Today, I had the privilege to lead a short devotional and discussion with a group of people at work (Lamar Hospice). The topic was prayer. The group was very interested and the discussion was an encouragement to us all as we considered how God loves us and desires for us to come into His presence in prayer.
Simply stated, prayer is communicating with God. God is our Father, our Creator, and as such, He desires for us to come into His presence in prayer.
Too often we treat God like a genie in a bottle. We come with a wish list and quickly ask Him to do a bunch of stuff for us. We then end our “prayer” with “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” After all, if we say a prayer “in Jesus’ name”, God will answer. Right?
Before I talk about praying in Jesus’ name, we need to go over why God wants us to pray. Some would say, “God is all-seeing and all-knowing. I don’t have to pray. He already knows what’s going on in my life.” That is only partly true. God is all-knowing and all-seeing, but he EXPECTS and DESIRES for us to pray.
There are three main reasons God wants us to pray. They are:
- prayer expresses our trust in God,
- prayer brings us into deeper fellowship with God, and
- through prayer, God allows us (as His creatures) to be involved in activities of eternal importance
In Luke 11 and Matthew 6, you will find what many call “The Lord’s Prayer.” A more accurate title would be “The Model Prayer.” The Model Prayer is exactly that. It is a model, or skeleton, that you flesh out yourself based on your current situation and needs. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus said “Pray like this....” not “Pray exactly this….”
As you spend quiet time in prayer with God, remember “The Model Prayer.” Remember that it has parts or sections. The first section honors God, the next section concerns the advancement of the kingdom and God’s will, the next section concerns personal needs and repentance.
Try this in your personal quiet time: Divide your prayer time into four equal parts or sections as seen below. In so doing, you will be following “The Model Prayer.”
- Praise/adoration/worship (praise & worship God for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He is doing)
- Intercession (praying for others)
- Petition (praying for yourself)
- BE QUIET! (listen for the still small voice of God as He replies)
If you haven’t been praying in this manner or one similar, you have been missing out. God wants you to come into His presence and pray. And he wants you to come into His presence and listen. It is in these still quiet times that you best hear God.
In the next blog, I will discuss what it means to “pray in Jesus’ name.” So, stay tuned!
May God bless and keep you.