Prayer: Personal Time With God
Prayer, as I have mentioned previously, is a means of communication with God. It is also a means of praise and worship. Prayer is a means of expressing faith and for thanks giving. But, did you know that God has given us instructions regarding prayer? Let us explore a tidbit of God’s instruction briefly.
Initially, I’ll discuss that there are instructions for two types of prayer. First there is personal prayer, which is one on one prayer between you and God. Secondly, there is corporate prayer between a group of people and God. Today, I’ll discuss a tidbit of instructions regarding personal prayer. Understand that the Bible is laced with instruction. However; it is not my wish nor my intent to overload or overwhelm anyone with a great number of verses of Scripture that no one will remember. I believe it is better to present small bits and pieces to be digested that will later interlock to provide the overall learning experience.
One of the most beautiful bits of instruction that Jesus gave us is found in Matthew 6:5-8.
(5) When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
(6) But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
(7) And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.” (NASB)
Prayer, in a personal sense, is not a side show. It is an intimate interaction between you and God. It is not intended to be done openly to be seen by men. However, notice the first three words of verse 5. It says “When you pray,”. It does not say, “If you pray”. There is a note of expectancy there. It seems, at least to me, that Jesus expects us to pray. It is as if prayer in our daily lives is a given. I believe that it is meant to be.
Notice as well in verse 6, “But you, when you pray,…”. Here again, is the tone of expectancy. While not an outright command there is an expectant tone that indicates that no command is needed. Prayer in our daily lives is expected! Jesus continues in verse 6 to instruct us to go into an inner room and close the door behind us and to pray secretly. Some people I know have dedicated an entire room of their house as their “prayer closet”. I, personally, have no such room. I do have a small desk in a downstairs bedroom that I go to as my specified place to pray, read God’s Word, and journal my thoughts while praying to God. It is in an inner room. The door is closed behind me. When I am at that desk, my family knows that I am talking to God or praying. Unless the house is on fire (and the fire can’t be put out) or someone has been injured seriously, my family respects the time that I spend with God. They each have their own area in the home that is their “inner room with the door closed” place for prayer.
Verse 7 tells us to not use meaningless repetitious language. We will not be heard by using many words. I am inclined to wonder which carries more weight with God, our words or what is in our heart.
Verse 8 Tells us that the Father knows what we need before we ask of Him. This leads me to wonder does God want us to shower Him with “I want” or “Give me” requests? God wants our praise, worship, thankfulness, and obedience.
It should be noted as well that in verses 6 through 7 the words “when you pray” appear repeatedly. I reiterate that Prayer is an expected part of our daily lives. We are not to conduct our prayer life as “hypocrites” to be seen by men but rather to go to a private place within the home and pray privately. We are not to engage in meaningless repetition as “Gentiles” do for the use of many words for the sake of many words accomplishes nothing. Finally, God knows what we need before we ask Him for what we need. We can ask, according to His will, and shower Him with praise and thanksgiving.
This post is basically “Prayer 101” with simple instruction. I pray that you will read this passage for yourselves and, when you pray, ask God to reveal to you the meaning and blessings of a prayer life in your Daily Living. God Bless!
In His Grip,
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