Abbott and Costello, the legendary comedy team of the 40s and 50s, was the most famous comedy team of their time, and perhaps, of all time. Their performance of “Who’s On First?” has passed the test of time, still being enjoyed by all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfmvkO5x6Ng “Who’s on First” is an example of a failure to communicate clearly to others .
SETI, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, originating in the early sixties, is man’s attempt to communicate with aliens from another planet. After almost 50 years of trying, SETI has, to date, yielded no proof of alien communication with earth, nor the existence of alien life. It seems to be a serious waste of much needed capital, which could be used to fund many other fields of scientific exploration. http://www.seti.org
How about the day to day communication that should take place between husband and wife? Most polls indicate that a failure in communication is one of the top three reasons why marriages end in divorce. Here, a lack of communication causes a rupturing of the family unit and the breaking of marital vows. This is an extremely serious problem that leads to the ruination of lives.
But there is one other type of communication failure that brings about even worse results… a person’s inability to communicate with Christ. In the case of the unsaved, his communication ruptured by his sinful condition. (Isa 59:2) The only remedy to restore that communication is God’s forgiveness. (1 John 1:6-10)
However, the Christian can also experience a loss of communion with the Lord. Christ presents a lesson on communion’s hindrances and remedies for those who are saved and seeking a closer walk with Him….
And when thou prayest, … For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
In Part #1 of our study we will be looking at Our Preparation For Prayer. (Matt 6:5-8)
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Here we find our Lord presenting to us five different principles…
Principle #1 – We should prepare our hearts to be sincere in our prayers. We need to be SINCERE.
The Greek word for “hypocrite” is a word that means “to play a role” or “ to be an actor on a stage”. Our prayer life we are not just putting on an act or going through the motions; trying to impress Him or others? True, Scriptural prayer is entering into sincere communion with our Lord.
Principle #2 – We should enter into our communication with Him as a secret act between Him and us alone. We need to be SELFLESS
Our heart prepared to meet with Him and Him alone. This is done by confession of sin and thinking upon His Word. Also we should have His Word open in front of us as we pray, awaiting to hear from Him during our communion time. We should be ready to read His Word during this time, knowing He reveals His will for us through His Word.
Principle #3 – We should prepare our heart making sure our motive for prayer is not personal gain but humbling wanting to seek His face and then submit to the His revealed will for our lives. We need to be SUBMITTED
As His will is revealed to us, we must have a heart prepared to follow His leadership. As His will is revealed we should place any hindrances aside (no matter what the cost) and immediately seek to align ourselves with His desires.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Principle #4 – We should be desiring to communicate with the Lord not impress Him. We need to be SEARCHING
The Lord does not desire for us to be repeating any prayer verbatim, including His model prayer in the following verses. He desires sincere communication that is simply being transparent and speaking the truth from the heart. Which would mean more to our spouse… having a friend of ours write a poem of love that we could read , or for us to simply open our heart and proclaim our love in our own words?
Principle #5 – We should be dwelling on His greatness, His knowledge of all things and His ability to change any circumstance if it is His will to do so. We need to be SEEING
As we enter into prayer our hearts should be filled with a knowledge of His greatness. In prayer, we are coming before the Sovereign Lord of all. We should be in awe and appreciation for His wanting to meet with us. We should be joyful knowing He is the One who can truly meet every need in our life. Nothing is too hard for Him.
As we pray, our heart should be:
In Part #2 of our study we will be looking at The Makeup of our Prayers. (Matt 6:9-13)
To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.
Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace
May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”
Hi brother Rob:
Like I’ve said, I like the way you organize and how you approach each topic. It clearly outlines the main principles and summarizes it nicely at the end. It is short and concise to the point. This is good communication that keeps me focus. Truly, the way how we conduct our prayer life or how we pray is important because we don’t want a breakdown in our communication especially with God.
Thanks for the kind words, Paul… the Lord is so good to us. I’m thankful He has chosen to use this blog. May the Lord bless you.
Good topic! I like how you mention space in your posts somewhat often!
Good topic too, the 1st century church prayed a lot, and I know from first hand accounts that when you pray often with the right heart behind it things happen inside of you and around you! Prayer is one way to meet with God and develop intimacy.
I think it’s interesting that, based on your poll, more people believe that the % of prayers answered means more about your prayer life’s success than the intimacy you have with the Father. I don’t mean to be rude but that seems kind of revealing about where your heart is in the prayers. Thank God for the prayers He did not answer for His own reasons.
There’s so much that needs to be prayer for and about these days we can’t afford to not make prayer a high priority in our daily schedule.
Yeh, I have a great interest in space and the exploration of it. When I was young, man first stepped on the moon (way before your time!)…. I was hooked ever since. I fully agree with you about a consistant, intimate prayer life, it makes radical changes in almost every aspect of our life.
Yep, I noticed the poll results as well. I am really enjoying the polls, it does reveal alot about where people are coming from. It helps me to better tailor my articles to the spiritual level of my readers. I appreciate those who take part in them.
By the way, one of my Theology teachers in college (much wiser than myself), once said that, for the most part, false beliefs start from behind the pulpit (pastors) and behind the desk (teachers in Bible colleges). Over the years, I have found this to be very true. Why do many people believe that % of prayers answered are the best indicator of “successful” prayer life? I think for the most part, it’s because of a lack of teaching, or the teaching of error, that has caused this. Just listen to many of the preachers and teachers today… that is exactly what they say!
Thanks for another comment post… by the way… I continue to really enjoy your blog… the debate about God allowing evil was really entertaining for me to follow! May the Lord continue to bless you.