Before Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He first taught them how NOT to pray. The first thing that Jesus said in relation to how NOT to pray was that we were not to pray as the hypocrites do. The Bible says in 1 John 1:7 that we cannot have fellowship with God if we do not walk in the light. If we walk in the light we certainly can't hide anything, for the light exposes everything. The man who walks in darkness is the one who has something to hide in his life. If we walk in the light, our life is an open book. We can then invite people to examine our private life, our account books and everything. There is nothing we want to hide. It doesn't mean that we're perfect. No, it only means that we are honest. The first thing that God requires from all of us is honesty - absolute honesty. If we are willing to be honest first, many of our other problems will be solved very quickly. We will progress in leaps and bounds in our spiritual life if we live by this fundamental rule of honesty before God and men. We are to address God as our Father WHO IS IN HEAVEN. He's not only our Father, He's also the Almighty God. We need to keep both these facts in mind when we come to Him in prayer. We approach Him with reverence because He is a God Who is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Many Christians think of God as a grandfather!! You know how grandfathers are - always lenient with their grandchildren, ignoring whatever evil they do. Many Christians think that God is like that, not taking their sins seriously. That idea is totally wrong. God is a Father. But He is also God. He is the One before whom the seraphs of heaven cover their faces and cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Isa. 6:3). Those seraphs have never sinned. Yet, when they approach God, they have to cover their faces, for they cannot bear to look upon the holiness of God. This tells us something about the infinite purity of God that our finite minds can never comprehend. Consider the effect of the vision of God on some of the great men in the Bible. Isaiah felt he was a terrible sinner when he saw the glory of God (Isa. 6:5). Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God (Exod. 3:6). Daniel felt drained of all his strength (Dan. 10:8), and the apostle John fell down as a dead man (Rev. 1:17). Since most Christians do not know God in this way, their lives remain shallow and superficial. If the Ruler of our country were your father, what a difference that would make in your attitude to problems and difficulties that you face in your life. If your landlord threatens you, or your boss makes life difficult for you, or somebody is unjust towards you, or you need something done urgently, would you have any worries? No. You'd just have to ring up your Dad and ask him to solve your problem. Isn't the Lord greater than the Ruler of our country ? What do we do then when we face some problem in our life? Do we say, "Well, I'll just tell my heavenly Father about it. He rules the universe, and He can surely sort out this problem"? Or do we say, "I wish I knew some influential cabinet minister or Police Officer, who can help me now"? Which is our first reaction? Many Christians (including me,at times)are atheists when it comes to the practical matters of daily life. They talk about faith in God in the meetings and even in their homes. But when it comes to earthly matters, they are full of fear and anxiety just like any atheist. There has never been as much fear as in our day. Jesus said that in the last days men's hearts would faint from fear wondering what was going to happen next (Luke 21:26). But it is at just such a time, that we are exhorted to lift up our heads fearlessly and to look for Christ's return (Luke 21:28). Martin Luther was an important and busy leader. Despite his hectic work schedule, preaching, teaching, and other plentiful tasks, he still diligently made time to pray. He is quoted as saying “I have so much to do (today) that I should spend the first three hours in prayer.” Jesus too was an important and busy person. As Savior of the world, Jesus spent His days traveling, teaching, arguing with religious leaders, healing sickness, driving out demons, and proclaiming the salvation available to the world through Himself as God’s one and only Son. (Among other things!) Yet “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Mark gives us an example: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). The question for us is: If Martin Luther and Jesus Himself made time to pray, how can we possibly say we’re too busy? It’s tough sometimes, because prayer doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Speak honestly to God: praise, frustrations, triumphs, fears, and deepest longings. After all, God already knows you better than you know yourself... there’s nothing to hide! Remember that prayer doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It doesn’t need to be “holy sounding” either. You know what I mean, those prayers with all the right-sounding words that somehow end up sounding hollow. Use the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 or Luke 11:2-6) as a guide, but not as a formula. Don’t just pray it rigidly, try to pray spontaneously, from the heart. Just never use the excuse that you’re “too busy.” Question: Have you prayed yet today? If not, could you spend some time with God now?
Good blog on prayer. One thing that I don't understand. Maybe someone out there in cyberspace can answer. The Lord's prayer is a good model for prayer, but it doesn't contain a section about giving thanks for our blessings. that confuses me. - bibleguy64
This is a simply fantastic blog. There are bits that I'm going to write down to have and to keep forever!
This, for one:
[quote]But He is also God. He is the One before whom the seraphs of heaven cover their faces and cry, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Isa. 6:3). Those seraphs have never sinned. Yet, when they approach God, they have to cover their faces, for they cannot bear to look upon the holiness of God. This tells us something about the infinite purity of God that our finite minds can never comprehend.[/quote]
And this one too, from Martin Luther:
[quote]“I have so much to do (today) that I should spend the first three hours in prayer.”[/quote]
But this one may be my favorite:
[quote]Jesus said that in the last days men's hearts would faint from fear wondering what was going to happen next (Luke 21:26). But it is at just such a time, that we are exhorted to lift up our heads fearlessly and to look for Christ's return (Luke 21:28).[/quote]
I will have to show that to my mother.
What a great job! God is truly our Almighty God, and Heavenly Father. Likewise, I, am not comfortable with the "daddy" word in reference to Him. He is to be revered and honored in the highest of highests. Thanx for so many good points.