Summary: Why do we take prayer so lightly. This lesson will help us to see who we serve.
Thank you for all the responses to yesterday’s devotional on prayer. It seems I am not the only one who likes to simplify things. Getting to know God through prayer is not a one time event but a lifetime of interaction with a Holy God. I believe that one of the main qualities we lack when we pray is a true appreciation of who we are talking to. Yesterday I used the analogy of meeting the President of the United States in the Oval Office. That would be a huge experience whether you are a Republican or Democrat. But a lot of the times when we are praying our attention is far less than if we were to meet the president or any important figure.
In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus actually says “This is how you should pray” and then He recites what we now know as the Lord’s Prayer. It is easy to gloss over the Lord’s Prayer as we have heard it so many times in the past. But stop for a moment and think of this. When Jesus says this prayer this is the first time the disciples have ever hear this spoken. So what does Jesus open with?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Our is plural. Jesus is talking about “Our” Father. He is one with God the Father as part of the Trinity but have you ever felt that God was your real Father? Or do you address God in name only? What if Jesus was your real father? Would you treat Him any differently? Guess what? He is your real father.
Jeremiah 1:5a “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
Julie and I have the wonderful privilege to raise Bryce and Chase. But that is a privilege given to us by God. God created our children and is allowing Julie and I to raise them. We get to keep them in our home for a time and then they are off into the world. But God created them; He is the one who formed them in the womb. We are caretakers of His children. You are a child of God. A God who knew you before He even created you. Isn’t that amazing that God made YOU special. So why do we put more emphasis on getting to know man than getting to know God?
1. Man is real (Not that God isn’t but we don’t take the time to get to know God)
2. Man can do more for us, he can help us with our career and give us business (What a great scheme of the devil that one is)
3. I can get a quick response from man (Yes and it is usually the wrong response)
I am leery of people who say ”God told me to tell you……..” Be very careful when someone says that to you. Now I do not discount anything someone says to me and I take most things to heart. But if someone says that to you ask them how often they are praying? Where and when did God tell them that? Are they sure it was from God or Satan? If they are not sure then you have your answer. It is much better to hear from God than form man. Now as far as moral law goes man can help keep you on the right track. If you see a friend going off the deep end then by all means in love ask that person what they are doing. That isn’t telling them that God told you something. This is just being a friend. Don’t ever use “God told ne to tell you” just to get your point across.
Hallowed – Holy or Blessed, Highly Respected – Webster Dictionary
There are a lot of songs that Say “God is my friend”, God is my brother” and on and on. Now I want us to have a healthy relationship of God so we are not afraid to come into His presence. But God is God. When Jesus starts the Lord’s Prayer and the first thing He talks about is reverence for God then we need to have reverence before God. The next time you have the privilege to pray please treat prayer as a privilege knowing who you are about to speak to. The God of the heavens and the earth, the one who holds the oceans back, the stars in place and is able to hear and act perfectly on millions of prayer requests AT THE SAME TIME is due our respect and awe. He is actually turning His attention to you when you call upon His name.
I don’t know how that looks for you but that is between you and the Lord. You can always ask God for forgiveness for treating Him like man and He will understand. He already knows your heart. Maybe you just need to know what is in your own heart. God loves it when we put aside everything else to come to Him in prayer. God will change you and He will change circumstances that surround you when you come to Him in earnest prayer. As we said yesterday earnest prayer could just be the word “Help”. Prayer does not need to be long, articulate or a volume of memorization. Pray needs to be from the most inner recesses of your heart. When you put God first he will move mountains to help you.