Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prayer as Relationship

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He responded with what is known as The Lord’s Prayer.  I’ve heard it said that it would more appropriately called the disciple’s prayer.  No matter what we call it, it appears that it is the first lesson Jesus taught on how to pray.  Many books have been written about using this prayer as an outline.  I choose to start with this scripture because it is the direction of Jesus. He said,

“In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”  (Matthew 6:9-13)

As I said in the last blog, it is all about relationship with the Father!  For some, this throws up a red flag since Father has a derogatory connotation for them.  I pray for these because this is a very real problem.  I pray for them to be able by the power of the Holy Spirit to have a revelation that the Father in heaven is not to be compared to any Father, perfect or imperfect, who ever lived in the flesh!  There is no comparison.
(James 1:16-18) “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of all that gives light, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. And it was of His own free will that He gave us birth as children by His Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures—a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself.”   It is about a Father and child relationship.

There is so much that could be said at this point, but I think the main thought is that prayer is about relating to God as a Father from the position of His child.  I have heard so many people say they just have a hard time praying or “doing devotions.”  Devotions are great tools to help people get into the way of prayer, but sometimes they stand in the way of us just bowing our head and beginning with “Daddy, here I am today and I come to tell you that it is my desire for honor to brought to your name through my life."  For many, it becomes a rule to do devotions rather than a way into that precious relationship meant for us.

I love the scripture that says we must become childlike to enter the kingdom of heaven because how could it be simpler than that?  Unfortunately, that is a difficult saying for some who were never really allowed to be children or had negative experiences as children.  Again, I pray for healing for them.  I know this because I was such a one with an experience of an absent father who could not be trusted to do much of anything for me.  I needed a healing of the mind and heart to come to the place where I could believe that my heavenly Father was not like that at all.

I have found my heavenly Father to be almost exactly opposite of the earthly father to whom I was born.  My Father in heaven, to whom I refer as my Daddy Shammah (means the God who is always present) is always excited to see me when I come into His presence, I find Him waiting and ready for me.  I even learned along the way that it was alright to just jump up into His lap and settle in for a warm visit.  I have found that I could come to Him with anything and everything that was of concern to me and He would really care.  In time, my love for Him has grown to immense proportions and, along with it, my trust.

I guess the sweetest thing that has happened over the years is that I have found Him to be that ever present One to whom I can always bound boldly into the throne room to find help in time of need, or to Whom I can come just to spend time with Him in His healing presence.  Sometimes, I come now just to be with Him and tell Him how wonderful I think He is and to give Him my praise and adoration.  It has been a considerably long journey for me to this place of trust but it has been one in which I have found Him always faithful to do His part..

I guess the conclusion for today is prayer must begin like any other conversation with someone you love.  When I say good morning to my beloved husband it is never out of duty but out of the joy of seeing him each day and knowing that we have another day to spend together.  It is with great anticipation that I greet him each morning and, quite simply, it is the same with my heavenly Father.

I pray for those of you who need a fresh revelation of the part relationship plays in prayer.  I ask the Son of God to reveal the Father to you today.  I encourage you to sit down, bow your head, and invite Him to come to you.  He will be there.  Just talk to Him, and then quietly listen for awhile.  Write down what you hear.

May the Son be shining in His full strength upon you today as you seek the Father of us all.  It is the will of Jesus and the will of the Father for us to have such a relationship through the power of His Holy Spirit.  May it be so for you today!

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