This week will be our final week in this lesson on New Covenant ministry. While the subject is inexhaustible, I pray that what was covered was beneficial to you, and that you will be able to put it into practice in your own life. There are major differences between the Old and New Testaments, and we must understand them in order to relate to God - and to people - properly. In this final lesson, we look into the subject of prayer.
Mat 6:5-8 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Notice first that hypocrites love to pray. Don’t think your praying makes you holy - the Pharisees were great “Pray-ers”. So many Christians just pray for show or religious duty. Don’t waste your breath - God obviously doesn’t want to hear our vain babbling. Many Christians repeat the same prayer over and over like some kind of magical chant. They think the longer you pray, or the louder, the more likely God is to hear you. Read The Word of God! Jesus said “DO NOT PRAY LIKE THE HEATHENS!” Many Christians do exactly what Jesus said not to do. They pray like the prophets of Baal (1Kings 18:25-29)!
So how should we pray? We should pray to The Father - not anybody or anything else. We pray to The Father, In The Name of Jesus (Jn 14:13-14, 15:16, 16:23-24). However, before we pray for anything, we need to reflect on what has been given unto us already. Often times we act as if God CAN do anything - but He HAS done nothing. This is a terrible mistake. We do not often know what we already have. Many Scriptures speak of what we already have in Christ Jesus. We’re already blessed (Eph 1:3); we’ve already been given all things (2Pt 1:3, 1Cor 3:21-23); All things have been given freely already (Rom 8:31-32, 1Cor 2:12-16); We need to have understanding of what we have and of who we are in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:18-20, 3:20-21).
Often times what we call prayer is actually whining and begging God for things He’s already given. I believe the overwhelming majority of our prayers should be thanksgivings to God! If most of your prayer life is asking God for stuff, then you are missing the boat. Our prayers of petition should take very little time. Most of our time should be praising God! Praise The Lord God Almighty for He is worthy!
Many times we sit back and blame God for our lack of revival; for our lack of passion; for our sorry behavior. “God, send revival! God, stir me up! God, make me be good!” What else do you want? I sent My Son to die for you and pay for your sins and give you eternal life! I sent My Holy Spirit to live inside of you and lead you and teach you and give you power! I gave you My written Word to guide you and give you wisdom, understanding, and knowledge! YOU get stirred up! YOU get revived! YOU get passionate about your God! YOU read My Word! YOU obey it’s teachings! (2Tim 1:6, 1Sam 30:6, Jud 1:20, Rev 2:4-5). This lukewarm, indifferent, spiritual welfare attitude in the Church makes Jesus want to puke (Rev 3:16)!
Get into God’s Word and start finding out what He’s already done for you and start speaking it out of your mouth and believing it in your heart and start living like you’re a child of The King of the universe! You are more than a conqueror! You are always caused to triumph! You are always victorious in Christ Jesus! You are a world over comer! (Rom 10:9-10, Mk 11:22-24, Rom 8:37, 2Cor 2:14, 1Cor 15:57, 1Jn 5:4-5) Now, live like it!
May the remainder of your summer be blessed, healthy, and prosperous in Jesus. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!