Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I Like the Way You Pray

"I like the way you pray."

I was at a Bible study and I had just prayed (for food or in our small groups or something of that nature). That was when my buddy said that to me.

"I like the way you pray."

The main question that arises out of that kind of statement is, "How does a man pray well?" To be clear, I'm not really sure. I don't really know that there's a scoring system for that kind of thing. But I do have ideas as to some things you can recognize that will shape the way you approach prayer. By no means is this all-inclusive, but it might give you a fresh perspective on talking to God.

You're talking to God.
Think about that for a second. It is one thing to realize that God is as mind-blowingly awesome as He is as the Creator and Orchestrator of everything you can experience. This, in and of itself, is enough reason to bow down and approach Him with worship-minded prayer. It is another thing entirely to recognize the fact that we are sinners who fall completely short of God's standard of perfection - a status that ensures that we are hell-bound. This added realization makes prayer not just a humbling experience, but unequivocally audacious and improper! It's as if a convicted murderer were to eat dinner at the judge's house: totally unacceptable.

Observe what's been done for you.
The last point might not have made you feel any better about prayer, but that's because it has to be reconciled with the fact that Jesus died on the cross so that you could draw near. Because the blood of Jesus Christ covers His followers, they can now "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace." (Hebrews 4) Unbelievable. Not only do we get to draw near without getting killed, we get to do it with confidence.

See the implications.
Not only have you been made right with God, but you have been adopted as His son or daughter (Ephesians 1). Children get to ask things of their parents that no one else gets to ask them, like asking for a glass of water in the middle of the night, or asking to be given a piggy-back ride. The point? Kids aren't scared to talk to their parents. No, it is the most comfortable thing in the world for them. I believe that spirit should apply to us as we pray - not to be driven by formalities, but to pray as a son to His Dad.

I'm still not sure exactly what my buddy meant when he said he liked the way I pray, but I have a feeling that it had something to do with skipping the fancy, King-James speak and talking to God in recognition of what I was doing: approaching the God of all that exists as a sinful, but sanctified son.


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