When You Pray
Aside from the occasion of blatant disrespect and belittling by an employer, there’s nothing worse than an employee who continually insists on repeating, “That’s not in my job description.” Nowadays, it’s a tremendous blessing just to have a job in the first place, so reaching beyond our written contract and helping out for the good of the company or for the relief of a colleague doesn’t have to be an instance for complaint. In fact, common sense and common decency dictate that some things are just expected of our position and don’t need to be expressly written out before we’ll submit to performing them.
So it is with prayer and our Christian lives. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus approached it as a foregone conclusion that we pray (“And when you pray…” v. 5), but realized we needed instruction on how to get prayer right.
First, pray on your own. Jesus tells us not to pray like the hypocrites do, all loud and with the intention of being seen. Instead, He says, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place…” Matthew 6:6a (NKJ). God actually desires alone time with us, without distractions, and in a place where we can focus on Him (He is already constantly focused on us).
Second, be original. Jesus says, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do…” Matthew 6:7a (NKJ). We shouldn’t plagiarize in prayer. We’re to talk to God about our personal issues, concerns, and desires rather than simply repeating what we’ve heard others say. God’s concerned about what’s really on our hearts. We can be honest with Him when we pray.
Third, be organized. Even though we’re not to use vain repetitions, in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gives us a model on which to hang our prayer thoughts so that we approach it in the right way.
- He says, “In this manner, therefore, pray…” In other words, we follow this pattern as we elaborate with our own heart’s cries. How can we be organized and original at the same time? Here are some suggestions using the prayer Jesus taught.
- “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Take time to express adoration of God. Speak to Him of who He is. Bless Him for His attributes.
- “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Ask for understanding of what God’s will is concerning the different things about which you are praying. Find Scriptures that relate to those issues.
- “Give us this day our daily bread.” Talk to God about your specific needs for the day you are facing and express your trust in Him to meet those needs.
- “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Speak with God about areas of sinfulness in your life. Ask for His forgiveness and for His instruction and help in turning from those sinful ways. Also speak to God about those to whom you need to extend forgiveness.
- “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Be honest with God about the things that tempt you. Ask Him how to avoid those temptations and pray for deliverance from the enemy of your soul who ever seeks to bring you down.
- “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Close your prayer times reiterating your trust in God and your reliance on His power in and through your life.
Well, what are you waiting for – go somewhere and pray! Worship God for being the Prayer Teacher.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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