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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

Prayer

Prayer is more than talking and listening to God; It is tied to our identity and intimacy in Christ.



This week, I heard something that intrigued as well as challenged me. In fact, it transformed me so much that I wanted to write about it - Prayer.


Several days ago, I was on my way to work and decided to turn on a local radio station. A preacher started talking on the subject of prayer and stated: "prayer is not talking to God."


Okay... I thought slowly...


Of course, I had to keep listening to find out where this was going. For most of my life, I have been taught that prayer is simply talking to God. In fact, I have often repeated those words to others when describing prayer.


However, as the preacher kept talking, I started to understand what he was saying. Prayer is much more than talking to God. I'm sure a lot of us may or may not have thought of prayer this way before, but hearing the preachers statement made me want to understand this subject even more.


Naturally, I looked into the Lord's prayer which is found in both Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4.


Matthew 6:9 -13 states: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."


The verses quoted above starts out with worship and adoration for who God is. For this first part, the simple definition of prayer, which is: 'talking to God' is okay. Notice how much praise is given to God, which hopefully is your father (He is a father to the child of God). We are talking to Him and praising Him for his awesome works.


Prior to asking God for our needs and wants, we are to praise Him first. Notice how the verses were not written like it was a suggestion. It was a direct command. "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.


Next, we're admonished to ask for daily bread. Daily bread is a figurative as well as physical need/provision. It is not just referring to food, but can also mean other things such as money or income.


R. C. Sproul, states: "It’s interesting to me that in the language of Western culture, we sometimes speak of one partner in a marriage (it used to be almost exclusively the husband, but not so much these days) as the wage earner of the home. But more colloquially, we call that partner “the breadwinner.” Even in our slang, we use the word bread as a synonym for “money.” Bread remains, at least in our language, as a powerful symbol of the rudimentary basis of provision for our needs."


Then we are prompted to ask for forgiveness as we forgive others and also ask God to not lead us into temptation.


The above sentence involves both listening and talking to God.


Even as Christians, we are still in great danger of falling into the temptations and traps of the devil. None of us are immune to the tactics of Satan. Therefore, we have to constantly and consistently ask the Lord to lead and direct us.


At the end of these verses, praise and worship is directed back to Him. "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." All praise and glory belongs to Him because he owns it all - wealth, power, glory and even the Kingdom.


This is what prayer is all about!


Unfortunately, because we live in a self-centered world, prayer has been reduced to a session of just asking God for a list of wants. However, we have to examine our hearts and minds as to what the will of God for our prayer life should be.


Conclusion

As I come to a close on this post, I hope you don't feel discouraged if your prayer life didn't resemble the one in Matthew 6. In fact, I'm right there along with you; because I recently discovered all of this.


However, if we must truly get intimate with Him, we have to learn how to pray. Your identity as a child of God depends on it. In fact, I'd go as far as saying the way we pray is closely tied to our current state of relationship with Him.



Quick Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the revelation you gave me on prayer. Please forgive my lack of knowledge as well as desire to learn more about it before now. Please help me to seek your face and listen to you. Guide me and lead me away from all temptations and traps of the enemy. Let me truly learn to seek your face, so that you can reveal yourself to me. In Jesus name. Amen.


Stay Blessed!

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