Conversations With A Friend
I remember riding to a Christian school with a pastor and his daughter when I was young. Every morning he prayed on our way. It made me nervous as I wondered if he was closing his eyes when praying as he was driving! This I believed, was the correct way to pray at the time. I believed I had to sit still with my hands folded and my eyes closed. Is this the only way to pray though?
In the Bible, Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. How do we do this when we still have to keep our eyes open when driving, working, cooking, cleaning and all of the responsibilities we take part in everyday? I find though, that when we have an ongoing, consistent relationship with the Lord throughout the day, we speak with Him regularly in a conversation. If He is truly real in our lives, then we have to live as though He is real. Existence is not enough, communication is key in a right relationship. In the book of John, Jesus states that we are “now His friends, since I have told you everything that the Father has told me.” (John 15:15) This implies that Jesus communicates with us, which is indicative of prayer.
Pride Vs. Humility
Jesus spoke of two men. One was a Pharisee who came to pray in a fancy, eloquent way stating that He was glad that he wasn’t as others. The other man came humbly before God. Which way do we pray? Do we have to have a fancy long speech or do we come simply and humbly, telling God as we are, that we are sinners, yet we have a need for Him most in our life. Do we pray to converse with God or do we pray to make me look good?
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people-robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said ” God have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.Luke 18:10-14
A Model To Use
I see humility as a key element in prayer. I know that He alone makes all things possible. I realize that it is not about me! A model I learned many years ago is based on the acronym “ACTS”
- Adoration – Loving on God in your prayer
- Confession – Confessing the sin in my life
- Thanksgiving – Being thankful for the things He has done and is doing in my life
- Supplication – Telling Got what is going on in my day to day and asking for guidance and help
Fight The Right War
We are fighting a war right now. We can see or hear about physical fighting, but even physical fights have deeper roots. It comes down to anger in people’s hearts against others and against doing what is right before God. It takes constant, regular prayer to go against the enemy. We may not see the results we hope to see right away or for a long time, but regular communication with God changes us. We see God as the one who is ultimately in control!
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”Ephesians 6:12
I Have No Words for This
Have you ever seen a situation that you just can’t explain and you need help from someone else? When this happens, I need help navigating my way through, what I just saw or just experienced. This is what I think of when I read in Romans 8, when Paul explains how the Spirit works when we don’t understand what we are dealing with and don’t know what to say when we go to pray.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”Romans 8:26-27
So, our need for communication with our heavenly Father does not cease! We have trials that we don’t understand, against which we have to continually fight a spiritual battle! We need to realize the need to be humble before Him and rely continually on Him in prayer.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”Martin Luther