Our Heart is Exposed

JUNE 3

MATTHEW 6:9_After this manner therefore pray ye…

Jesus taught us how not to pray – the hypocrite in the synagogues and street corners – the heathen with vain repetitions and no heartfelt relationship with God. 

Jesus taught us how to pray. Leave the outside out. Inside, alone with God with the door closed, the depths of our heart is exposed. 

There is another reason private prayer is so important. Regardless of the fact that God already knows our heart, through private prayer we learn what’s in our heart. We have managed to hide some things so deep it requires talking to the Creator to bring them to the surface. We won’t learn that as easily in public prayer.

As in the previous devotion, there is a place for prayer groups and out-loud prayers. There is also a place for sharing prayer requests. If those requests are answered with a yes, you are not the only one praising.

Psalm 109:27 (KJV), “That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it.

If they are answered with a no, hopefully we will not be the only ones thanking. If they are answered with a wait, hopefully we will not be the only ones anticipating God’s will.

Jesus will now teach us a model prayer. He does not teach this as the only prayer to pray. Take heed to the word manner in this verse – it is important. This prayer is a pattern.  

If our prayers are just asking-for-something-prayers, this prayer teaches a better way.

PRAYER

Holy Creator, Teach me to pray. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is the creator of prayer—He will teach me!

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!