JESUS TEACHES US THE ART OF PRAYER

 

Prayer Cabinet (Photo by Pastor Davis)

 

The very first thing we must learn about prayer is simply this; prayer is personal.  The second thing is, prayer is a form of art, and no one has taught this more skillfully than Jesus.  With this being said, why do we not follow the art pattern that Jesus has established for us to learn how to pray in order that our prayers will be answered?  The answered is simple; we follow the pattern of the Pharisees rather than learning from and following the pattern of Jesus.

 

For a believer, prayer should be second nature, almost like breathing.  But sadly, in the lives of many believers, prayer is greatly lacking.  Perhaps this is true because many times when we pray, it seems like nothing happens.  This should lead us to reconsider our motives for prayer, “Jesus said, “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites.  They stand in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.”

 

The problem with the “religious” people of that day, the Pharisees, was that they prayed to impress others.  On street corners and in the marketplace they could be seen lifting up their hands and praying in a very ostentatious manner.  Others would walk by and think, “Look at that man of God.  He loves God so much that he can’t even wait to get to the synagogue to pray.”

 

What they didn’t realize was that the person praying was most likely thinking, “What a man of God I am.  Everyone is looking at me.  Everyone is impressed with my spirituality.  I am so holy.”

 

That type of prayer won’t be heard by God.  A person so concerned with what others are thinking about him is too full of himself to be effective in his prayer.  He is like the self-righteous Pharisee Jesus mentioned who “prayed thus with himself.”  God won’t hear the prayer of a pride-filled person, for it is nothing less than sin, and the Bible tells us that if we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.  Make no mistake about it—spiritual pride is every bit as much a sin as lying or immorality, even though it is a more subtle one.

 

We said from the very beginning that prayer is personal, and Jesus teaches us the art of prayer.  Now all you have to do is listen up, because here’s what He wants you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

 

The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

 

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

 

Now we encourage you to follow Jesus Teachings on prayer and you will get your prayers answers.  May God’s grace and mercy rest and abide in you now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen!

 

 

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