Tuesday, May 22, 2007
One of my favorite historical figures is Theodore Roosevelt. He was a strong man, a powerful leader, and a gentle father. Theodore was the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. If I was living during his time, it would be a great privilege to be able to talk with him. He was the president of the United States of America and for him to take the time to talk with me would be a tremendous honor!
How much more a privilege it is for us to be able speak to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! Through prayer!
Today I would like to speak on prayer in 3 different ways. The gift of prayer, the importance of prayer, and how to pray.
The Gift of Prayer
Have you ever thought of prayer as a marvelous gift from God? It's not generally thought of as a gift but as just the way we talk to God, like we would talk to anyone else. But if you really think about it, God is SOO much greater, SOO much more majestic, and SOO much more holy than we are. And to be able to speak to Him is truly a gift. He is infinitely powerful and His splendor and might can be seen plainly throughout creation. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega.
As it says in Romans 11-
"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen."
That is our God.
And we are just little insects compared to Him! Even the president is tiny compared to the Lord! Yet, He allows us little creatures to speak to Him through prayer.
What a blessing. What a gift.
The Importance of Prayer
Well, prayer is most important because God commands us to do it. Quite explicitly too.
1 Thessalonians 5 says-
"Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Notice how "Pray without ceasing" is preceded and followed by rejoicing and giving thanks? I think that's an indication that rejoicing and giving thanks are important parts of prayer; "For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".
Moses used prayer to speak to God on behalf of the Israelites. Through prayer the Israelites reconciled themselves to God when they sinned against Him. Prayer is important because without it we could not be right with God.
Not only is prayer important, it is powerful. In James 5 it says- "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"
It also says in 1 Peter 3- "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
It seems that our culture takes praying way too lightly. They think that God is kind of like their fairy-god-father (or in some cases, mother) who exists solely to complete their wants and make them happy. My dad calls it the "Name it and Claim It" mentality.
God does not exist for us. We exist for Him.
How to Pray
In Luke 11 Jesus instructs his disciples how to pray. He teaches them the Lord's Prayer-
"He said to them, "When you pray, say: " 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.' "
Later in the chapter He tells the disciples to ask from the Lord.
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
A prayer list really helps me to remember what to pray for, etc. during my devotions. I found this acrostic helpful.
Praise God, thank Him, rejoice in His majesty.
Repent of sin, pride, etc.
Ask for forgiveness of sin and for a renewed heart. Ask for healing for those who are sick and blessing for those around you.
Yield to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
In conclusion, what would it be like to talk to the President? It would be a great privilege!
So it is with prayer. Next time you pray, thank the Lord for His infinite grace in allowing us to approach Him through prayer.