Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” NIV
Yes, we’re still talking about prayer. Think about it. If this is the most important aspect of our devotional life – our relationship with God – we need to understand it as much as possible. Unfortunately many of us simply assume that we are somehow born with the knowledge of how to speak and listen to God. We also assume that there’s no way we could do it any better. Either that, or we feel lost but don’t want to admit it (because others make it look so easy), so we simply never pray aloud our in public, and rarely even in private. We end up not really having a prayer life at all. This isn’t just sad, it’s tragic! If this is you, you’re missing out on the most amazing, wonderful part of your relationship with the One who created and redeemed you. Your Father. The One who loves you more than any human being ever could – ‘warts & all’.
PLEASE don’t let this happen to you. If it already has, you can change it. Think about the person you love most. Imagine that every time he speaks to you they do it in a way that’s either superficial or inappropriate. Our imagine that the only time he talks to you is for about 30 seconds right before Thanksgiving & Easter dinner. Then, imagine that he never gives you a chance to talk yourself, and doesn’t pay any attention when you try. How long would you let such a relationship ( using the word loosely) go on? You may still feel love for that person, but eventually you’d simply give up on a real (meaningful) relationship with him. What if he just said the same thing every time, over & over, like someone who always asks how you are but doesn’t really want to know – they just think it’s the right thing to say?
Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” NIV
Or maybe a bit more clear, from the New American Standard translation (NASB) “7 And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Remember what we said about using more than 1 translation?
So, what do we learn today? First, prayer must be an ongoing part of your life – even outside of your ‘formal’ devotional time. It takes practice simply to get your mind used to the idea of going to God with things you just would have taken care of on your own before. It’s getting in the habit of just sharing your life with Him – the good AND the bad. It’s becoming dependent on Him as your constant companion – closer than a conjoined twin – because He lives in you. You and He are not just attached – you are one!
Second, your prayers must be meaningful. Don’t just repeat phrases, use flowery language or read prayers out of a book (unless they really say what’s on your heart). Sometimes a 10 second prayer means more than 10 minutes of speech. God’s not keeping score. He just wants to you to share your heart, with His.
Try making that you prayer today, that you and He would truly connect, and that connection would be as deep as your soul.