And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples (Luke 11:1)
We all do it, but do we truly understand what it means?
The prayer Christ shared in the next few verses was the example of what praying to our Father in heaven should resemble.
We recognize who God is and that His will comes first. This prayer has cost lives to be in fact, Mary Queen of Scots would burn women at the stake for teaching there children these verses in English. So we see that fear and reverence for the Lord strikes fear into the hearts of the wicked.
But what is the purpose of prayer….. For me it seems that first and foremost it is a privilege we have been given through Christ to have fellowship with our Father in heaven, you see to those who have put their faith in Christ and are now the children of God we have been “adopted” out of the world and into Gods family.
That being said our Father wants to hear from us, I cannot imagine not speaking with my dad when he was alive for long periods of time. So considering what He has done for us we really should “drop him a line” everyday at least
Now here is where I get into trouble. I start to pray about my needs, wants etc… Don’t get me wrong we should share our needs and even desires with God. What we tend to do is get lost in them, I mean I don’t want to see people suffer, I want people to have their health restored and have safe trips etc. I however like many I am sure tend to spend more time praying the saints out of heaven than we spend praying for the lost to eventually go there.
At times like this I go to one of my favorite’s verses :
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV)
Now it sounds a little harsh but we need to examine ourselves, dig down beneath the surface. Just reach in to what God has placed in us and pray from there!
So here are my suggestions.
1) Those people that annoy you or upset you at work or school or wherever (especially the ones that mock or condemn your faith). Those people are the ones that Jesus Christ, God the Son spent 3 hours in darkness nailed to a Roman torture device taking on the entire wrath of an almighty God for. So if He can endure that for people that hate Him and His family and still love them enough to offer them salvation. The very least we can do if pray that they see that opportunity. Most won’t take it, but the decision is not ours to make. I think of the words of Stephen in acts when he was stoned to death, just after asking the Lord to receive his spirit he did this:
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. (Acts 7:60 KJV)
These men stoned him to death and his final words were to forgive them!
2) Open your heart to a Father that just wants to be in your life. I know it’s sort of a different way to look at it but He did all the work for us all we have to do is love Him back and let Him know that we do. How do we show our love to God? Jesus said it best:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15 KJV)
3) Pray for those sick friends, or the job you need or what ever the need is at the time. Never forget though it is not what we want but what He wants for us. So we gotta accept the answers we get even when we don’t really like them. So if that sore back will serve the Lord better then pray that the pain stays until it has Served His purpose in you. If that guy at work that waits for you to slip up is there to cause you to examine yourself then Thank God for that blessing.
There is power in prayer, through it we have access to the most powerful force in the universe. It’s up to us to decide whether we scratch the surface and get a “tingle” or dig in so deep that mountains shake!