Tuesday, January 15, 2019

“Prayer: Quality and Quantity"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Prayer: Quality and Quantity"

     We need not be wordy in our prayers.  In fact, we do well to assiduously avoid the notion fostered by the Pharisees of old, of whom the Lord Jesus Christ said, "They think they shall be heard for their much speaking" (Matthew 6:7).

    Preachers often fuss at their congregations for not praying enough ( as a preacher, I point the sword at myself here because I am sure I have been guilty of said fussing).  Certainly we might all pray more than we do, including the preachers.  However, "much speaking" when communicating with an infinite and eternal God seems inappropriate.  Do we suppose, for example, that when first we see the Lord Jesus face to face, our response will be one of many words?  Not likely.  It didn't happen with the Apostle John:

   "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead" (Revelation 1:17).

    The Lord furthermore indicted the Jewish scribes for "long prayers" that constituted nothing more than a "Look at me" display of hypocrisy (Mark 12:40).  As with everything in our lives, God far more concerns Himself with quality than quantity.  We should join Him by seeking to be more thoughtful and purposeful in our praying.  Indeed, five words offered in accordance with appropriately applied Biblical truth  may well avail more than five hundred we snatch from the ether of our brains in the misguided notion that God desires or even requires our jabber.  

    Of course, there may be lengthy seasons of prayer in all of our lives, especially during times of stress when we pour out our hearts to a loving and compassionate Father.  This is fine because it is very likely real rather than ritual.  The norm of prayer, however, involves a prevailing internal atmosphere wherein we realize our Christ-enabled access to the throne of God at all times.  In this blessed light of grace, we may well pray more.  Or sometimes we may seem to pray less because we pray better.  To the point of our consideration, we will likely pray not because somebody fussed at us that we need to pray more.  We will rather respond in love, truth, and prayers fostered by the Holy Spirit's working in our hearts, minds, and lives.  Prayer involves reality, which requires not long dissertations, but rather loving devotion to the One so worthy of quality in our communication with Him.  He is so very worthy of that, and how we need to seek Him in the most genuine and authentic manner possible.

"Men ought always to pray."
(Luke 18:1)
"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth."
(Psalm 145:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me."
(John 5:39)



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