Jesus said in Matthew 6:6 "When you PRAY, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, Who sees in secret will reward you openly."
He is urging us to come, compelling us to meet with Him and learn how to pray well. Prayer was the priority with Jesus. Having laid aside His deity and living on this earth as a man, completely yielded to the Holy Spirit, He lived in a continual, prayer relationship with the Father. He also spend much time alone with Father in prayer, often before the dawn, at times all night long. He taught His disciples more about prayer that any other topic. Much prayer and much time in God's Word is the necessity of the day for every believer now. We must be transformed in His presence and we must bring His will to this lost world through prayer. He said ask. He said seek. He said knock. This is the condition for receiving, finding and doors opening. And He said ask in faith, believing. He said men ought always to pray, and not faint.
We come with thanksgiving, we come with praise. (Psalm 100:4,5) We come by way of the Cross, receiving forgivness for all. (1 John 1:9) We pray to The Father in Jesus Name. Jesus said, "whatever you ask in My Name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son, If you ask me anything in My Name, I will do it." (John 14:13) Jesus is our example in prayer, the Holy Spirit is our Teacher. The classroom of prayer is praying! Uncovering hindrances toeffective prayer will enable you to remove them. As we surrender all to Him, the Lord will remove the barriers of pride, unbelief, sin and unforgiveness. Lord, teach us to Pray!
Concerning our daily, secret time of prayer with the Lord, we come with thanksgiving and praise, we repent of sin and receive forgiveness by appropriating the blood of Jesus, and we ask the Holy Spirit to fill us and direct our praying. Another vital aspect of our prayer time and the secret to receiving answers to prayer lies in how we apply God's Word during prayer. Be sure to have your Bible open, your pen and your journal during your prayer time because your study and meditation on God's Word is key.
Remember, our time with the Lord is an exchange. It is not us just coming with all of our petitions! Time in God's Word and prayer go hand in hand. I love reading about George Mueller, a man who received answers to his prayers daily and saw impossible things happen in the lives of the orphans he cared for in his orphanages in Bristol, England. He always prayed with and open Bible. He constantly filled his petitions with God's Word. God's Word fueled His faith for miracles. Describing his devotion time George Mueller wrote this;
"The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord's blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God, searching into every verse to get a blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word nor for the sake of preaching on what I meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result is that after a few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that, though I did not, first give myself to prayer but to meditation, yet it turned into prayer." He continually testified to the power of God's Word and prayer, mixed with faith, as surety for answered prayer.
Oh Lord, thank you for your Living Word! If we are to be a people of effective, faith filled prayer, we must be people who delight in daily reading, thoughtful meditation, diligent study, and obedient application of God's Word. Meditate in Psalm 119 this week! And always, always, have your Bible open in your prayer time.
The Lord has instructed us in Matthew 6, "When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and the Father, who sees in secret, will reward you openly." His purposes in our lives and in this earth come to pass through prayer. Prayer and intercession give birth to God's will, He set it up that way! Oh the privilege and responsibility we have to be men and women of intentional prayer! He said first Ask, then you will receive. He said first seek, then you will find. He said first knock, then the door will be opened. Let's become experts in asking, seeking, knocking, confident in His promise to respond!
Prayer is the necessity of every believer. It is continual fellowship with the Father throughout our days and during the nights, and it is also a specific time to meet with Him daily in the "secret place". Do you sense the Lord drawing you into more time in prayer and His living Word? He is drawing His people and giving special grace to pray. And in His presence is fullness of Joy! In His presence we are transformed! In His presence we receive all that is needed and more. In prayer we take our place as His sons and daughters to push back the forces of darkness and release His will into our lives, our families, His Church, our cities, our nation and the nations of the world.
He is beckoning, urging us to come meet with Him in the secret place daily. Cultivate a prayer lifestyle that goes beyond just bringing your list of prayer requests. Make a daily appointment with Him. Jesus daily met with the Father in solitary places, often before the dawn, often all night long. Come with thanksgiving, come with praise, come with a heart of worship. And when you come, ask Him to search your heart and reveal sin and any area of darkness, repent and receive forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh, surrendering all to His Lordship. Remember Psalm 66:18 that if we regard iniquity in our heart the Lord does not hear us but as we are transparent and humble before Him, the power of His blood cleanses us and His ear is open to our cry! Let us daily come boldly to the Throne of Grace to find mercy and grace to help in our great need!
Entering His Gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise
Interestingly, the first item in the courtyard of the Tabernacle of Moses, was the brazen altar, on which the sacrifices were to be made to atone for the sins of the people. It is a picture for us today as we approach our Father in prayer. We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, exchanging our will for His. As we come into our time of prayer, we bring a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, understanding that Jesus is the Lamb of God, and His death and shed blood on the Cross provided the atoning sacrifice for sin once and for all for all people!
Our life of prayer must be saturated with much thanksgiving and praise and worship. Remember, Psalm 100 says, "I will enter your gates with thanksgiving my heart and into your courts with praise." As we come into our secret time of prayer, and all day long, we should give thanks to the Lord with all our hearts, remembering His wonderful deeds and His faithfulness and love. Regardless of circumstances or how we feel, we can decide to praise to His Name! He is our Redeemer, our Shepherd, our Provider, our Rock and our Fortress and our Deliverer, our God our Rock in Whom we take refuge, our Shield and our Salvation, our Stronghold! He is worthy to be praised. We can learn how to praise our Lord by spending time daily in the Psalms! True Thanksgiving, praise and worship are expressed by words and actions. Lord we will give thanks to You with our whole heart. We will recount all your wonderful deeds. We will be glad and exult in You, We will sing praise to your Name Oh Most High! (From Psalm 9)
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with Praise
Remember Jesus said in Matthew 6, "When you pray, go into your room, and close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And the Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." He is beckoning us to amp up our daily secret time with Him where He will meet with us teach us how to pray well. Much daily time in prayer is the necessity of the day and the key to God's purposes coming to pass.
Especially in regard to this daily, secret time of prayer, I love Psalm 100:4,5, in which David declares "I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise..." In other Words, when we come into God's presence, the first thing is expressing thanksgiving and praise and worship. The Tabernacle of Moses was to be a place where God's people could come and meet with Him. It was a tabernacle made with hands where God's presence was, and it was a picture of God's ultimate plan to dwell in the hearts of His people. It was really a tent, and inside were particular areas and items that point to our life of worship. People entered through the "gates" and came into a courtyard area. They were to come into the gates with thankful hearts, declaring His faithfulness! As we come into our daily time of prayer, there is away to approach God and that is with Thanksgiving and Praise! Oh how much we have to thank Him for. He is worthy of all our praise. He is our Redeemer, our Shepherd, our Healer, our Provider, our Victory, our King, our All in All and so much more!
Oh that we would be a thankful, praising people, acknowledging the goodness of God! He is worthy of our praise. Praise must be expressed! Praise keeps our faith airborne. Praise keeps our focus on His faithfulness. God inhabits the praises of His people. Thanksgiving and praise should always precede and follow our petitions! Begin the day with a thankful heart, and continue as David expressed in Psalm 119 to express our praise seven times a day and allow His praise to continually be in our mouth. Use the Psalms to express your praise. He is Worthy!
Jesus lived in a continual prayer relationship with the Father. He also spent much time alone praying. In Mark 1:35 we see His morning habit. "Very early in the morning, while it was till dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." And in Luke 6:12 we see Him spending much time with the Father. "One of those days, Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." In Luke 5:16 we understand that, "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Jesus knew the Father through much prayer, and received what was needed for the days of His life on Earth. He still intercedes for us in heaven. Nothing delights Him more that finding those who will say, "Lord teach us to pray", for He will train us and He will teach us and also show us barriers which hinder our praying so that He can remove them. The Master will teach us how to pray well as we make time for daily prayer!
One of the first lessons Jesus teaches is to follow Him in His pattern of meeting with the Father into the secret place. In Matthew 6:6 Jesus teaches His disciples about making a time and place for daily prayer. "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, Who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you openly." Prayer is the priority. One of the first things he modeled and taught his disciples was that they must establish a secret place of prayer to meet with the Father daily. Let's be intentional about our time for prayer and steadfast in guarding it. The Father is in secret, and He will reveal Himself to him who will withdraw from the clamor of this world and meet with Him in the School of Prayer. While our prayer is in secret, the fruit of our prayer life is seen openly!
When Jesus drove the moneychangers from the Temple, He said "Is it not written: 'My House will be called a House of Prayer for all Nations?" He was referring to Isaiah 56, which showed God's heart for all people to be able to come to a physical place to worship and pray. Isaiah 56:7 says "I will...give them joy in my house of prayer...for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Now, as children of God, WE are His dwelling place. He no longer lives in a temple made with hands(Acts 17:24) but resides in us (1 Cor 3:16).
We are to be a "house of prayer", built on the foundation of His Word, supported by pillars of faith and love. The Church is US, the people of God! We are to be a people of prayer. Prayer was the priority in Jesus' life and it must be ours. The Holy Spirit will ignite desire to pray and is our Teacher in Prayer.
Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6:4 about the necessity of our secret life of prayer. He says, "When you pray.......go into your inner room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward your openly." He beckons us there, He will meet with us, He will answer!
Along with the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Gospel Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, the final piece of daily spiritual weaponry necessary for every believer listed in Ephesians 6:11 is Praying with All Prayer.
Effective, consistent, faith filled praying is the most important daily occupation of every believer. It is the necessity of this hour and should be the most joyful time of our days! Today is the beginning of a new lifewords series on prayer and I pray that in these next days your prayer life will be revolutionized by God's Word and the Holy Spirit.
Prayer was the priority with Jesus. We see Him in the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in much prayer to the Father. He is our Example in prayer, He is ourTeacher in prayer, even now He intercedes for us! I think of Him in Mark 1:35 "very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." He understood the necessity of meeting with the Father daily and often and privately. This is our example.
His disciples witnessed the power of His life and His relationship with the Father in prayer and I love that they asked Him to teach them. In Luke 11:1-4, one of the disciples asked Him, not to teach them how to heal people, or raise the dead or open blind eyes or turn water to wine or cause a fig tree to never bloom again or how to multiply loaves of bread, but how to pray. The disciples understood the most important aspect of Jesus' life was prayer. "Lord, teach us to pray." Oh, let that be our request to Him today and every day. He will!