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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who Listens When We Pray

Prayer is a personal thing.  I don't pray to be heard by others.  Yes, I do.  Sometimes I want other people to know what I am saying to God about them.  I want them to be drawn into my appeal to God.  I am not sure it is a compliment when someone comments on a "beautiful prayer."  Prayer should be between me and God. 

But Jesus prayed and taught the disciples to pray.  We repeat it every Sunday.  Is that really what he meant?  I don't think so.  He meant for us to pray about these things.  We should praise God and give glory and honor to Him.  We should recognize that our daily existence is due to God's goodness.  We should pray for his heavenly kingdom to be fulfilled on earth.  We should pray for forgiveness and realize that only as we are forgiving to other will he be forgiving to us.  We should be aware of sin and pray to avoid it.  Those are the things he wanted us to be aware of and be humbled by and seek God's blessing for.  But. . . is he impressed that we perform it for others giving great effort in the inflection of the voice. 

No!  God wants only the attitude of the heart, mind, and intent to be directed to Him.  I believe that as we turn our eyes and our attention toward Him, we see more of the reality we live in.  Our shallowness of heart becomes evident.  Our minimal efforts are spotlighted by His love.  I pray today that God will reveal to me Himself.  In the Biblical accounts of encounters with God. Moses, Daniel, Paul, and John found themselves prostrate on the ground--they were humbled and totally crushed.  In prayer God removes all the will of a yielded soul to fill it with Himself.  We come, as Paul said, not in beautiful words or human knowledge, but as an empty vessel for Him to use or to set aside, to fill or to pour out.  Therein is our glory--that we are obedient to Him.