DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-01-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 6:6-8; 14-15
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.
APPLICATION: Don’t know about you, but I find it almost impossible to think straight and write, type, or anything else while also trying to listen to one or more people talk about their challenges and opportunities from their day. Both deserve your undivided attention, but I found it interesting that Jesus chose this as the first suggestion to enhance our prayer life! Find a secluded place to pray. The importance of this was confirmed for me when I volunteered for a time of secluded prayer during a 24-hr prayer chain promoted by a group of local churches. This placed me in a very small room with just a Bible, a few Bible verses posted on the walls and a kneeling bench where I could bow before and converse with the Lord. Notice that I wasn’t praying while I rushed around getting ready for work, nor while I drove down busy streets with unlimited cars buzzing all around me. It was just God and me in a dimly lit room without windows. This gave me a whole new perspective on ‘time alone with God’. Let me suggest that you try following what I experienced some time. It will also help you achieve the first guideline given by Jesus. Additionally, try praying for more than just a minute or two. Although you may have lots of people to pray for, you will quickly run out of words, probably because of your history of quick, instant, mini prayers. Try having a conversation with God. Begin by praising Him for who He is and for what He has done for you, your family and your friends. Try to recall a few examples of how He directed you, and thank Him in a very personal way for that. Pray the Scriptures back to Him, especially the one that you are meditating on that day. Tell Him about your plans for the day and seek His guidance in doing the right thing at the right time and place with the right folk. Remember, you are His ambassador here on earth, so you want to do and say things His way, so that others might be reminded of Jesus and desire to know Him personally. Please try not to follow preplanned prayer verbiage by some great theologian. Yes, I know make it sound so perfect, but since you don’t need something like that for conversation with your spouse, then I can assure you that you will not need that to converse with your Creator who knows everything about you. Just be yourself and converse with God in an unhurried or structured way. Leave time for God to envelope your heart and mind and fill your innermost thoughts with His direction and His character and demeanor. The world is sick of the selfishness and greed of mankind. They are constantly on guard for what you might want from them. Allowing God to work in your life and speak through you, will open the eyes and heart of your hearers in ways they, nor you, may have ever experienced before. The experience of reflecting back on your day and standing in awe about where certain words or actions came from, will totally overwhelm you. Allow God to be in control, dear friend! In the last two verses, note that Jesus wants us to know that unless we willingly forgive others, we shouldn’t expect God to forgive us. We must be willing to practice what we preach, not just apply those teachings to everyone else besides us. Communication is key to our personal relationships with family and friends. It is also the key that opens the door to a personal relationship with our Master. Talk/pray to God on a regular basis. Hearing from Him is key to a life patterned after, and directed by Him.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus will pour into you as much as , or more than, you pour into your relationship with Him! Begin to enhance that relationship with your Savior through prayer, dear friend.
PRAYER: Lord You are so good to us. Please help us to be more like You in every aspect of life, so that others might know that You are alive and working actively in Your children’s lives. Please help us to dedicate ourselves to more quality time with You, especially in prayer. In our Scripture today, we are reminded of some important qualities that would enhance our prayer life – a key to our relationship. Please direct us to plan time for meeting with You, and to clear the path of every distraction as we do that. Quality time with our family and friends bring unity and increases the love we feel towards each other. Time alone with You is also super important as we seek to know You better, love You more and gain even more trust in You. Draw us close to you dear Lord, so that we may be usable by You to grow Your kingdom. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!