Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014 “Stained-Glass Praying”

 With everybody listening, Jesus spoke to his disciples. “Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preen in the radiance of public flattery, bask in prominent positions, sit at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they’ll pay for it in the end.” (Luke 20: 45-47)

Good Morning, Children of the King::

Being a pastor, when invited to  the home of a family member or a friend, or on other special occasions, I am often invited to lead the gathering in a prayer before a meal or whatever activity has been planned for the day. I am honored and more than happy to do so, but also realize that any Christian in the room or location at the time is just as capable as am I in making a prayer of thanksgiving or intercession before the Throne of Grace. The reason for this is that it is not necessary for me or any other believer to pray eloquently. In fact, were eloquence a requirement, very few of us, if any, could honestly say that we are well qualified to pray at all. The Holy Spirit takes care of that aspect for us, interceding for us before the Throne of Grace, making our prayers and petitions known to the Heavenly Father on our behalf. That being said, there were, and still are, those who somehow believe that prayers need to be well crafted and precise in order to be understood by God. In the passage noted above, Jesus spoke to such an issue. He spoke of the religious scholars of his day whose prayers were designed more to impress those listening than they were to move the heart of God. They were pompous and long-winded. Of them, Jesus remarked, “The longer their prayers, the worse they get.” Clearly, it is not length nor eloquence God seeks in our conversations with him, but honesty, humility, and sincerity. Christian pastor and author David Jeremiah said this about real praying:

“Prayer is about real-world concerns, spoken in real-world language. God does not want us to shift into a stained-glass prayer voice to address Him.”   

God is not impressed with eloquence, voice tone, theological depth of understanding, or a “stained-glass prayer voice” as we come to him. He loves us as we are, without pretention. In His eyes, you are a beloved child. There is no need to try impressing him or others with particular prayer eloquence.  What impresses God is sincere faith and trust emanating from a heart for God.  In these things, He takes great delight. Come to the Throne of Grace as you would come to a loving parent, full of joy and a love for the One who will always love you and is glad to hear from you, even if you don’t know exactly how to say what it is you want to say. Let’s pray!

Loving Lord; Being in your presence reminds us of your gracious and unbounded love for us. It is so good to talk with you, knowing you understand the depth of our being. You are aware of every joy and every sorrow. You know every desire and even those unexpressed hopes and dreams that dwell within us. A day in Your presence is better than a thousand elsewhere. Praise you, Lord, in this new day. Amen!

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