Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Am I Praying this Right?

               Yesterday and today, I have heard a lot about prayer. Sermons on the radio about prayer, people asking for prayer, people needing prayer, but through all this talk on prayer, a thought came to me. How many times have I heard someone say, “I’m not good at praying, or I don’t like to pray?” Sad to hear, but the truth is, there are so many opinions on prayer that I feel we have forgotten what Prayer actually is. Yesterday I heard someone say that we don’t always pray right. A few weeks ago, I heard someone else say that you shouldn’t pray this way, you should direct your prayers a different way. How exactly am I to pray then? What is right and what is wrong?
                This morning, I was reminded of a scripture in 2 Chronicles 16. The king, Asa, was being disobedient to the Lord and He sent a prophet to remind Asa of his wrongs. Asa was not happy about it to say the least, but the words of that prophet spoken all those years ago is a good scripture for us to remember when it comes to prayer.
                “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9. What exactly does this have to do with prayer? Bear with me, as we open up God’s word and take a look at what is being spoken to us this day. First, we as humans have not a mind that can comprehend the magnitude of God. God is Spirit, but we are human, we need to be able to understand and “see” God in our limited human minds. God does this by describing Himself to us in “human” terms. For instance, He uses body parts to describe attributes, such as His arm to describe His power.
                In this instance the Lord uses eyes to describe to us the intents of His heart toward us. The scripture tells us that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro” which means that His eyes are fixed upon man and He examines us thoroughly. In some dictionaries it refers to an examination of a book. The Lord God never takes His eyes off of man. Many times we hear people say, “Where is God?” God is in His throne, scanning, scrutinizing and studying everything thing we do, say or think.  
                When we pray, the Lord already knows what we are going to say, He knows what is in our hearts, He desires us to speak it to Him. Are there a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray? I really don’t know the answer to that. But what I do know is that the Lord sees before I see, He hears before I hear, He already knows the end from the beginning, and my prayers are just a way to communicate with Him. Does this mean I should not pray then? Absolutely not! Prayer is a stream that runs from you to God, if we stop praying that connection we have to Him will dry up. He knows your heart; He knows the hearts of His people. Our scripture today tells us that His eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
                He wants to reveal Himself to you; He wants to show Himself to you. He desires to have a relationship with you, and the way to keep that relationship growing is through prayer. Think about this for a minute. If you and your husband were to stop talking, you both spoke to everyone else but each other, how do you think that would affect your marriage? Or what if your best friend decided to stop talking to you, for no apparent reason, just stopped talking to you? How would that make you feel? That is what the Lord showed me about prayer this morning.
                When we stop praying, when we stop talking to God for no apparent reason, how do you think that makes Him feel? It is not about what I say or don’t say. We make prayer so difficult when in all reality, prayer is talking to God. People are scared to pray because so many others have told them, “you shouldn’t pray like that.” Prayer is talking. Just like you and I are having a conversation right now- God desires to have this same form of communication with you.
                So how do you start praying? You just start talking. If you are a writer like me, you can start by picking up a piece of paper and write a letter to God. He doesn’t ask that your communication with Him be flowery words, always saying the right thing- all He asks is that you talk to Him.
                God is in complete and utter control of every aspect of our lives. Our scripture today proves it. He desires to show Himself to you, He desires to reveal His power to you, but He needs you to talk to Him. He may already know what’s in your heart, but He wants you to tell Him all about it. When we pray, we should remember that His eyes are upon us, His heart is toward us, and His desire is over us. There is nothing hidden in His sight. Prayer is a door; the way to open that door is on our side. We can choose to leave it shut and not pray, or we can open it up and let the rivers of His mercy and grace flow freely, abounding us in His presence. The choice is ours.
                If you haven’t prayed in a while, may I encourage you to go and sit with Him for a few minutes? Open that door to your heart and let Him come in. He sees you and He desires you- just open the door.
                Father God, we thank You that Your eyes are upon us. We thank You today that You desire to be with us, to spend time with us, to talk with us. Just as You walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden, you desire to have that same relationship with us. Father, let us not be afraid of what to say, but open our hearts to speak freely with You, forever and ever. Amen.