Faith
Wednesday July 1, 2009
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
FAITH COMMENTARY
"Prayer is a Conversation"

Prayer is simply a conversation between God and us, a conversation that allows us to get to know each other better. Seeking His help and sharing experiences with Him accomplishes this and it makes us close friends.

There are those that wonder if their prayers reach God while others question whether or not they deserve to have their prayers answered. With doubt looming as an issue, we ask ourselves: Is there a right way to pray for God’s assistance in order to have Him assist with my problems and needs?

Good question, one also asked by the disciples as they walked with Jesus two millenniums ago; Luke 11:1 KJV is where you read about this:

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.

Like us, the disciples had a strong desire to communicate with God. Their communication with Jesus about prayer shows its importance as Jesus responds in Matthew 6:5-6; verse [5] reads:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Jesus is making the point that God resents us airing our prayers in the public marketplace. Our needs are personal and praying is a private matter between God and us; verse [6] continues:

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

“Shut thy door” is a figure of speech; Christ uses it to let us know that prayer is a private matter between His Father and us. While giving His undivided attention to us, He also demands ours. It is this (one on one) communication that defines prayer. Christ continues teaching us about prayer in Luke 11:9-10 KJV:

[9] And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

[10] For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

God hears our knock and He feels the sincerity of every request that we make. We can freely ask of Him for He is always open to us; Matthew 6:8 KJV assures us that He knows about the needs that we have:

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Remember to pray in the


 

name of Christ. He sits at the right hand of God and praying through Him shows God that we recognize Jesus as our Savior and redeemer.

Just before He was crucified, Jesus, in John 17:25-26 KJV, was praying this prayer to His Father; it shows His feelings and it shows the tenderness of His love for us:

[25] O righeous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee. And these have known that thou hast sent me.

[26] And I have declared to them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Prayer shows feeling and it shows our love and for this reason Christ is teaching us to pray. There is no better teacher and now is the time for us to show Him what we have learned.

God is waiting to hear from you! As you prepare, ask yourself these questions: When praying, am I ever redundant? Do I ever find myself praying from a stagnant list? Do I ever find myself praying at God instead of to Him?

After receiving a passing mark on these questions, am I now prepared to draw closer to God? Am I ready to talk to Him?

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com