Archive for February 10th, 2010

It’s a Good Thing

February 10th, 2010

“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1 NLT

“When prayer is personal and practical, prayer is most powerful.”

My thoughts today are that “it’s a good thing.”

Martha Stewart built a billion dollar business showing ladies how to entertain, cook, decorate, and garden. She became famous for saying, “It’s a good thing.” Well, there are times that you need someone to show you how to do something. Today there are an endless number of books on “how-to” do about anything imaginable. Entire cable channels are devoted to satisfy every need to know “how-to,” from cooking to home repairs.

People seem to want to learn everything except how to pray. Well, along with many others of every generation, I can say this about prayer, “it’s a good thing!” Seeing the powerful result of Jesus’ prayers and feeling the intimacy of His conversations with the Father, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1.

Do you think Jesus was pleased with their request? I think Jesus was thrilled! Listen to His response, “Jesus said to them, ‘When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be Your Name . .’“ and what followed is the most concise yet encompassing summary of what is found at the heart of every needy soul and whispered prayer. Could there be any better teacher?

There are those who minimize the importance or doubt the effectiveness of prayer, while others over complicate prayer, adorning it with awkward and unnatural, religious artificiality. For Jesus, prayer was personal and practical; therefore His prayer was powerful.

Praying with our grandchildren before bed each night, our son, Bruce, noticed that Chase seemed uncomfortable to pray as the others had. When asked about his reluctance, Chase answered that he just did not know what to say. Bruce assured him that prayer “is just talking to God like you would talk with me.” Chase was quiet for a moment before explaining to his Dad, “I don’t say much to you except, ‘okay and uh-huh.’“ That’s really the heart of prayer isn’t it? Prayer is just listening to God and simply responding “okay and yes.” I think that your “okay and yes” is what makes prayer work best.

The Bible teaches that prayer should be: without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  With thanksgiving. Philippians 4: 6. Without doubt. Mark 11:23. Without hindrance. 1 Peter 3:7. In Jesus’ Name. Mark 16:7. With the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:15. Believing in your heart. Mark 11:23. When afflicted. James 5:13. With fasting. Acts 14:23. With forgiveness toward others. Mark 11:25. Fervently. James 5:16. Done in secret. See Matthew 6:1-13 NIV. Prayer is not best done in public; your prayer is really for an audience of just One. He will hear the prayer of any humble heart.

My prayer for you today is this: be an eager student and diligent practitioner of prayer.

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