There can be huge gaps between our knowing and doing when it comes to prayer. I hope we are like Jesus’ disciples honestly asking Him to teach us in this area.
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
The disciples were not unfamiliar with praying. After all, these were Jewish boys. They would already have been taught principles and patterns for prayer. Some were originally followers of John who also taught on prayer.
So what made the prayers of Jesus so different from every other prayer they had heard to this point?
That remains my question, too!
When I first became a Christian I wasn’t allowed the privilege of a bible or the liberty to attend a church. Without these two key elements in my life, prayer became my sustaining force. I had no “spiritual” mother or father to pattern from or teach me.
I knew God was real. Not just real from a distance, but real in my life. Instinctively I knew He wanted to be involved and connected to every part.
The Father’s Love
I heard someone say once, “The steadfast love of the Lord is your compass point.” His unfailing love is the “true north” that is the guiding light for all disciplines.
No one loves as deeply as the Heavenly Father!
“Because of the LORD’s great love
we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself,
“The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
In the Lord’s prayer Jesus is giving us more than a verbal pattern. He is demonstrating that prayer is to be in the context of relationship to God as a loving Father and Friend. (Luke 11:1-13)
Have you ever had a conversation with yourself? I have! Gets boring really fast!
Prayer is simply conversation with the Father. That means there are moments of both listening and speaking when we pray. Prayer has two directions, us to the Father and the Father to us.
As with most conversations, it is helpful if I listen first and speak second. Listening begins as I mediate on The Word of God. Faith rises as a scripture comes to mind and I sense Him nudge me, “Try this one“.
“For God does speak–now one way, now another – though no one perceives it.”
I guess I’m not the first one to have trouble with this two-way conversation thing of prayer!
The Holy Spirit
I’m so thankful the Holy Spirit is there to help us in learning process.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Many times we can be uncertain to know just how to pray…
when words don’t come easy or thoughts unravel,
when the heart aches
as you circle a mountain of despair
one more time…
Holy Spirit steps in both for us and with us. We’re not alone.
God Answers Prayer
I know what I have written is only the beginning concepts of prayer – simple grounding principles. Another fundamental to be added is an assurance that God delights to answer.
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
My first prayer for you today is for you to have a new confidence to hear and receive from God. The second is that prayer would become so filled with special prayer moments that your life becomes a continuous flow of listening, talking and receiving from God. Lastly, may prayer become an amazing opening into a new adventure with The One who longs to spend time with you.
Today may you hear Jesus say to you, “Come!”