The closer that I come into the Fathers house; the more I press into his heart; the clearer I hear his prophetic voice I realize how inadequate my spiritual understanding is. Where once I was confident in my knowledge of Gods ways and methods, I now know for sure, that I was as a new born babe. Where once I had a good ‘head knowledge’ of Biblical matters, I now have come to the conclusion my knowledge was like the morning mist.
All week long the Holy Spirit has been saying to me, ‘I need to teach you to pray.’ Yes I realized, for by now I had put away my arrogance in repentance and accepted the Holy Spirits words. It never does too good to think that you can ‘out run’ God. As I was dwelling on these weighty matters I knew this was a blog that needed to be shared.
I was asked to remember the Lord’s Prayer recorded in chapter 11 of Luke.
his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray
I am slowly learning, and I mean slowly, that we do not really know the heart of our Father when we come to prayer for a situation. So often our will and the will of our Father do not match up and so we are praying at ‘cross purposes.’ As this cross purpose of communication ends in frustration in the natural realm so to does such an result occur in the spiritual.
As James points out in his epistle, chapter 4:3 we do not receive satisfaction from our prayer for we ask amiss; in this case we pray for selfish reasons. This rebuke can at times be hard to take; for instance if we are struggling with something. At times the line can be so thin that it becomes blurred. Yes I know it is, at times nigh on impossible not to focus on our problems, as they can overwhelm and swamp us.
In this situation I have to reminded myself - ask the Lord, how to Pray. At times in these situations I have taken comfort in simply thanking the Lord. Other times I remember to pray in tongues; knowing that Jesus who dwells in me is now praying on my behalf. I take solace in this fact: Jesus and the Father are communicating.
Other times I have simply listed to a worshipful CD and lifted my heart and hands in praise and worship. Opening the door of heaven in such a manner and stepping into Gods presence is balm to the soul and medicine to the body.
This blog is not the time and place to expound on the structure of the Lord’s prayer which in itself is an up lifting experience. No I wish to draw our attention to the parable that follows in Luke’s account. That of a family caught short of food to feed an un expectant guest, knocking on his neighbors’ door at midnight. Due to his persistent knocking the neighbor, who has gone to bed arises and assist his neighbor.
This theme of persistence is followed by the well known verses
ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you
I have found a caution here – such persistence in prayer must not be grounded in frustration, but rather in the goodness and love of the Father; as seen in verses 11-12.
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
I have found out in the harsh realities of God s chastisement that persistence in prayer born out of my panic, annoyance and a touch of anger only gives the enemy a platform into my mind. No my soul, be bold in coming into the throne of God with your petitions standing on the finished work of Christ. For we are only accepted into Gods presence standing on the righteousness of Jesus.
Contending with issues before God in prayer leads to righteousness and the building up of our faith. So often we give up praying for something for we see no tangible result. Maybe seeking a result is the wrong motivation for prayer – think about it.
I remember reading this quote many years ago and the impression it ground into my soul still remains today. ‘It is not so much, does God answer our prayer, but does God listen to our prayers?
I will leave that thought with you.
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