Saturday, October 20, 2012

What I Am Learning Concerning…. Prayer.

I would like to share my humble opinion on the important matter of how and when we should pray. I know that some may disagree with what I am about to say, but others may find some relief from the endless condemnation that occurs in the life of the average Christian disciple concerning when and where he should pray.

Personally, I have quit trying to be a ‘prayer warrior’. Thank God there are some who are called to this very important work. But somehow I just don’t seem to ever seem to measure up. Although I do very much look forward to being able to just stay in communication with our heavenly Father throughout my day. Maybe… my problem is what I’ve been taught about ‘prayer warriors’ and ‘calloused knees’.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there are times we should get off by ourselves and have an uninterrupted conversation with God. I also know that there are times we should gather together with others and in faith pour our hearts out to God.

Yet… that isn’t necessarily every day.

First of all I have always believed that ‘prayer’ (communicating with God) is a major factor in any successful Christian undertaking. Without communicating with God’s Spirit you will never be able to live the life of a disciple and I do feel the need to be ‘praying’ all the time. I have consistently believed that prayer… ie. …communicating with God, is absolutely crucial to any successful Christian life and ministry.

What I coming against is the terrible stereotypes that seem to be forced upon the mind of the follower of Christ concerning what ‘real’ prayer is.

For instance; if you don’t pray like some famous saint you read about who had calluses all over his knees, praying for hours morning and night you are failing in prayer. I categorically disagree with such a limited view of  a 'successful' prayer life.

The scriptures say that we should ‘pray without ceasing’ which means to pray uninterruptedly and without omission (see Strongs #G88). Yet, I somehow don’t think that always means, or even most of the time means, getting alone early in the morning or late at night and kneeling by your bed to pray. Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of praying. Should God so lead … have at it.  There are people who pray in that manner and God not only answers their prayers but blesses them in the process. This is wonderfully and blessedly true.

Yet, there are many of us who after decades of trying to pray in that manner, still do not measure up to that particular kind of standard. Somehow it just doesn’t work out that way much of the time. I must admit that every hour of every day, I believe in communicating with our God. In fact I do not feel that I couldn’t make it one day without that constant interchange.

During these times of ongoing communication I can tell you three important things I have learned about prayer.

Number one; as I communicate with God, ninety percent of what should take place is …. Listening. Listening should be the biggest majority of any decent communication with God. I think there are good reasons the scriptures teach …

Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. (Ecc 5:2)

I have learned to speak slowly and from the heart to our Father in heaven for He knows what I think before I speak. Actually many times I don’t even get a chance to put my prayers into words before He answers.

"It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear”.   (Isaiah 65:24)

Number two is; don’t talk like you think He doesn’t know all of what you’re trying to say or that you need to speak in such a way to get His attention. Drumming up your emotions, trying to show Him the logic of what you’re trying to say, or reminding Him that he should keep His promises won’t help Him to listen.

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matt. 6:7-8)

Number three is; I think that there is a deeper revelation of the commandment to…

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.        (Matt. 6:5-6)

I think we should pray out of the secret place of our spirit where all truth is given. I think that is our ‘actual’ secret place. That is where the Lord speaks to us and listens to us as well.
Not out of our emotions or intellect, not trying to convince those praying with us of our sincerity…but from the most secret place of our entire being. He knows our request … even before we speak.

Soooo; please do not take this as a rant against people who are led to pray morning and night with calluses on their knees, at the edge of their bed. More power to them and may all who pray for me in this manner continue to do so.

But know that the effective prayers of a righteous man (or woman) are those prayers which emerge from the heart of those who love their heavenly Father and have discovered that; words and location are not the most important part of prayer. The most important things seem to be; the pouring out of your heart to Him that which has been deposited in your spirit and then listening to what He has to say.

Finally, try to keep this in mind; Prayer can be a work and sometimes it can be a fight; but it is primarily communication with our Father. Some are called to be prayer workers and some even to be prayer warriors. Many of us will be called upon at times to be both. Yet all of us all the time should learn to be prayer lovers. Don't be intimidated by prayer because it can connect you anytime or anywhere to Someone who really, really loves you, therefore ... pray all the time!

May the God of heaven teach us true communication and deliver us from all condemnation.

David Noah

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Noah. I have always been intimidated by prayer. This helps alot.