Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our Lord and His Prayer

A group of twelve people gather regularly to study the Word of God. Each week they begin with prayer, led by anyone who feels prompted to pray. Most everyone prays aloud except Irene. She frequently talks to God on her own, but never out loud in front of other people. It seems the prayers offered by others sound so much better; they always say the right things. She believes her prayers are just not good enough to be heard. She worries more about what others think of her prayer than simply praying to the God who created her and gives her the ability to pray. 
Have you ever experienced the fear of people hearing your “not so good” prayers? I certainly have. I have worried more about what other people think of me and my prayer words rather than praising and worshiping my Savior through prayer. What a shame and when I think about it, I am ashamed! Why should I worry about how my prayers sound? After all, my prayers only need to consist of a conversation between my Redeemer and me; nothing else should matter. If you’ve ever felt insecure about the sound of your prayer to another’s ear (that would include God’s ear, right?), then read Jesus’ instruction on how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB).
“Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Reread the first line: “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name....” We’ve got to begin our prayers with praise. If our focus is placed on our Father in heaven, how can we be afraid to pray out loud (or maybe even silently)? Concentrating on God, while praising and worshiping Him for who He is, lets us know that everything concerning us is really about Him. This world and our purpose in it is all about Him! That fact alone should take away the attention from ourselves and our fears about praying out loud, and center it on God our Father. 
William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims, said this about prayer: the pulse of prayer is praise. Our hearts should beat in time with the heart of God when we’re praising Him in prayer. If our heartbeats echo God’s heartbeats, fears are washed away and our pulses are alive with praise. It’s then that our prayers are centered on God, beginning and ending in praise... For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Have you ever worried about praying aloud in a group? Turn your eyes toward Jesus and follow His model prayer. You’ll be so captivated by the wonder of your Savior, you won’t notice that anyone is near you, much less hear you pray. Below are words from Scripture to get you praising and praying....maybe even out loud!!!
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8 (NASB)
You alone are the Lord.
You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it,
The seas and all that is in them.
You give life to all of them
And the heavenly host bows down before You.  Nehemiah 9:6 (NASB)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.  Romans 11:36 (NASB)
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  Colossians 1:16 (NASB)
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19 (NASB)

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