Monday, September 9, 2013

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. Your kingdom
come. Your will be done, on earth as it
is in heaven.”
                        Matthew 6:9-10

     Andrew Murray was a South African writer, teacher and pastor. He died in 1917 at the age of eighty-eight. He authored over 240 books and his heart pumped a love for missions throughout his life. His writings made it obvious that he was a mighty man of prayer and as my mother lay lingering for her last few weeks on earth, I clung to my Bible and my devotional journal with the words of Andrew Murray’s writings regarding prayer.

     His words, included on October 16th, came alive to me as I stood over my mother’s bedside: “Prayer and God’s Word are inseparably linked together: power in the use of either depends upon the presence of the others. It is clear why this is so. Prayer and the Word have one common center—God. Prayer seeks God; the Word reveals God…Little of the Word with little prayer is death to the spiritual life.”

     I realized that as mother’s body lay dying, her spiritual life remained intact. For many days she had been relatively quiet and unresponsive. But on this day she looked heavenward and asked, “Do you see it? It’s so bright and clear—so bright and clear!” God allowed her a glimpse of glory, and although I could not see it, I could feel it with everything in my being. She cherished God’s Word and prayed faithfully—those two things became intertwined in her life, and her reward appeared close at hand.

     In Matthew chapter six, Jesus instructed His disciples about prayer. Don’t heap up empty phrases! Your Father knows what you need before you ask! What followed, what we call the Lord’s Prayer, is known and repeated around the earth by Christians of all denominations. Jesus gave us a pattern, not to be prayed as a ritual, but as a guide for the simplicity of talking to our Father. It is not complicated.

     The more we read God’s Word, the more we want to know Him. The more we want to know Him, the more we read His Word and pray. The more we read His Word and pray, the more He reveals Himself to us. It is an eternal circle of love and grace as He continues to draw His children closer and closer through prayer.

     Prayer is a journey that transcends earth’s time and space and drops us right into the throne room of God Himself. I want to be there, talking with my Heavenly Father, knowing that Jesus is interceding for me and realizing that when my pain is so great that I can only groan, God’s Holy Spirit translates my need to my God!

     Today would be a good day to ask, “Lord, teach me to pray.”

©JP 2013


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