Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…
Learning to pray…
Writing on prayer Matthew Henry encourages us to ask Jesus to teach us to pray as the disciples did in chapter 11 of Luke’s gospel. He gives us this example. “Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, excite and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; Lord, give me praying graces, that I may serve God acceptably in prayer; Lord, teach me to pray in proper words; give me a mouth and wisdom in prayer, that I may speak as I ought; teach me what I shall say.”*
As many times as I have read, “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”” (Luke 11:1, NLT) It never occurred to me to stop and ask Jesus to teach me to pray until this morning when I opened up Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, then all of a sudden I found myself saying, “Opps!” I found myself coming to the conclusion there are times when I’ve not been praying wrong but I haven’t been praying to my full capacity.
I understand how to use the “LORD’s Prayer” to break down the process of praying into steps to be followed but according to Matthew Henry (and many others including me) prayer is a great deal more than following a series of steps. When we pray using the steps only we’re not praying to our full capacity. Jesus praying the night he was arrested provides us an example of praying to full capacity, “Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44, CEV) The bible tells of Jesus going off by himself to pray for me that is symbolic of our need to isolate ourselves with God to the extent that we are totally into God, like we’ve somehow been taken to a barren world where only God and I exist.
Does that mean if we’re not sweating blood we’re not praying to our full capacity? No! I don’t see it that way. I understand Jesus praying and sweating blood as shedding His Blood on His own behalf before shedding it on the cross for us. And when it came to praying “sincerely” He was depending entirely on God for the outcome. There are times in my praying when as I’m praying I’ve a “B Plan” in the back of my mind, as Jesus prayed there was NO ”B Plan” only the “G Plan” (the God Plan). When the “stakes are high” it is hard for me to leave the outcome totally up to God. It was once suggested to me that to depend totally on God is to pray about something once and leave it there. But that isn’t what Jesus is telling us. “So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.” (Luke 11:9–10, CEV)
I find myself a “professional student” of prayer therefore Jesus, please teach me to pray as You pray!
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”**
Grace and PEACE,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1860). Peabody: Hendrickson.“
Scriptures marked CEV, “Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.”
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.”
**Hebrews 4:16, NLT