Open unto Their Prayers – March 2, 2015

Today’s Scripture… “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” -1 Peter 3:12

Thoughts for Today… He didn’t waste much time before he got straight to the point of his call.  There was no polite “Good to see you,” or “How have you been?”  he simply started listing his needs.  It was almost like a customer presenting a want list at a store, rather than a conversation between two friends.  After the man made his requests, he ended the conversation abruptly and went away waiting for the list to be filled.

But on other days, he felt a little guilty about always expecting a handout, so he played a little game with his friend.  He went through some formalities before making his requests.  “I’m sure glad to see you.  I just wanted to thank you for the way that you helped me out last week.  I sure appreciate it.”  Now that he had that out of the way, he could get on to the important stuff, the reason for his visit. He  presented his antlist again and left filling a little better about himself, because he had, after all, given thanks.

Then, on rare occasions, the man just went in and sat down.  He looked at his host and said with a deep heartfelt sentiment, “You’ve been a wonderful friend to me.  Even though I’ve let you down many times, you’ve never let me down.  You’ve never turned me away, even though I’ve turned you away hundreds of times.  I just want you to know that I love you, I really love you.  And I’m so grateful that you are so good to me.  Thank you for all that you do.  You are a wonderful person.”  And he just sat there.  Didn’t ask for a thing.  Just sat there and enjoyed spending time with his host.  You know what?  It wasn’t long before the host said, “Friend, it looks like something is troubling you.  What’s on your mind?”  “I don’t really want to bother you about it,” the man replied.  “You’ve already done so much for me.”  “Friend, you can share anything with me.  What’s troubling you?”  The man shared his heart with the host and was comforted.  He
didn’t leave as soon as he had made his requests, instead he stayed a while, just enjoying the company of his host.  He even asked his host, “Is there anything I can do for you?  I’d be glad to do what I can, because you’ve been so willing to give to me.  Do you want something?”  The host did, in fact, have a small task for the man, so he went away joyful that he could serve the one who loved him with the greatest of loves.  And he didn’t feel guilty about his visit.  He didn’t come holding his hand out, he had made his visit with his
heart out…and that made all the difference.

As you may have guessed by now, these are three types of prayers that I myself have prayed (and maybe you have too).  The Lord has showed me many things about prayer and one of them is simply what is our motive?  You see, God has feelings too.  We don’t always think about Him in that manner, but He has feelings.  He really began to reveal that to me in how I pray.  It was almost as if He turned the tables around and said, “Terry, what if I came to you like this?  What if I got your attention and then bombarded you with requests, without ever thanking you or praising you?  What if I occassionally did thank you, but you knew that I came primarily to make requests?  What if 95% of my prayer was a list of demands and maybe, if you’re lucky, the other 5% was thanksgiving?  What if the only time I came around was when I had a need, and I never wanted to just spend time with you because of who you are?”

As I thought about those questions, it became clear that I wouldn’t like it very much.  Think about it, if you had friends who came to you in that manner…how would it make you feel?  Abused, unappreciated, mistreated? Sometimes I think that’s how I make God feel.

And so, He has changed my prayer time.  Honest appreciation and praise flow from my heart.  I now listen to the Lord, desiring to know what He wants of me.  When I make requests, I am careful to genuinely thank him for something about that request.  (Example:  If I am asking for healing for a believer, I pray, “Thank
you for saving his soul and for allowing him to impact others for you).  I try not to end my prayer time abruptly after I have finished my requests.

You see, the Golden Rule applies to prayer as well.  Do unto God as you would have Him do unto you.
And when you do show Him the respect and adoration that He deserves, you’ll be amazed at how fulfilling and rewarding your prayer time will become.  No longer will it be just words, but instead you’ll be involved in a real life conversation with the Creator Himself.

And it can start this morning.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”
Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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