Can Your Prayers Be Wrong?

MAY 30

MATTHEW 6:7_for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Can you pray wrong? Absolutely. James 4:3 (KJV), “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

You can pray and never receive when you ask for something which will be harmful to your character. You may think of lust as sexual, but you can lust for clothes, cars, homes, gadgets, and many kinds of things. It isn’t wrong to pray for needs or even for wants. It’s what we’ve learned over and over – the condition of the heart. The heart is the center of lust and of righteousness.

God, who reads the heart, knows which reigns. The one that reigns produces the prayers

In this verse, Jesus refers to praying to idols and false gods. Psalm 115:4-8 (KJV), “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.”

Idol worshipers must think if they babble enough they will be heard. The problem with that is idols “have ears but they hear not.”

One of the best stories on idols and those who worship them is found in I Kings 18. Read this powerful, and somewhat humorous, account of God’s prophet Elijah, wicked King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, the false god Baal, and Baal’s priests.

Learn what happens when the priests call on Baal, and Elijah calls on God.

PRAYER

True God, Please show me when I am praying selfish prayers. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows a destructive prayer—He does not answer!                                           

God Is Pleased

MAY 27

MATTHEW 6:7_But when ye pray…

Jesus really does not make prayer an option. He says when you pray, not if you pray. Jesus expects prayer to be a basic part of your life.

Everything Jesus taught is a part of who He is. If you have a goal to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching, you need a relationship. A relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost requires a prayer life. A prayer life requires time.

Set a time of day that works best for you and commit yourself to prayer. Also, set a place that is best for your closet and talk out loud. This does not have to be a literal closet – but there’s nothing wrong with that. 

When you are serious about discipleship, you will be serious about prayer. Every time you pray, God is pleased. Along with regular committed prayer time, pray throughout the day. Lift up prayers for your family, friends, church, government leaders, and country – don’t forget to pray for those who hate you.  

Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

PRAYER

God of Peace, Please teach me when to pray. Give me a heart full of thanksgiving as I make my requests to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is true peace—He will give it to me!

The Depths of Your Heart

MAY 25

MATTHEW 6:6_and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…

Jesus says the Father is in the closet with you.  When He says the Father seeth in secret He means more than vision. God reads your soul. He sees everything in your mind and thoughts. God sees deeply – into the very depths of your heart. He knows if there is room for Him in that depth, or if it is consumed with you.

God also knows if your desire is to replace self with the Savior. He can help you with that.

God’s desire is for you to bring all your emotions of pain, heartbreak, fear, anger, and unforgiveness to Him in prayer. If you can trust God is with you in the closet, you will begin to trust He is with you anywhere. The more you trust in God’s presence, the more confident you will grow in your relationship with Him. 

Listening is every bit as important to prayer time as talking. Remember that falling in love sequence? If you do all the talking, and never any listening, then you will not know your loved one at all. It’s difficult to truly love someone you don’t know.

The more you hear God, the more you become salt and light.

PRAYER

God Who Speaks, Please speak to my heart, and help me trust You are always with me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is with me—I want to be with Him!

In The Closet

MAY 24

MATTHEW_6:6 and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret…

Prayer time in the closet is a two way street. In order to give more emphasis, Jesus says more than enter the closet. He adds shut the door. This is even more private, more intimate. A closed door keeps the outside in its place – out. It also keeps the inside in its place – behind a closed door.

This is a time to pour out your heart – all those innermost thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Outside the door are the things which distract – social media, games, sports, TV. Inside the closet are only you and the Heavenly Father. 

This is a time to learn more of the One who loves you so deeply. This is how it becomes a two way street. It’s not just you speaking with the Father. It is also the Father speaking with you. You have a heart full to say to Him, and the Father has a heart full to say to you.

To hear everything the Father has to say requires Bible time as well as prayer time. Adding the Bible into your prayer life (like those Psalms) is a great way to learn to pray.

PRAYER

God Who Hears, Praise You that You hear every word of my mouth, and every beat of my heart. I long to hear You as well. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

 Christ hears all my prayers—I will hear His words to me!

Prayer Encourages Seekers

MAY 20

MATTHEW 6:5_thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are for they love to pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…

Oh my goodness! Here we go with the hypocrites again! And, they are back in the synagogues and the streets! Jesus doesn’t want the praying there any more than He wanted the alms giving there.

Don’t get confused about this – the devil would love to deceive you into believing that you should not pray out loud. If you are a part of a youth group that prays together – stay with it and pray together.. 

Praying out loud is a part of the salt and light process. Prayer encourages seekers who may be a part of your group. Helping the seekers find their way is what salt and light are meant to do.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He prayed out loud. John 11:41-42 (KJV), “And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

There was a large crowd gathered to comfort the sisters of Lazarus. Jesus purposely prayed out loud. Any unbelievers in the group would know first, that Jesus was sent by God, and second, that God always hears prayer.

The result was the greatest miracle Jesus performed in His earthly life!

PRAYER

God of Heaven, Please let my prayers give attention to You, not me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s prayers were salt and light—mine should be too!