When you pray . . . (Matthew 6:5)
There was a point where Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Teach us to pray . . .” But we are still asking for Him to teach us. But why? Why do we have such a problem with praying? This really confuses me. Oh, some of us go through the motions, but we have no idea why; some have exchanged their prayers for a quiet time, but most have simply given up prayer completely. Some say, “Why bother? He doesn’t hear my prayers, anyway.”
So what’s the problem? Well, maybe I can answer that. For some reason, we have no idea who we are supposed to pray to. We have notions that are muddled and jumbled in our minds and really don’t mean anything to us. I mean, if you are confused whether He exists, or whether He is personal, or good, or in control of things, or concerned about things in your life, there is no way you will be able to understand prayer. As far as you are concerned, praying is pretty pointless, so you won’t do it.
But here’s the thing: most of you, and just about everyone who reads my messages, are Christians, or at least that is what they profess, so you should believe that Jesus is the express image of God, should never have any of those doubts. We should be able to recognize that for us to speak to the Father and His Son in prayer is as natural as it was for Jesus to talk to His Father in heaven, or for the disciples to talk to their Master during the days of His Earthly ministry.
What I want you to learn is to expect your prayer time to be a two-way conversation. Seriously. Now picture someone you treasure and respect. Maybe a parent, a close friend, a pastor or maybe an instructor. I could name several people I would put in that category. I value their input and wisdom. They are always ready to help me with their advice, and I never feel my time being tedious or pointless. And, if I must, I will schedule the time to be with them, simply because I value their time and gain from any of it I can spend with them.
Well, that is how we should see our time of communion with our Father. Whenever we are in prayer, we should experience touching the heart of our Father, this two-way conversation that I mentioned. Whenever one brother I know faced a decision, he used to always say, “I have to talk to Father about that . . .”
Have you ever had a salesman (especially car salesmen) say, “Well, I can only offer this to you now, if we wait, you may lose it.” My rule is to shrug my shoulders and say, “Well, I guess I lose.” I will never be pressured into making an immediate decision. If I don’t have the opportunity to pray and consider it, the answer is, “No!” That rule has always saved me.
Oh, I see that look in your face. You are thinking, “Does God really tell you things when you pray?” Absolutely! The secret though is learning to listen to that “still small voice” in your spirit. Colossians 3:15 says:
“Let the peace, the soul harmony which comes from Christ rule act as umpire continually in your hearts deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s one body you were also called to live. And be thankful and appreciative, [giving praise to God always”
No, you probably won’t hear voices telling you things when you pray or feel sudden strong impressions of a message coming through (and if you do you better be cautious and possibly check with a Dr. about it); but you will feel a sense of peace flooding your spirit. Allow that to guide and lead your decisions.
However, that being said, as we analyze and verbalize our concerns with our Lord, and tell Him what we want and why we want it and think our way through passages and principles found in Scriptures, many things will begin to crystalize in our hearts. I don’t think there are words to describe it well, but it is learning to walk by faith and to live in the Spirit!
Now, if your prayers are, “Why is this or that happening?” I assure you that no light is going to come. I can say that because “Some things are hidden. They belong to Yahweh our Elohim . . .” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Now, before you throw that in to cover everything you pray about, Moses went on to say, “But [and that “but” means there is more to the story] the things that have been revealed in these teachings belong to us and to our children forever. We must obey every word of these teachings.” And if you were to ask, “How can I serve you and glorify you in this situation,” there will always be an answer!
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.