Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"The Simplicity of Prayer"

By definition, genuine prayer as taught in Scripture ushers us into a blessed grace of simplicity.

First, we come to God in the confidence of His wisdom and knowledge, and in the confession of our lack thereof.

"His understanding is infinite... To God only wise be through Jesus Christ forever... we know not what we should pray for for as we ought" (Psalm 147:5; Romans 16:27).

Regarding what needs to happen in those matters about which we pray, we need not be overly detailed because our understanding of the details is so limited. We rather ask God to work according to His perfect knowledge of every aspect of the requests we bring to Him. This often pares down our words, even as it increases the requisite humility and faith of our heart and attitude. Rather than tell the Lord what we think He needs to do - which is so often misguided - we rather trust Him to do what He knows needs to be done.

We also come in the acknowledgement of need for God's wisdom regarding our role in the situations our prayers address. How easily we scratch the wrong itch, as it were, and thus make bigger messes of troubles because we act according to our own faulty understanding. We do well in prayer to consecrate ourselves to the heart and hand of our Heavenly Father, trusting Him to guide our thinking and decision making regarding the actions of our hands and feet. Thereby we act according to strength, God's strength, because we lay aside our frantic troublings of mind in order embrace the faithful trusting of heart whereby we are led by the Holy Spirit.

Finally, such simplicity of prayer causes communion with God to be far more real, and thus far more likely on a consistent basis. Certainly our Heavenly Father would not have His trusting children in Christ to view prayer as a burden to be borne, but rather as a gift to be received, enjoyed and practiced as a beloved experience of our relationship with Him. Burdens may surely lead us to pray, and just as surely will be unloaded from our hearts as the simplicity of true prayer graces our hearts with the rest and reality of God's living presence with and within us.

"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

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