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Friday, November 16, 2012

Prayer, it does a body good!

So it hit me as I was driving this week, the importance of prayer. Not that I never understood the importance before, but this week I was really challenged. Here is how it started. I was listening to a podcast when the well known speaker shared he was asked to attend a supper at the white house and lead in prayer. His invite was issued by Michelle Obama. He continued on makeing a statement, "who wouldn't want to attend an invitation by the president?" I found myself instantly thinking, "I wouldn't have any desire to be in the same room with them!" Now before you get to judgemental, don't we all have someone we feel that way about, maybe even the same people? Anyway, from there a mirage of thoughts coursed through my mind leaving me to struggle with my beliefs, right vs wrong, flesh vs spirit to mention a few. It really came down to a relatively easy deduction of 3 options. yes, no and yes with the wrong motivation. Now as a side note, I will continue to stand on the truth of who Jesus is and why it is we have an ongoing connection with God which enables us to speak to the Father and be heard. Anyone desiring to join ranks and pray together must be of the same Spirit. The Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6 is where we have and will be teaching out of for a few Sundays and it is so abused and misunderstood. Here are two clarifications that people seem to be unclear on. 1st, The Lords prayer, more accurately should be called the Disciples prayer, and serves as a model. Isn't it profound the very instruction to not offer repetitive prayers to God is exactly what some denominations are doing? When you sin to offer up a prayer for repentance by reciting a prayer with cautions on repetition. odd, isn't it? The Lords prayer serves as a model and not a rigid format to be robotically recited and repeated for some sort of special blessing. We know it is a model for many reasons but I will give only two here quickly. The Lord Himself tells the disciples to then pray in this way. It is instruction on the hows and whys of prayer. Jesus is sharing the elements of a righteous prayer. He very easily could have said pray this prayer as I do, but that brings us to the second reason. 2nd, The Lord was not praying this prayer but merely teaching the disciples, because Jesus lived without sin and so to ask the Father to "forgive us our trespasses" would have no bearing on His part. He had nothing to ask forgiveness from, if He did He sinned and would be void of the ability to serve as our spotless sacrifice. There is so much more to learn from this great model of prayer. Back to my struggle, it was good for me to have to wrestle with this, on the one hand sinners could use prayer because that is the only thing that will change them, yet to be seen with the wrong people is a hard thing to deal with. Kind of like seeing your best friends daughter with a known addict. So as i leave you today, ponder this thought, talk about this with your family and may your conclusion and discussion be God honoring, If I was asked to be in a public place with a high profile individual who is about as ungodly as you can get, would you go? Would you pray for him/her sincerely, use it as an attempt to share the gospel, or whould you reject the offer to save your reputation and avoid controversy? Till next time, honor the King!! P.M.