Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Words of Prayer

When You Pray: Part 4

When we pray place is very important. If we are going to pray so we can connect with God then we need to find a place that has few distractions so we can give our full attention to our Heavenly Father. That is the point Jesus made in verses 5 and 6 of Matthew chapter 6. Moving on we notice that there is a second area of prayer that Jesus wants us to think about.

This second area of prayer we need to consider are the words we use.
7 “When you are praying, don't say meaningless words like the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their wordiness. 8 Don't be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8;ISV)

What Jesus says here is that some people pray and the use certain words and pray for a long time hoping that God will take them seriously. They might repeat certain words because they think these words have power or they just keep on praying and their prayers a long, and maybe even very beautiful. These people pray in this manner hoping to get God to move in their favor.

Having a powerful prayer life is not about saying the right words or praying long prayers, but it is about having a desire to connect with God. Until we have this desire in our hearts our pray life will always seem frustrating.

Why shouldn’t we try to use words to persuade God to do our will? It is because God already knows what we need. God is not up in heaven waiting for us to pray so He can discover what needs to be done in our life. There is nothing that you are going to tell God that He didn’t already know.

Jesus isn’t saying that we shouldn’t tell God about our concerns and our needs, but He wants to make sure that isn’t where we spend all our time. God will make sure we are taken care of, that what we need for life and godliness is provided for us, and at times He will even indulge us, just like you do for your children, but God will not answer all our prayers, because only He knows all ends. What seems good and full of promise right now might have disastrous consequences in the future. This means we have to trust God to do the right thing, even though it goes against our desires.

The question that we have to consider now is: What do we pray about? If our prayers aren’t about our needs and wants how do we fill the time of our prayers? That is what we will talk about next time, but let me give you a question to ponder in the mean time: Who is God and what does He want from your life?

Prayer is about connecting with God. I believe that we have made pray about a tiny part of what prayer really is. We have missed out on the power of prayer, not because we lacked faith or failed to say the right words, but because we had the wrong focus. When we come to God with the desire to connect with Him in our hearts and we make it important enough to get away from all the distractions in our lives, we will begin to go to a whole other stage in our relationship with God. We will realize it isn’t about God doing things for us, but inviting God to be part of our lives.

  • Point to Ponder: Prayer is inviting God to be part of our lives.
  • Passage to Remember: Matthew 6:7-8
  • Question to Consider: What do you pray about?


Anonymous said...

Why are you making such a simple thing so complicated?

Stan said...

Okay, this is just a little scary. Recently I wrote a couple of posts on gratitude, and you write a series on gratitude. Last week I wrote on prayer and you write on prayer. Since I know it's not a case of "great minds think alike", what's going on here? :)

(Kip, it's because so many people make prayer into something complicated or something it's not.)

Paul said...

I had notice the similarity too. Out side of the great minds theory I have nothing.

Kip, thanks for stopping by. I don't know why you think this post is complicated, but it has to do with the number of people I have met who are frustrated with their prayer life. So you might find it simple, but far more people are frustrated.

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