Matthew 6 v 9 “This is how you should pray….”
Today is the start on a short series on prayer. Not everything that could be said on this profound subject, will be said, but I hope some of the comments will be helpful.
Firstly, let us remember that prayer is a natural instinct of the entire human race and indeed has been so through the centuries. All people of all nations engage in worship and prayer of some sort. It is only relatively recently in history that atheism has developed in the form that it has taken in the last 70 – 80 years.
Why is it instinctive to pray? Because we are created in the image of God, there seems to be a sort of cosmic memory of the creator. So all peoples around the world have religious systems, rites, temples, churches, mosques and rituals. That does not mean however that there is necessarily someone out there listening to them. What does that mean? Well just because you pray in some way is not a guarantee God is listening! That may be a shocking idea to some, but consider this. If there is a great and good God who created the world, and if He is the moral governor of the universe and if He has set down the requirements of a relationship with Him, and if we as fallen beings reject these requirements, why should He listen to us? If, for instance He has revealed Himself as the only true God and all other deities are idols, and if we insist on devotion to those deities, why should God be obligated to hear us when we finally pray to Him?
This is the dilemma humans face with prayer and should be thought about seriously. You may have prayed to God in the past over some serious crises in your life but to no avail. This in turn may have left a residue of resentment or bitterness in your heart against Him. But ask yourself first, if you have a relationship with Him at all. That’s the first thing. Put it another way. What do you think God is there for? Is He the ruler of the universe, including your life, or is He some invisible benevolent entity that kindly responds to us in our need irrespective of how we live our lives or what we think about Him. In other words, is God our servant or our Master?
That’s the starting point for prayer.
Prayer Today it is your call. Before you can talk to God talk to yourself. “Do I have a right to talk to Him or am I simply presumptuous with an inner expectation that God must jump when I call?”