Prayer. Communicating with God. Talking with the Creator. Prayer. Conversing with OUR FATHER.
I have 2 granddaughters (and this was true of my 2 kids as well) and some of the greatest time that I have with “my girls” is for them to climb up in my lap and let me hold them and listen to them talk.
For us as followers of Christ, I think that is the best picture of prayer that we really have.
Romans 8:14 -15 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
“Abba” is the Aramaic term of endearment. It’s our equivalent of “Daddy.” My kids and grandkids have a privileged position with me. They have access to my assets, to my wisdom, to my home, to my time. I will use whatever I have to help them in any way that I can.
THINK ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE SPECIAL FAVOR OF GOD ON HIS KIDS!
So when is the last time you truly climbed up in the lap of God and talked with your Abba, your “Daddy?”
There are so many things that fight for my attention and take my focus instead. What about you? I have begun to wonder if this is why worry and anxiety are so prevalent among us as God’s children. Could it be that we simply aren’t spending enough time with Him?
At the end of Matthew 6, Jesus is talking extensively about worry and I think sometimes when we read it, we miss something. Traditionally that part of the teaching starts in v 25 but I think we have to back up to v 24 to get some perspective.
Matthew 6:24. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
No one can serve two masters, yet we try to do that every day of our lives. Jesus says we can’t serve God and money but I think that can be anything.
We can’t serve God and money.
We can’t serve God and goals.
We can’t serve God and a job.
We can’t serve God and a career.
We can’t serve God and our family.
Now this doesn’t mean we won’t have those things as part of our lives but we can’t be adequate in those things until we put them in their proper place.
There will always be “another master” competing for our hearts.
Then in verse 25 Jesus opens with this statement… “THAT IS WHY I TELL YOU NOT TO WORRY…”
You see what we worry about is really indicative of what is our master.
So often we become consumed with what is going to take place tomorrow that we become mastered by it today.
Matthew 6:27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
In other words Jesus is asking us, “Can you – by obsessing over what you have no control over – influence what you have no control over?”
Oh, we like to think we can control tomorrow BUT nothing could be further from the truth. So what is this worrying business really about? Jesus tells us down in v30.
Matthew 6:30 “…Why do you have so LITTLE FAITH?”
In other words, GOD CAN HANDLE TOMORROW!
He says “so don’t worry about these things…” Then Jesus says something in v32 that should put it all in perspective.
Matthew 6:32 “These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.“
So when we worry about tomorrow as followers of Jesus, we are essentially living like an atheist. Are we letting worry dominate our thoughts? We miss the end of the verse that says OUR FATHER KNOWS ALL OUR NEEDS!
He then goes on to say SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD… That word “seek” is the same one in Greek he used in v32. So we are to let the kingdom of God and his righteousness DOMINATE our thoughts!
If you are still reading, you might be wondering what all this has to do with prayer. After all the title of the blog is Pray on Purpose not how not to worry or something else. Well here is the kicker to all of this “2-master” – worry – faith – kingdom of God stuff. IT ALL STARTS WITH PRAYER.
You see before Jesus ever taught on this, He taught his disciples how to pray.
Matthew 6:6 WHEN YOU PRAY…
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IF WE DON’T PRAY!
We have to pray because we are God’s children.
We have to pray because prayer establishes God as Master.
We have to pray to keep worry and tomorrow from becoming our master.
And then he offers what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.”
This prayer is a model of how we should pray to establish our Father as our Master!
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME…When we come to our Father, what else could be the response except for worship?
YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE…God, you are FIRST and I am a distant second so since that is the case let your will be done in my life so that I can impact the kingdom!
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD…This is NOT a “blessing” over a meal. This is a prayer of dependence. “God, everything I have is completely dependent on You!”
FORGIVE US AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS…Help me to do for others what you did for me through Jesus!
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION… “I am weak and vulnerable so I need your protection from myself, my pride, my doubt…”
FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER…”God, my life is ALL ABOUT YOU! It is Your story for Your glory!”
God has convicted me as you might can tell. My prayers are more about getting. Getting stuff. Getting answers. Getting direction. All of which are good but remember God our Father already knows what we need! And He is a good Father!
So in reality prayer is less about getting stuff and more about giving myself.
Pray early and often. Pray to establish your Master or life will master you!
Live (and pray) on purpose!