I do not know how many people’s minds this has come across or how many have given deep thought to the privileges we have as human beings. One of the greatest privileges we have is the ability to close our eyes and block out everything that is going on around us and talk to the Creator of the entire universe. Prayer to God has enriched and nourished the lives of millions all over the world. However, lately I have been thinking about the quality and substance of my own prayers and comparing them across to the prayer that Jesus taught in Matthew 6. The prayer that Jesus recommended seems very straightforward, very unselfish, very focused on God and God’s kingdom. Coming in at a total of 5 verses, Matthew 6:9-13 New American Standard Bible says:
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day [a]our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [b]evil. [c][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
Sometimes I find myself repeatedly reminding Jesus to provide some material benefit or accessory for me. I don’t know how many of us will be brave enough to admit that we have prayed for a newer car or a better fridge persistently for the last 365 days.
The questions that I have been pondering though are these:
Is praying persistently day in and day out for some item we want really productive or is it a lack of faith that is causing this type of persistent prayer?
If I were being hounded by someone over and over as we sometimes do in our prayers wouldn’t this be classified as harassment?
How do we go about figuring out and differentiating between which issues in our life are the ones that really call for agonising versus those that we should just leave at the feet of Jesus and let Him work them out in His own time?
Please feel free to join the discussion and comment as to whether you think the content and persistency of our prayers matters.