Let Us Pray
Could you imagine for a moment what might happen if a plane was coming through a thick fog, attempting to land, and there was no communication between the plane and the control tower. Communication is a valuable key to many situations we face in a modern day world. Communication is also a valuable tool as the Christian makes their way through the obstacles of life.
Prayer is a priority, and when we pray we need to pray with a proper attitude. One example is selflessness. When we approach the Creator with selfish requests that reflect worldliness instead of spiritual blessings or requests we overlook the importance of God’s will. James writes that pride and selfishness lead to sinful things that bring us into conflict with God, rather than closer to God. He says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (bad intent or wrong motives), that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4: 1 - 9)
Another attitude we should strive for when we pray is sincerity. We need to get into the habit of praying with heartfelt expression. Sometimes we get into a routine of saying the same thing day in and day out and it no longer really has meaning, it is just something we’ve memorized. When we go to God in prayer it should be with a sincere expression of our inner being. Many of the Psalms reflect the inner feelings of the writer under numerous situations such as delivery from enemies, overcoming sin, rejoicing from the blessings that result from obedience, loss of loved ones, and the list could go on. The point is that they expressed themselves with sincerity of heart. God desires us to worship Him with sincerity of heart (John 4: 23), why would He expect any less from us when we pray?
With the need for sincerity also comes the need for understanding. We need to understand what we are praying for or about. When we memorize prayers we repeat them without real thought. When we imitate others, we can also get caught in the trap of using words we don’t really comprehend. God is not impressed with our word power or vocabulary. One last thought to think about is that we to pray with an attitude of cooperation. When Jesus said He would make the apostles fishers of men, He expected they would go out and fish (preach). When Jesus told Peter to walk on the water, He expected Peter to get out of the boat and walk. The Christian is a servant like His Lord. God expects us to do. Prayer is great, but God expects us to act upon those prayers. Pray for the lost, the sick, and the weak--and then get busy. Pray for the mountain to be moved, and then grab your shovel because there is work that needs to be done.
Let us pray in faith, sincerity, with a selfless attitude and a penitent heart. Let us pray with the intent of serving God and putting our hand to God’s work.