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Prayer and Reality
Praying just to be praying has little to do with the matter, as defined by Scripture. There must be reality in our prayers, that is, they must begin with our Lord moving within us to seek His face, and then we must seek to express ourselves with genuineness and sincerity.
"Serve Him in sincerity and in truth" (Joshua 24:14).
Few greater challenges face us in the living of a Christian life. Rote and empty prayers are native to our flesh, which desires religious experience on its own terms rather than those of God. Such exercise of heartless and mindless mouthing of words makes little difference to Him, and it should make little difference to us. Just as human family and friends desire us to be real in relationship with them, so does the great Father and Friend of our hearts call us to reality in prayer. "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (I John 3:18).
In practical terms, this means we must first trust our Lord to motivate and enable a life of prayer that we ourselves can never produce. True prayer is fruit, including the sincerity of real communication with God. Unless our Heavenly Father works within our hearts and minds to nurture authentic relationship, no such blessedness will grace our lives. Thus, we begin where all spiritual reality begins, namely, with God's giving and our receiving. We acknowledge His working and provision. We confess our weakness. And then we trust that "My strength is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9). The Divine and the human unite to reveal the very essence of why God calls us to pray, and why we pray.
Upon this basis of grace received through faith, we then live in expectation of genuine prayer. God is trustworthy beyond all imagining, and as we trust Him to enable the communication He so greatly desires with us, we shall not be disappointed. "Faithful is He who calleth you, that also will do it" (I Thessalonians 5:24). He will lead us, motivate us, enable us, remind us, and bless us with a quality of praying that Christ alone can reveal. Prayer will become far more reality than ritual, and most importantly, the reality of God Himself will illuminate our hearts and minds with assurance. Our Father could give us no greater gift, the gift of authenticity and of life, the gift of Himself...
"In Thy presences is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore."