Thursday, December 1, 2011
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8 KJV).
Recent news in Christendom surrounds a controversy resulting from the re-translation of decades-old prayers. Church members complain that the re-wording is “difficult” and “confusing.” One dear congregant voiced his frustration: “I am so tired of being told exactly what I have to say, exactly what I have to pray!”
How our souls mourn that these sincere people are not being taught the truth of God’s Word. Not only are they commanded to work their way to heaven, but they are also led to believe that prayer is nothing more than mindlessly repeating a catchy creed that some man wrote! Like the religionists in today’s Scripture, these poor people “draweth nigh unto [God] with their mouth,” yet “their heart is far from [Him].”
Today, you can purchase a variety of prayer books. Oftentimes, these “Christian” books are the devil’s way of having you follow Israel’s program (steal Israel’s prayers, claim the promises God only gave Israel, et cetera). As long as you focus on what God did in time past, you will be totally ignorant of what He is doing today in the but now, our Dispensation of Grace!
God only speaks to us through His written Word, the Bible. Prayer is our way to speak to God. God can certainly read our hearts and minds, but He wants us to verbalize. He wants us to talk to Him personally, not mindlessly recite vain religious tradition. Talk to Him about your life. We who have trusted in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have the assurance that we can come to our heavenly Father at any time in prayer.
Pray as a grace believer, in accordance with what God is doing today, and not praying for things that God did with Israel. For instance, notice what our Apostle Paul prayed for in Ephesians 1:16-23, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-12. Exact words are not important—the attitude of the heart is. I pray thou discardest thy prayer books!