Editor’s note: Nathan had this devotion ready on time, but I neglected to post it. Sorry for the delay. KG
Today we will finish our look at some of the problems that we face when we pray.
Our relationship with God is similar to a relationship between a father and a child. When a child disobeys a parent the parent does not hate him but he also does not shower him with gifts. When a child does wrong there is a break in the relationship that he shares with his Father and they cannot enjoy the closeness that they once enjoyed until the child comes and asks for forgiveness for the wrong that has been committed. The same is true with God. When we do wrong He does not hate us, but we can no longer have the closeness that we at one time enjoyed.
Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
What David is saying here is that if he looked in his heart and saw iniquity or wickedness, he knew that the Lord would not hear his prayers.
2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
God says that one of the prerequisites for Him hearing us from Heaven is that we must first humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways. When we harbor sin in our hearts it causes a barrier between God and us.
1Sa 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
God, through the prophet Samuel warned the people of Israel that, despite what they thought, they really did not want an earthly king. The people however, would not listen and demanded a king for themselves. God allowed them to have a king but he warned them that because of the sin of their hearts He would not listen when they prayed to have this king taken away.
There are passages in the Bible recording people praying both in hours long spans as well as seconds long brief prayers tossed up to God. Pell-Mell prayers means flying through a prayer without even really knowing what we are saying, just to say that we prayed (e.g. DearHnlyFathrThnkYoufrthisdayblessevryoneinJezznamen). Most of us have heard a person pray like this at one time or another or have even been guilty of it ourselves. We all have found ourselves at some point sitting down to read our Bibles and pray and started by asking God to bless the food. Every prayer does not have to be hours long but it should always be sincere.
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Jesus was very clear in Matthew 6:7 that we are not supposed to mindlessly babble words, for the sake of saying the words. It is fine to pray for the same thing over and over until you get an answer (like the salvation of a loved one) but Jesus said don’t just say words to say them. Many people say this and refer only to the “Hail Mary” or “Our Father” prayers but it is possible to use vain repetition even in Modern English terms. Many of us do this when we pray about certain things, “…bless this food to our bodies…”. There is nothing wrong with asking the Lord to bless your food every time you eat, but are you asking because you really want Him to bless your food, or are you asking because that is what you are supposed to say before you eat? It’s OK to repeat your prayers, just make sure you are being sincere.
What About You?
- Looking over the last two days are there things that you are doing that would be hindering a proper prayer life?
- Be sure that you have a clean, unselfish heart when you pray and that your prayers are truly sincere.