Thursday, April 19, 2012

When you pray...





Scripture

“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.
(Matthew 6:5 NASB)
“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.
(Matthew 6:6 NASB)
“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.
(Matthew 6:7 NASB)
“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
(Matthew 6:8 NASB)
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
(Matthew 6:9 NASB)
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:10 NASB)
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
(Matthew 6:11 NASB)
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 NASB)
‘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.’]
(Matthew 6:13 NASB)
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
(Matthew 6:14 NASB)
“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
(Matthew 6:15 NASB)

 

Observation


Jesus didn't tell people, "if" you pray, but told them "when" you pray! In other words, prayer was to be an active and vital part of the Christian walk. Obviously Jesus' perspective on prayer was something different than that of the religious leaders. For Jesus, (who practiced prayer regularly) prayer was an intimate relationship with the Father in which they had intimate conversations. Hence -- meeting in a quiet and private place. But for the religious leaders, prayer was an outward sign for the world to see how religious they were. There was nothing intimate or relational about their prayers. They prayed loud so everyone could hear. Jesus said they already had their reward -- because what they wanted was the praise of men.
True disciples were to desire a quiet, deep and intimate relationship with the Father of all things. They were to go and spend time alone with him. Then they were to pray after the model that Jesus used. This was the prayer life of the follower of Christ who was desiring a spiritually deeper walk.

 

Application


Prayer is not an option for a follower of Christ. This is the very place in which we grow in intimacy with the Father. So often we think that prayer is about us talking to God about our requests, when in reality, prayer is about transformation -- our transformation. It is in that place of intimacy with God that he can speak to us and we become more of a reflection of him. Jesus had to go away and spend time with the Father night after night. This is how he remained connected to his Father, knew the Father's will, and received the power that he needed to fulfill all that his Father needed him to accomplish here on this earth.

God is asking all of us to be workers within his kingdom. We are his ambassadors and yet, how do we know what we are supposed to be doing as his ambassadors if we never spend time with the King? We have become so busy these days that we want to have our five minute prayer sessions but this will never be enough for us to be the types of followers that God needs in this day and age.
So, "when" we pray -- we are to find a place of quiet and intimacy with him. Then, follow Christ's lead in that prayer time.

Our Father -- our Abba, Daddy -- reach out to him in love. Worship him and praise him for who he is.

Who art in heaven -- worship the one who is in heaven, the creator of all things. The one who has accomplished all that is necessary for our salvation!

Hallowed be thy name -- Holy is your name, Oh Lord. And you are calling your people into your holiness.

Thy kingdom come -- We are not just sitting around and waiting for a day for him to come again, but we are praying for the kingdom to be here already on this earth. Today -- may his kingdom come. Today -- may we participate as ambassadors in his kingdom. Today -- may we see a little glimpse of the kingdom here on earth and may someone be touched by the kingdom today. Pray specifically for those who need to come to the kingdom. Who are we praying for that needs to know Jesus?

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven -- Jesus submitted to the will of the Father because they were in such intimate communication with one another that the Fathers' will was Jesus' will. We are to do the same. Pray that we would know him so intimately that we would desire to fulfill his will here on earth, for his will becomes our will!

Give us this day our daily bread -- And only here do we pray for personal needs and they are simple and sustaining needs. Not what I want -- but what I "need" for "today." Not what I need or want for tomorrow or for next week -- but today!

Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us -- May we live lives of forgiveness. We will make mistakes, we will hurt others around us and relationships will be damaged, but may we forgive and find forgiveness, constantly reaching out to others around us in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (or the evil one) --- Praying about temptations is a healthy thing because it makes us more aware of what may be temptations for us. It may also prompt us to take action and stay away from things which may be a problem or temptation to us. Too many people fool themselves into believing that they are strong enough to live in the midst of the things that tempt them most. That is foolish. Admit our weakness to God and allow him to lead us away!

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. -- This new kingdom that Jesus was talking about is eternal. The kingdoms of the earth will fall away, but this new kingdom in which we are serving will last forever and God will have all the power and all the glory. Worship the King today. Pour out your heart in glorious praise to him.

Amen -- So be it!

It's not "if" you pray --- it's "when" you pray.

When will we pray today?

 

Prayer


Lord, you are holy, mighty, powerful and glorious. Thank you for your incredible love and for the intimacy of a relationship with you. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment