PRAYER IS NOT PERSONAL P.R.


Spiritual Blog - Prayer Effect

Matthew 6:5-8 – “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  NASU

 

There is far more here than I could address in multiple devotionals, so I am selectively drawing on the thought that Prayer is not designed to be your personal public relations vehicle or tool.  This and other passages in the Holy Scripture regarding prayer, is why I do not like to broadcast what I am praying.  I am more than willing to ask for specific prayer and even willing to acknowledge specific prayers that I am offering but by and large when I pray I go into the prayer closet, shut the door, and engage in a private conversation and entreaty with God about particular needs.  I don’t like long prayers in public and personally prefer spontaneous prayers to those that are written and read for the purpose of being noticed.  However, there are times when forethought and preplanned use of words is incredibly beneficial.  I don’t mind men not noticing my prayer so long as God does.  After all, I am not praying to men I am praying to God and He doesn’t need to be impressed with my eloquence or words.  He is looking beyond all that directly at my heart.

Jesus cautioned us about using meaningless repetitions and being incredibly wordy in our public prayers or even our private prayers.  If you and I sat down and I wanted to ask something of you I would not ramble on being repetitious and verbose I would come to the point and in as simple language as possible tell you what I desired.  I believe you would do the same with me. Yet, when we go before the God of all creation many change the inflection of their voice and attempt to impress God with their eloquence or words.  He’s not impressed!  He created language and knows it far better than any of us, even the most eloquent and educated of us.

When we go before God we would do well to remember that He already knows what we need and our petition is not one trying to convince Him of the merits of our petition but aligning our hearts and thoughts with His word and will.  It is allowing God the opportunity to be God in our situation.  Jesus said the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward us openly.

Therefore I suggest that we not attempt to use prayer as a P.R. tool but as a means of communication with God in an honest and heartfelt manner.  Come before Him with humbleness of heart, and true thanksgiving and watch Him be God in your behalf.

May God be with you as you go through your day!

PRAYER IS A VITAL PART OF LIFE… [A Further Look]


spiritual-blog-prayer

Last time we looked at two powerful examples of Prayers in the Bible that produced a very positive result and that we can incorporate in our own lives.  We considered the Prayer of Jabez and what we call The Lord’s Prayer.  Now, I want us to consider a few more examples that will inspire our hearts and encourage us to engage more regularly and fervently in prayer.

JONAH’S PRAYER FOR SALVATION – Jonah 2:1-10.

Jonah 2: 1-10 – “Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, 2 and he said, “I called out of my distress to the LORD, and He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. 3 “For You had cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me. 4 “So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless, I will look again toward Your holy temple.’

5 ” Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 “I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.

7 “While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, and my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. 8 “Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, 9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay.  Salvation is from the LORD.”  10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.” NASU

Jonah had been given an assignment but he resisted and rebelled.  His rebellion produced a situation in which he was placed in a life or death situation and in that position and condition he prayed.  He recognized his rebellion and sin and as he repented making a commitment to do what God desired the answer came.  This is a reminder that even if we drift from God’s pathway if we will open our hearts and call upon God to repentance and become willing to be obedient THE ANSWER COMES!  This is a prayer for anyone who has resisted God’s will and gotten off track.  It is an example that that condition does not have to be fatal or final.  I call it the Prayer of the Backslider!

DAVID’S PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE – Psalm 3.

Psalm 3 – “O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. 2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. 3 But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.  8 Salvation belongs to the LORD; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.”  NASU

             If you examine David’s acknowledgment and petition you will find a powerful example and source of encouragement.  If you take David’s words and then examine the history of his life and exploits you will find cause for rejoicing and a renewed confidence in God and His incredible love and mercy.

HANNAH’S PRAYER OF PRAISE – 1 Samuel 2:1-10

1 Samuel 2:1-10 – “Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 ” There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3 ” Boast no more so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.

4 ” The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. 5 “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to hunger.  Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes. 6 ” The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 ” The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. 8 ” He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, And He set the world on them.  9 ” He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 10 ” Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed.”  NASU

 

This is such an encouraging example of complete dedication to the Lord and a prayer that builds to a crescendo in faith.  She takes us systematically through examination of Who God Is and His Faithfulness.  This is a prayer that is subsequent to her petition and God’s response.  She is praying the promises and praising in prayer.  Prayer is not simply a petition it is worship and conversation with God.  It is to always be engaged in with THANKSGIVING!

I hope these examples provide a source of encouragement as you encounter various situations in life and in your daily routine!  God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!