PASTORAL POINT – “Glorify Thyself; (A Reflection on The Lord’s Prayer)”

Matthew 6:4-13
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by
others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’.”

Jesus told the disciples; “You ought always to pray, and not lose
heart” (Luke 18:1). The question is how can we personalize our prayers?
Are prayers just routine words that we give to God or is it personal
communication between us and God? Prayer should be personal. It should
be personal communication with God. It should be a conversation, and we
must always remember who the conversation is with. In life, when we do
talk to someone we talk differently by the person. If it is our friend, we
would be more relaxed. If it is a job interview, we would be keener to
answer the questions. If it is the president, we would be respectful, but
what if it is God, the creator of the universe? How do we speak to God
who made us and saved us? We should speak carefully but with personal
words. Jesus told the disciples and those listening that when we pray we
are not to pray for the attention of others for but for the ear of God. We
should pray not as others listen but as God listens. Jesus also told us not to use vain repetitions. This is repeating ourselves with mantras and meditative phrases, it is not how many times we ask that makes God answer but with the heart and motives that we ask with.

From here, Jesus goes into what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is not words in which we have to recite to pray but it is an example in which we should glean from as we study and desire to pray. Prayer is a growing process as much as any spiritual area in our lives. We do not start as great prayers but we develop into one. And the best way to do this is as anything else. The best way to get good at something is to practice. ‘Our Father which
art in heaven’, we speak to God with all the rights and privileges of being his children. This is why it is so important to make prayer personal, so that we may know the mind of God. He is our father and with that there are
privileges as we respond to God in praise. Praising God means that when we go to Him our responses will be only of what His desire and will is. With prayer, we recognize the need for God’s leadership (assistance) in our lives
and admit that we can’t do it ourselves. With prayer we recognize that our lives and all its substance belong to God and we are introduced to a spiritual realm into our lives of health and growth.

Prayer is the method that Jesus modeled to communicate with God and creates opportunity for blessings as we partner with God. Prayer helps us to act as a conduit to unleash the power of God. Prayer cultivates miracles.
Prayer brings about change. Prayer is the avenue for personal reward. We are praying to the Father in the name of Jesus. In prayer, there is always a trinity. In prayer, there is the including of the Father who answers, the Son who justifies the answer, and the Holy Spirit who has the power. Our interests should not be for this world but for his kingdom. Now that we have put the interest of the kingdom first are we allowed to bring our petitions before Him. Yes, God cares for us, Yes, God loves us, but He is always looking out for the best interest of the kingdom of God.

God is the giver of all. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation (two-faced) or shadow of turning (fickle).” (James 1:17). We must be careful that we don’t get so caught up with ourselves that we miss out on God’s relationship with us. God is more of a deliverer. He will deliver us when we call Him. But he waits many times until we show that we want His  deliverance. We see that our provision for everything we need comes from God, but part of His will be done is that we participate in the kingdom work of God on earth just as we will one day do in heaven! God gives us life for
another day. God gives us work or school or other activities for another day; we do what He has given us to do. As a result of this, we come into contact with those who do not know the joy of knowing Jesus and we get to share
that great truth with them and hopefully many of them come to know Christ as their Savior as well!

We need to be sincere and genuine from the heart. And Jesus gives us the model for us to follow and way that we should pray. Jesus gives us the reason why we should pray and what we should pray for. There is no longer a need to live in fear of life and what life brings. God gives us a point of certainty in the midst of the uncertain situations of life. God has given you a precious promise that He will never leave you or forsake you. God makes us His children and we need to remember that our goal is no longer to do what is best for ourselves. God is over all things and there is nothing beyond His ability to accomplish. God expects His children to obey His guidance and

Amen, Pastor Baptista

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