Have you ever had a conversation with someone? I am sure that you have, you probably have had many conversations over your lifetime. Just this evening, I spoke to my husband and children, communicating with them and sharing my thoughts and needs.
Throughout the entire bible we see people crying out to God, some out of ritual, some out of desperation, some out of bitterness, and some on behalf of other people. God promises in his word that he would not only listen to their prayers, but that he would actively answer them.
“This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it–the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Jesus was asked by his disciples how to pray, this is what Jesus taught his disciples to do.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus told the disciples that they needed to be careful, not to be boastful in their prayer time; he did not want their prayer time to be a time to show off their “righteousness” but that they would instead be open and honest before him.
He encouraged the disciples to go somewhere quiet and there engage God in prayer. It is in that place that you can be real, open and honest with the lord, bearing your heart to him in all of its flaws hurts and trials.
King David gave us many examples in the Psalms of raw emotion before God, he shows that you can bring God your frustrations, hurt, anger, joy, triumph, despair, hopelessness, fear, depression, tears. The list of emotions that King David poured out over the Psalms is endless, but it went to prove, that he had a very real and open relationship with God, that is what he wants for all of us.
So, if you are not in the habit of talking to the lord, or even if you are, be sure to go to a place where you can be alone with the lord, and bring forth honestly all that is on your mind and heart. I have found, that the more I do that, the more peace I feel, and the more I want to go back into that quiet place and set some time that it is just him and I.
Sometimes I will hear him speak to me, sometimes, it will be an impression that I feel in my spirit, and I know that it is God who is talking to me, sometimes, I will read something in the bible, and I will know without a shadow of a doubt that the lord wanted me to see that verse, as it lined up with my prayers.
It is a wonderful thing, to pray to the lord, and see how he answers you!
Then Jesus told the disciples, first acknowledge that God is your father in heaven, and give him the praise that his due his name, “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” God is holy and we need to remember that when we come into his throne room of grace.
Then he told his disciples, to ask that the kingdom of heaven, and all that is good about it, come to us here on this earth, and to pray that the will of God be done on earth, as well as it is in heaven; “ your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” Why would it be important that God’s will be done on earth, I cannot even begin to explain the great importance of God’s will to be in our lives. But I do say that I know no better place to live out your life, than in the perfect will of God. Therefore praying that his will is done in your life is essential, to living your life on purpose for God.
The next principle that Jesus taught the disciples in this prayer is this; “Give us today our daily bread” in other words, lord, please provide for our daily needs, the lord promised that he would do just that, as we are valuable to him and he loves us. I have seen the lord provide in miraculous ways over the years for my little family, as well as for others, I know that he cares about the little details of our lives and wants to make sure that we are taken care of.
He then told his disciples, to ask for forgiveness and to extend forgiveness to other people.” Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” God is adamant that we do not hold grudges against people, that we release them and walk in love. I believe that the reason that this is so important is that when we don’t forgive an offense, we end up, bitter, full of hatred, mistrustful and downright miserable. God says that if we choose not to forgive others, then he will not forgive us our sins. I don’t know about you, but I love the freedom that comes with not having to have my sin hang over my head like a death sentence. In Christ I have been forgiven and set free from that sin, therefore because it has been given to me, I am obligated to extend forgiveness to others.
The next principle that Jesus taught was; “And leads us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” To be able to ask the lord, not to be led into anything that would cause us to sin against him is amazing. That he would deliberately take us on a different route that would allow us to steer clear of temptation is awe inspiring to me. Lord, deliver us from the evil that surrounds us daily.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I want you to realize that prayer is not a scary thing, nor is it something that we need to neglect. The bible is clear that we are to pray for one another, that we are to pray for God to send people into the field to bring in the harvest of souls. We are to pray that God would provide for our needs, deliver us from evil that surrounds us, and that he will help us to not willfully sin against him.
We can pray for increased passion to worship him, for him to increase our faith, for him to help us to choose righteousness over evil and for us to keep our eyes firmly on him.
Whether you choose to take a walk to pray, or write in a journal or go to a secluded place, the lord is always ready and waiting to hear from you, to lead you with his word, and to bring joy and peace into the depths of your spirit.
Cry out to him today, and if you feel intimidated start reading the book of Psalms to see how King David ran to God for everything and see how God delivered him.
My favorite prayer Psalm is,
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young–a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah,
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah, Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
Take a moment right now and turn this Psalm into a prayer before our Heavenly father.
Filed under: Having a heart that hears when God speaks