Friday, December 2, 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).
In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus quoted Isaiah 29:13 to describe the religious Jews of His day. These individuals spoke like believers and claimed to love and obey the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their lips and mouths praised His name, yet God was unimpressed. Why? Because “their heart is far from [God].” It was all put-on (hypocritical, faithless activity)!
Psalm 62:8 says: “Trust in him [God] at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah [Rest].” God wants you to “pour out your heart before Him.” Tell Him your thoughts/heart. Prayer is simply you speaking to and fellowshipping with God in light of His Word. It is not mindlessly uttering some prescribed phrases in a prayer book.
Pray to God in an intelligent, understandable manner (1 Corinthians 14:15): pray as a grace saint, a member of the Body of Christ, not as a member of Israel. We need not pray Israel’s prayers like the “Lord’s Prayer” of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 (that was God’s will for them, not for us). Also, let us not be guilty of stealing Israel’s prayer promises (i.e., Matthew 18:19; John 14:14; et al.).
Paul’s epistles describe what God is doing today, so let us pay attention to the things for which our Apostle Paul prayed. Ephesians 1:16-23, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, and Colossians 1:9-12 are valid things for which to pray in our dispensation (these describe God’s will for us). Pray for 1 Timothy 2:3,4 to come to pass—that lost souls would be saved, and Christians would be edified (strengthened, built up).
Exact words to pray are not the issue: the heart attitude (faith in God’s Word to us) is the issue. Note that God has given us some model prayers in Paul’s epistles. Thus, if we pray in accordance with them, we will be praying for God’s will to be accomplished. So, I pray thou discardest thy prayer books!