Monday, April 13, 2015

Does Your Prayer Look Like A Grocery List?

Most of us have no problem praying when there is a crisis in our lives or when all of our own results don't provide any relief for what we need, as a last resort. Makes you wonder what our faith looks like to an outsider who doesn't know God and is looking to us for what we do as Christians when it comes to prayer or living our lives for Jesus.

Kinda scary when you think, that how you live your life publicly can impact the salvation of another person.I mean think about it. When your in church there may be a non believer who decides that they want to come to church to find out what Jesus is all about and they sit down next to you. What you do in those moments can adversely affect how someone might view life as a Christian. Do you grumble about the really bad day your having? Does your attitude reflect lemons? I mean think about it. So many of us can change how we look to the world in an instant the minute someone of importance walks up or say even a pastor. Like lightning fast.

It's not even in church that our actions and words can impact non believers around us. We, as Christians, know that there will be tribulations in our lives but do we complain about it to anyone who would listen? Are our lives completely different now that Jesus is in our lives? Do our prayers sound more like grocery lists of all the stuff we want God to bless in our lives right now or do we take the time to humbly stand in the grace and mercy of the Lord God, Creator of all?

Now I'm not saying we can't come before God with our petitions but for some, they see God as more of a Genie than anything. Much of our prayer has no power in it, because there is no heart in it. Sometimes we pray for something one time and because nothing happens, we give up. "Well that most not be God's will for me," and we give up. Or we pray for something to happen like the salvation of a non believer or the return of a prodigal believer and because we've prayed for awhile and nothing happens, we give up.

If what we believe we are asking for is the will of God, especially for non believers or prodigals, we need to keep on lifting them up in prayer until they die. Sometimes we are not sure we should be doing something or going somewhere and we don't know if it is something God would want for us, and what we need to do at the moment is pray about it. Think about it, if you're thinking about going out to a party or a bar, how would that sound to pray to God about it? We can also think about how it would look if we saw other Christians doing it, and then apply that to us. If we would look at someone else and think, man that isn't exactly living as a witness to God, then we ourselves, shouldn't be doing it either.

If you can take your request and add "Hallowed be Thy Name" to the end of it, how does that sound? If not, perhaps it's not something we should be doing regardless of our how brains try to rationalize it. Stay away from temptations. Remember they come in subtly and often times with valid reasons why. "Oh I should go to that party where I know people will be getting drunk and doing drugs, so I can be a good witness and maybe save someone!" Not going to fly!

Yet how easy is it to find the sin in other people's lives instead of taking a hard look at our own lives. We justify our sins, instead of looking at how we can improve our own spiritual lives. Our primary goal in our prayers is first of all, give some consideration that you are stepping into the throne room of God with your prayer request. The Creator of Everything in the World including YOU! We should have a sense for how awesome and incredible it is to be able to do that now thanks to the sacrifices of Jesus. Before that time only the Levites could offer up prayer to God. Now we can thanks to Jesus.

If you want to look at some great prayers, we should model ours after Jesus'. He gave us the perfect recipe for prayer in Matthew 6: 5-13 "And when your 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 who art in Heaven, hallowed by your name. your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, 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." 

Lets look at how he prayed to His Father. He always gave thanks from feeding the 5000, to the healing of Lazarus, to the heart wrenching prayers of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to the prayers on the Cross. It was always making sure that His plans were lining up with God's will. So shall the same be said for us. To be a growing Christian, it needs to be evident in our prayer life. Our primary goal in prayer is to align our wills with God's. Not the other way around.

Today is an important day for prayer, tomorrow the first key vote in the Senate for the Obama-Iran deal takes place and we need to be praying that God will intervene. We need to contact our local Senators today to ensure they understand that we do not support this deal even though our current president is seeking to do it without the approval of Congress. Please take the time to pray that God will move in the heart of our leaders to do a supernatural moving of the Spirit and cause their hearts to moved in such a way that this does not pass. Remember it is our privilege to be able to pray as believers because of the spiritual power that is unleashed when we pray. Don't get too busy, in fact, if you're reading this, stop and do it right now.

Lord Jesus, 

We humbly stand in your glorious presence to thank You for being so righteous and just in everything that matters. You alone are worthy to make a difference in the lives of the leaders of our country who sit in positions of authority. Lord, we ask for a spiritual movement in the hearts of those that would agree to this deal between Iran and America and ask that you shake these men and women up. Appear to them in visions and dreams, showing them what could happen if they make this decision. Remove the scales from our own president's eyes and break his heart Lord for this great nation. Help him to see that this is a tragic mistake. Lord, we seek Your will in these matters and know that ultimately what happens does not go by unmissed by You. You are still in power and still on the throne. Help us to remember we are accountable for what we chose to do or not do in this matter. We seek Your guidance and we'll give You the thanks for it, for we ask this in Jesus mighty name. ~ AMEN!!!

I pray for those reading this that your prayer life changes in remarkable, unmistakeable ways and you begin to experience just how powerful prayer can be when it is unleashed by the believer of Jesus Christ.

Remember if you're knees are shaking, kneel on them.

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