Friday, November 17, 2017

Pray from the Heart

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:5-8, NKJV
Pray from the Heart
Rather than follow a chronological arrangement of the prayers of the Bible, I would prefer to move around by going  back and forth between the Old and New Testaments. Before looking at specific prayers from the New Testament, it would be good for us to summarize Christ's teaching on prayer and apply them to our own manner of praying.
Prayer, according to the Lord Jesus Christ needs to be from the heart. It is not an outward exercise to follow so that others may see how great and devout we are, but rather a humble coming before God in all of our own unworthiness. God sees us as we truly are; He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.
Knowing that, we come before God as Psalm 42:1 (NKJV) explains, 
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.

What does the Bible have to say about our hearts? Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV), tell us, 
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?"
So, we find two contrasts. Left to ourselves, our hearts are very deceitful to the point that even we, ourselves, are deceived. Yet, there is hope in Christ. Christ changes those deceitful hearts and gives us hearts like that of a deer who is longing for the water brooks to quench his thirst.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that we have an advocate in Christ. We come to Him naked, destitute, and blind. In His great love He clothes us in His righteousness, grants us the riches of glory, and gives us eyes to see and perceive the wonders of His glory.
When we pray, then, let us come to the Lord Jesus Christ just as we are. Let us speak with Him as one friend to another, pleading for His help to live this life in a manner than is pleasing to Him.
What of the person who knows nothing of Christ? Go to God. Plead with Him that He will take your sinful, deceitful heart and make it pure. How can He do such a thing? It has already been done by the Lord Jesus Christ. He left the glories of heaven to come to this earth for one reason: that He might purchase salvation for His people. How did He accomplish such a thing? He bore our sins on the cross of calvary, died, was buried, was resurrected, and ascended in Heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.
In Heaven, He continually makes intercession for us before God Almighty so that when God looks upon us, He does not see our sin, but rather sees the righteous blood of Christ. Cry out, then, to the Lord Jesus Christ to save you!
Pray that God would give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts of understanding!
What an amazing God we serve!
God Bless You,
Linda



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