Those two feats are a common theme that I think will carry me through until the end of time and – just so you know – you will probably continue to see these calls to action in my GEMs again and again!
The reason I find reading scripture and praying so necessary is because of the following verse.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
I don’t love this verse because of the “it will be done for you” part, I love it because I see how being close to God in scripture and prayer only brings me closer to Him and that’s exactly where I’d like to be.
When considering the actions of reading scripture and praying, the first seems pretty simple…uh, read. Yep, I can do that and so can you apparently since you are reading this GEM.
Actually, it’s the praying that I sometimes get hung up on. Not that I don’t know how to do it, but I always seem to have a laundry list of wishes, wants, desires and requests. Grrr… That is not at all what I want my prayer life to be about!!!
This is where Christ’s teaching of how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 is so awesome because He takes the guess work out of it.
Jesus says to pray like this:
- Greet God. Our Father in heaven.
- Honor His Holiness. Hallowed be your name.
- Request His Will. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
- Ask for our needs. Give us this day our daily bread.
- Ask for forgiveness. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- Solicit His leadership. Lead us not into temptation.
- Request His protection from everything not of Him. Deliver us from evil.
Praying and reading scripture is not done because God needs us to do it. They should be done because WE NEED GOD SO DESPERATELY.
I also find it extremely interesting that the Lord’s Prayer is immediately followed by the verse below….
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15
Huh…so if I’m holding a grudge, hanging onto anger, doing things for spite and being hateful to those who have done me wrong…well, it seems I’m missing the point of what having a relationship with God is all about.
And to this point, most of us seem to think that prayer is just an unloading zone for all of our issues, complaints, hardships and wish list.
Sure, God wants to know all of these things, but prayer is mostly an opportunity to LISTEN TO GOD so that we can live out His will and purpose for our lives.
That may not sound like what we want it to be like because, hey, who doesn’t want a perfect spouse, great kids, big house, hot car and that maid that I’m always dreaming about…oops, that may just be me!
All kidding aside, our lives will never be satisfying if we aren’t living as God intended. And we will never know what that is exactly unless we ask and then LISTEN.
Have you listened to God lately?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 15:29 – The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.