The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Prayer and the Gaze Of Our Hearts"
The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ expressed much wisdom in their request, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). The Lord responded by providing the beloved model prayer that begins, "Our Father, which art in Heaven…
Scripture offers much in the way of what we might call "parameters of prayer" for born again believers in the Lord Jesus. We pray in His name, and in accordance with His glory and will. We pray in faith and humility, adorning our offerings to God with praise, thanksgiving, request, intercession, and the determination to be consistent and persistent. We also address sins in our praying, confessing times of unbelief and disobedience with godly sorrow and the repentance that seeks grace to overcome future challenges. These, and other aspects of prayer beckon us to commune with God according to our privileges and responsibilities as directed by His Word. "I will pray with the understanding" (I Corinthians 14:15).
However, we do well also to remember that our primary focus in prayer must not be directed toward ourselves, but unto our Heavenly Father. As important as it is to pray rightly and with a proper devotion to Biblical parameters, true prayer actually emphasizes our looking away from ourselves and "unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Indeed, we might suggest that prayer involves a 99.99% measure of God's centrality, and a necessary .01% measure of our participation. "I will direct my prayer unto Thee, and look up" (Psalm 5:3).
How could it be otherwise? To pray to the living and true God means that we commune with a Being infinitely vast in character, nature, ability, power, goodness, righteousness, holiness, grace, and most of all, love. By all rights, this glorious One could well have cast us away from Himself forevermore because of our sins. Instead, for all who trust the Lord Jesus, He beckons us with great earnestness to "draw nigh" and "come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Hebrews 7:19; 4:16). Astonished and grateful wonder must ever accompany our consideration of prayer. Thereby we determine to abolish even the tiniest notion of emphasizing ourselves as we make our way to the living and true God. "Thou art my God. I will exalt Thee" (Psalm 118:28).
What does this mean in practical terms? Much. However, for now, let us simply acknowledge and affirm the truth we consider, namely, that the preeminence of true prayer directly correlates with the preeminence of the One to whom we pray. Yes, prayer is much more about Him than it is about us. Knowing this, pondering this, talking about this, and yes, praying about this will surely go far in establishing and maintaining our proper perspective and attitude in the matter of communing with God. Prayer calls us to the vital responsibility and blessed relief of looking away from ourselves and unto the Life of our lives, and the One so worthy of the gaze of our hearts.
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
"I will look unto the Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
"I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."