Blog Entry
The Lord's Prayer

How's your Prayer Life?

April 17, 2018

How's your prayer life? 

Prayer is not that complicated.  It's simply conversation with God.

However, I believe most people suffer a poor prayer life for one simple reason.  Their love for God is lacking.

When I was younger I went to dad for almost everything, and I told him almost everything.  Things changed as I grew older.  As a teenager I rarely spoke to my dad unless I really needed something.  My relationship with him had changed.  Later in life that all changed again.  In our last couple of years together (he died last year) I talked to him a lot.  Now that he’s gone I miss him terribly.

Good relationships are fashioned out of love.  Love leads to communication.  When love breaks down so does communication.  I suppose some of you never knew your dad.  I imagine that effects your prayer life because your concept of "father" isn't whole.  Some of you may not have a dad that is very lovable.  Your prayer life must be effected by this also.  But, whatever the situation God, our heavenly Father, loves us like a true father loves his true children.  Once we know the love our heavenly Father has for us, our prayer life can, and will grow.

In the movie, “THE SHACK”.  There's a little girl who calls God, "PAPA".  I identify with that.  When I was a child I prayed often to my "PAPA".  Love and trust was a simple thing back then.  As life got more complicated so did my relationship with God.  Sin piled up, and I avoided God more and more.  I prayed less often.  I imagine many of you are just like me.  You’re prayer life suffers unresolved sin.  

The first words we say in the Lord’s Prayer are so important.  We call Him, “OUR FATHER”.  God is our father because He made us, yes.  God is our Father because he continues to provide for us and support us, yes.  But God is our Father primarily because He loves us so much.  As John would have it, “What love the Father has for us that we should be called Children of God, and such we are!”  This love is never so clear as when we see His Son, our brother in humanity, sacrificed for our sinful nature on the cross enduring the pain we’ve earned by our sin, and dying our death which we deserve because of our wickedness.  Believing in THIS good news for the forgiveness of our sins will lead to (as Martin Luther once said), “We may go to Him with all boldness and confidence as true children go to their true father and ask for all things.”  So true prayer can only be said by those in a LOVE RELATIONSHIP with this Heavenly Father of ours.

Christians believe that only those prayers said in, and through, Jesus are heard by our Heavenly Father.  That’s because Jesus establishes and keeps that love relationship with our heavenly.  And the Scriptures are clear; we are miserable failures when it comes to being Holy as God is Holy.  But Jesus’ life, death and resurrection are acceptable to make us holy and right in the presence of our heavenly Father.  So we lean on Christ, not ourselves for God’s love.

If your prayers seem empty or hollow these days then take your sin to God in prayer, and know God loves you in Christ.  All your sins are forgiven.  Try not to look at the world for your blessings and joy.  Look rather to your eternal salvation first.  

I find the more I return to God as my PAPA the better my prayer life becomes.  There’s nothing more I want in life right now then to have my kids speak to me about their joys and sorrows and tell me about how important their relationship with Dad is.  And the older I get I find I am less judgmental as their father because of the love we have for each other.  All I want is to hear from them.  I want to be their PAPA.

If you don't love God you won't want to hear Him, or speak with Him.  If you do love Him your prayer life will grow.  God wants you to be free of your sin, shame and guilt.  God wants to forgive you.  He has given His Son for that to be possible.  Go to Him in prayer and find release.  Ask for His presence in your life.  It all begins there.  He is calling to you.  Can you hear Him calling His dearly loved child?

As we begin this 9 week journey to a better prayer life I would like to invite you to begin with a simple little prayer.  Don't ask for anything more than a better relationship with your heavenly Father.  And know you can go to Him with anything that weighs heavy on your heart.

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