningful words. Your words should come for a heart that recognizes who God is. As the relationship grows so will the prayer life. Quite often they are proportionate.
(Mat 6:8) “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Again, We must first recognize things about Whom we are addressing. We insult God when we think of Him as the man made gods are thought of. Things such as repetition, deal making, sacrificing for appeasement; characterizing Him as unknowing, unloving, and one me must first impress, all fail to rightly relate to Him.
(Mat 6:9) “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
First recognize who He is. Do look at what He does, but it is imperative to see the character and natural of God. Why is He this way? What character traits alone does He possess? Holy His name, make the things of God holy, allow Him that holy set apart place in your life.
To hallow His name is to hold Him with holy regard. Have you worshiped God this week, or are you running now to Him having ignored His presence and influence all the while? How we treat God Monday through Saturday has an impact on Sunday.
(Mat 6:10) ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Resolve in your heart to surrender every aspect to His will. Let Him reign in your life as He does in the heavens.
(Mat 6:11) ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
As you present your requests and needs, are you seeking how they fit in His graceful loving best for you? Have you considered the nature of the request? At this point many people fail to truly pray, all because the first two directives of prayer are askew.
Work to have a Heavenly Kingdom mindset. Seek to abide in Christ in what you ask for. Realize also, that whatever you ask, God will work in ways you do not expect. Pray to have your eyes open to His activity.
(Mat 6:12) ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
If we regard sin in our heart, God will not hear us. If we are against someone we are not counting the precious blood of Christ as valuable and thus invalidate our praying relationship. Those who have been forgiven much love much. Our audience with God is based upon the cross. To be unforgiving is to be in opposition to that saving work and against the nature of God.
(Mat 6:13) ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
Jesus once warned the disciples to watch and pray. Just as we have asked forgiveness, we should be seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us in a repentant heart state to choose Christ and not sin. We do not ask forgiveness to avoid punishment. We seek it that we may be repentant, living in the way of Christ.
(Mat 6:14-15) “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
That verse alone ought to bring us to our knees in understanding the relationship we are to have with God. For if we fail to forgive, do not expect forgiveness. The first commandment is to Love God with all our heart soul and mind. The second is also loving God by loving our neighbor. If your prayer life is stagnant, see if you need to forgive.
My thoughts this week have often been about King David up on the rooftop when he fell into devastating sin. He had drifted from being where he should, to standing where he should not. Once he drifted it became easy to justify his actions that followed. Don’t find yourself on the rooftop. Keep engaged in the war. Prayer is the battle that keeps us from falling into temptation.