On Your Mark, Get Set, GO?

Mardi Gras is a raucous time of fun, but close on the heels of all that merriment comes 40 days of prayer, fasting, reflection, submission, and anticipation of the Passion of Christ and the joy of Easter Sunday. 

Are we ready to bare all and become like Daniel – beloved of God?

Where does our nation and our church stand today on prayer?  Do we personally pray once or twice a day, or maybe less?  Are the prayers we say tidbits thrown up to the throne in a fit of desperation?  How effective are those prayers? 

When was the last time we took a hard look at the Our Father, or as some say the Lord’s Prayer?  I mean really looked at it?  It is not so much the prayer of Christ, as it is an example that Christ set before his followers that taught them how to pray.

The prayer is made up of several parts. 

  • The first is worship.  In worship we tell God who he is and how we love him. 
  • The second is Praise.  Praise is how we tell God what he does for us and how much we love him.  Praise also scatters the devil and his minions from our presence. 
  • The third is correction.  In Psalms 23 we see that the shepherd carries a staff.  That staff has a crook and is used to haul us out of the puddles we fall into along the path of life.  When we come before Christ in prayer and we hit the correction phase, we must be ready to listen and determine in our hearts that we will work hard to avoid life’s little “temptations” to fall and sin.  We have a litany of hidden faults, and as soon as we overcome one there is always a second that slides into first place.
  • The fourth is protection.  We look again to the good shepherd and see how he leads us by still waters.  Sheep will not drink by running water, so the shepherd leads – he does not ask – he leads us to streams and green pastures.  He always knows what is best for us.  It’s up to us to listen, follow, and obey.
  • The fifth is again worship.  God wants our hearts and love.  Those are two things he cannot do for himself and he will not take them from us, but he waits for us to bring them to him.
  • The sixth is petition.  Here we bring our hearts desires, our fears, and our needs before our Lord. 

In Matthew 5:3 we have the Sermon on the Mount.  The very first of the blessings are for the poor in spirit.  This is a metaphor meaning that the poor always come with humbleness.  Why?  They have nothing to boast about.  Why is God looking for humility?  He knows that souls who have lived the depths and heights of life will come with hearts to hear truth.  Today’s street people are extremely savvy and can read the eyes of men and recognize a lie.  They turn away from false teachings and social gospel.  They have had a nose full of people who use and abuse them.  But when they hear truth, they open their eyes and their hearts to that truth.  We must take a lesson from the poor in spirit and come with humility before the Lord.

Where should be pray?  At church – yes.  With others – yes.  But the most effective place for prayer is in that hidden place where only you and God are welcome.  It must be a place where we can kneel or fall upon our face before God.  It must be a quiet place where the TV, the radio, or music will not distract from God’s presence.  It is a place where we can be alone with God.  The search for that perfect prayer “closet” leads us to Psalms 91.  There we find another metaphor – finding shelter under the wing of God.  But it is in that hidden place where God will reveal his love and his desires for us.

Prayer Closet.  Now that we have that idea out in the open, what happens there?  Whatever God wants.  That is why God seeks humble hearts to partake in his Kingdom.  God tells us that his strength is made perfect in our weakness.

The rewards are many, and we need only look to the examples of Christ.  He was always in prayer.  All his miracles and healings came after hours of prayer.

But do not be deceived.  Prayer is sometimes arduous.  In Matt 26:39 the garden of Gethsemane becomes Christ’s prayer closet.  Christ left the disciples and went off to a place where they could not hear him and he would not be disturbed by them.  He wanted to be alone with his Father.  Three times he prayed that he would not need to die.  Finally, he knew that his fate was the cross.  The hard part of Christ’s Passion was his time spent in prayer in that garden.

The Lenten Season is fast approaching.  Ask these questions and answer truthfully:  Do I have a quiet prayer closet?  Am I willing to spend time each day alone with God?  Can I in all honesty remove the mask I wear that helps me hide from God and man?  Can I humble myself to be weak so that God may become my strength?

Enter in to that holy prayer closet and ask that God make himself known to you in a way you have never thought about, and in that knowledge be the instrument of Christ’s grace and peace to all those who cross your path.

Courage Christians!


2 Responses to “On Your Mark, Get Set, GO?”

  1. You’ve got it! Let’s just pray the rest of God’s children understand and act upon his promises. We could have a revival on our hands. Go God!

  2. Yea, you hit the nail on the head. Praise and Worship are the key factor in prayer. An open heart to hear the Spirit of God , a mouth to proclaim His goodness and faithfulness, proclaiming His great and precious promises. He knows all our needs and troubles, we just need to put HIm in remembrance of His Word with thanksgiving. Fellowship with the God of Eternity, may we run to Him often!

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